Blickling, Norfolk, UK
A stereo mixed air microphone and hydrophone broadcasting from Silvergate stream on the Blickling Hall Estate, Norfolk, UK
HomeSounds is working with the National Trust through its Riverlands Upper Bure project to bring the diverse, and little explored, acoustic habitats of the River Bure in Norfolk, UK, to new audiences. This will be achieved through the installation of a series of live-streaming microphones sited within the River Bure catchment on the Felbrigg and Blickling Estates.
‘Through sensory activities we want people to build connections to nature that allow them to discover our diverse landscapes, to access and enjoy more of their local river, feeling a sense of belonging where everyone is welcome.’
Acoustic habitats of the river, both above and below the waterline, will be live-streamed through the Locusonus Soundmap across a period of 18 months. Alongside the microphone installations will run a program of engagement that encourages audiences to become active in their environmental listening.
‘The microphone is found on the Silvergate Stream which runs through the Blickling Estate. The stream rises from the chalk aquifer in Oulton and travels through the Blickling Estate, joining the lake before entering the Bure. It has supported life on the estate by providing fresh water, fertile land for farming and water meadows for grazing for many years.
The name Blickling comes from the Old English term ‘Bekeling’ meaning a water meadow around a stream. As the stream runs from grazed water meadows into a wet woodland the microphone picks up the sounds of the water trickling over natural wood in the stream. The stream supports sticklebacks and dragonfly larvae as well as water voles on its banks. Snipe, wren and yellow hammer can be seen visiting the water logged meadows and surrounding hedgerows.
The National Trust have been working with farmers to ensure the water quality of the stream is improved, supporting improvements in biodiversity of the stream as well as the receiving lake. Restoration works have been completed on the stream to restore its natural sinuosity and the meadows are currently undergoing improvements to support flower rich meadows.’
THE RIVER BURE:
‘There are just over 200 chalk-stream rivers around the world and the River Bure is one of them. Because there are so few of them, it makes the Bure all the more special.
They are arguably some of our most beautiful rivers too when they’re healthy, with crystal-clear water from underground chalk springs making them the perfect sources of clean water and ideal habitats in which wildlife can thrive, which is why we need to protect them.
Rising in Melton Constable and passing through both the National Trust's Blickling and Felbrigg estates, the River Bure flows into the internationally important Norfolk Broads, which is Britain’s largest designated wetland and a haven for wildlife.
Historically this river has supported life in the catchment by providing fertile land for farming, water meadows for grazing, power for milling and fisheries for commercial and recreational exploitation. Over time this has reduced the health of the river and the landscape it supports.’