All FM 96.9 joins forces with England's Community Forests to create urban Forest Soundmap

22nd March

Wild Rumpus, have joined forces with England’s Community Forests and Community Radio Stations to create the first ever Community Forest Sound Map.

As one England’s Community Forests, City of Trees have joined Wild Rumpus and All FM 96.9 to be a part of the first ever Community Forest Sound Map. Wild Rumpus are the organisers behind Timber Festival, a three-day festival that celebrates people’s connection to trees and woodlands, and have created this event to coincide with International Day of Forests on Sunday, 21 March 2021.

City of Trees are asking people in Greater Manchester to visit their local forest, wood or park and record the natural sounds they encounter! Residents can then add these audio recordings to the Your Forest soundmap. When collecting sounds, we ask people to stay local & observe social distancing.

What does your local woodland, forest or tree-lined park sound like?  What do you love about it?  Go to your favourite spot – or discover a new one – and use your phone to record a minute of the sounds you hear. To submit your sounds go to wildrumpus.org.uk/yourforest .

 The exciting Your Forest radio series also launches on 21st March, running for 4 weeks. Listeners are invited to discover the health boosting benefits of spending time amongst the trees with ‘This Morning’ GP, Dr Zoe Williams and Black Girls Hike founder, Rhiane Fatinikun. Find out more about the wildlife you can spot in your local woodland with author and podcaster, Melissa Harrison and Mya-Rose Craig, aka ‘Birdgirl’!

 Sarah Nurton comments;

“Community Forests are not a single woodland, but a growing number of distinct trees, woods and forests weaving through our urban areas and wrapping around our communities.

Your Forest encourages people to connect to these local places through the medium of sound and share it for everyone to access - truly bringing the local Forests alive through audio!”

Trees and forests in and around Manchester are so important, for exercise, play, access to nature, health and well-being. Your Forest aims to connect people in Manchester with trees – and one another – by gathering the sounds of local community forests to create a ‘soundmap’. Each one-minute recording might include the sound of the wind in the trees or the birds singing, but it might also have the noise of children playing or the traffic in the background. 

 Rowan Cannon and Sarah Bird, directors of Wild Rumpus said,

"It's really easy to underestimate the impact of our forest spaces but lockdown has really highlighted their power. The process of stopping and recording and the process of listening can be really impactful. Your Forest can show us the unifying power of nature. In a time where we remain physically distant urban forests provide hope, connection and community.

You don't have to travel to wild and untouched areas to feel the power and the benefit of trees. A few trees in an urban space can provide the same connection. The health benefits of nature are well documented and we hope the project inspires people to take time for themselves to enjoy the sense of well-being the trees can provide."

 The recordings will then form an open source library that anyone can listen to or create from. Research shows that even just listening to the sounds of nature can have a positive effect on well-being and mood.  Anyone can explore the sounds of nature from the comfort of home by clicking on a pin on the map!

Your Forest brings together 10 Community Radio stations across England who will broadcast a special series looking at themes relating to urban forests.

 The project is supported by England’s Community Forests, who have been transforming the landscapes and communities in and around our largest towns and cities for nearly 30 years.

The Your Forest Radio series will look at the importance of forests in and around our towns and cities.  Listen via one of the 10 Community Stations or online - wildrumpus.org.uk/yourforest/.

Ep 1 - Forests For Health

Research shows that spending just 2 hours a week in nature significantly improves our mental, social and physical wellbeing.  In this episode ‘This Morning’ GP, Dr Zoe Williams and bio-chemist Diana Beresford-Kroeger are among those explaining why being in forests, green spaces or parks can help lower blood pressure, reduce stress and generally make us feel better.  Find out how Community Forests are using a ‘Natural Health Service’ to improve quality of life in our towns and cities, and how you can learn to enjoy the ancient practice of forest bathing! Also this week, Black Girl’s Hike founder, Rhiane Fatinikun, reveals how finding a way to explore nature helped her recover from the most traumatic experience of her life. 

Ep 2 - Forests for Nature 

Woods and forests are cities for our wildlife.  How much do you know about the plants, trees, birds and animals living in the trees or woodlands on your doorstep?  In this episode author and broadcaster, Melissa Harrison, tells us how we might best appreciate the wildlife living among our urban trees. Mya-Rose Craig, aka Birdgirl explains why there is no better time to spot birds and animals than springtime - and champions the glory of the ‘small brown birds’ that surround us, such as the wren.  And get tips for being able to identify the trees and wildlife when you visit your local wood or park.

Ep. 3 - Forests for All

The pandemic has shown us how green, natural spaces around our towns and cities are so important.  But it’s also highlighted that access to forests and parks is much easier in some places than others.   In this episode you’ll hear from the groups campaigning for better access to nature for all, and describing some of the many cultural barriers that make getting out into woodlands problematic. Find out how you can get involved in improving the local green spaces and woodlands in your area.

Ep. 4 - Forests of the Future

We need forests.  They make us happier and healthier; they create jobs, reduce flooding and help tackle climate change.  So, what is being done to make sure trees and forests in and around our towns and cities flourish?  Find out about the expanding roots of England’s Northern Forest – linking up the cities of Liverpool, Chester, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull.  Discover why Tiny Forests are springing up in our towns and cities and get an insight into futuristic town planning and the tree-sprouting buildings that could help make our urban spaces greener, healthier and more beautiful!