To celebrate our glorious UK birdlife – and to highlight the devastating loss of over 40 million birds from the UK in 50 years – the RSPB has launched a free birdsong radio app.
Broadcasting a soothing soundscape featuring species in serious decline, such as the turtle dove, nightingale, snipe, greenfinch and curlew, Birdsong Radio follows the RSPB’s Let Nature Sing campaign, which saw the first ever release of pure birdsong reach the UK charts.
RSPB’s Adrian Thomas, who recorded the birdsong loop for the radio app, said: “We wanted to create a gentle, ambient background chorus of some of our most-loved and seriously endangered birds to take listeners on an uplifting walk through the countryside.
“People take bird song for granted but our skies are slowly falling silent. Countryside ramblers would struggle to hear the songs of some of the most beautiful birds on the track now.”
The birdsong app is inspired by the popular former Radio Birdsong, a broadcast of layered bird calls and country sounds used as a test transmission for Classic FM and for digital radio stations during the 90s and 00s. At its peak, it was thought to have 500,000 weekly listeners and its removal was met with widespread public outcry and media coverage.
When it was live the original Radio Birdsong was used in a cancer ward whilst patients received chemotherapy treatment, by prisoners who hadn’t heard birds for 25 years and in hospital and dentist waiting rooms to calm patients’ nerves.
To download the free app search ‘RSPB Birdsong Radio’ or tune in via the website at www.rspb.org.uk/letnaturesing