- Study finds birds singing is the North East’s favourite spring sound -

A leading UK beatboxer has vocally recreated the nation’s best-known songbirds to celebrate the sounds of spring and encourage people in the North East to get outdoors and experience nature first hand.

The album of tweet music was commissioned by the National Trust after academic research found that listening to birdsong, one of the Trust’s 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾, not only makes people calmer but boosts positivity.

In a poll of over 2,000 people, of those living in North East the National Trust found that 70% declared that birdsong was there favourite sound of spring. Despite this, 41 per cent of people admitted the noise of cars or planes often drowns out the sounds of nature.

Beatboxer and vocal sculptor Jason Singh visited National Trust places for inspiration before creating the album, which features birds and wildlife including Blackbirds, Robins, Woodpeckers, Crows, Skylarks, Owls, Warblers, Buzzards, Frogs and Crickets.

Singh explained, “I love the magic of spring, when the silence of winter comes to an end, you can feel a real sense of change as the parkland erupts with noise, bursts of colour and new life. This is what makes spring so special for me and it’s this that I really wanted to capture in this project.

“It was important to me that the bird calls and environments I recreated were as life like and authentic as possible, so it was great to work with the National Trust’s nature experts to better understand the flora and fauna of spring.”

Listeners are set to find the new National Trust soundtrack a soothing experience after a recent psychological study found natural sounds have restorative qualities. The study found the call sounds of songbirds and other sounds of nature help people recover much quicker from stressful scenarios compared with the noise of urban living.

University of Surrey Environmental Psychology PhD student Eleanor Ratcliffe, who is working on an ongoing investigation with the National Trust into the psychological impact of birdsong in people’s lives added: “It makes sense that people should find birdsong calming. Songbirds tend to sing when it is safe, and it makes evolutionary sense that we should feel calmer in a safe natural environment.”

According to the research 40 per cent of people in the North East consider spring their favourite season with 78 per cent stating that they feel more optimistic during this time of year.

North East top ten spring sounds

  1. Birds singing (70 per cent)
  2. An early morning ‘dawn chorus’ of birds (61 per cent)
  3. Tinkling stream (47 per cent)
  4. A babbling brook (42 per cent)
  5. Lawnmowers cutting grass for the first time this year (38 per cent)
  6. April showers (36 per cent)
  7. Lambs baaing (36per cent)
  8. Wind rustling the trees (32 per cent)
  9. Bees buzzing (27 per cent)
  10. Baby chicks chirping (23 per cent)

Matthew Oates, National Trust wildlife and nature expert added, “With 45.7 million of us now living in cities, we wanted to produce a unique piece of music that would bring the wonderful sounds of spring to everyone – no matter where they are! By developing this in a quirky, creative way, we hope our album of tweet music inspires families and kids to have fun in the outdoors this spring and enjoy all the benefits that the sounds of nature can bring.”

You can experience Tweet Music, discover the latest signs of spring in the North East and find out about dawn chorus events where you can hear the sounds of spring first hand at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/northeast and online at www.facebook.com/NorthEastNT or on Twitter at @NorthEastNT #tweetmusic.