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Nature in lockdown

Naturalist Steve Backshall and Yeo Valley have recorded the sounds of organic farming for the first time
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Nature in lockdown

This article first appeared in our Health Revolution issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 24 July 2020. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

Yeo Valley, the family-owned organic farm, is helping ease our lockdown lows with a unique biodiversity and wildlife soundscape that brings the outside in.

The first of its kind, this on-farm recording brings to life all the wonderful and unique sounds that can be heard on an organic dairy like Yeo Valley’s. The goal is to raise awareness of biodiversity and the importance of a thriving environment. 

Listen to nature’s melody

With support from Steve Backshall, famed naturalist and explorer, Yeo Valley captured the different hums, echoes and buzzes that can be heard on its organic dairy farm from morning to evening. The result is a 15-minute soundscape filled with nature’s melody.

Organic farming provides a home for a wide range of creatures and wild plants; over the course of the bustling track, people are invited to listen in on a number of species – including bees, mice, voles, owls, and skylarks – in their natural environment. 

Farming and nature

The soundtrack reveals the role organic farms play in a sustainable future. On organic dairy farms not a single pesticide or chemical fertiliser is used, and animals, insects and plants can flourish and prosper in harmony. This is all while creating food that we can trust (as well as enjoy). 

‘I am absolutely delighted to see this soundscape come to life’, says Steve Backshall. ‘It’s amazing to hear all the creatures that live around us – whether it is on an organic dairy farm like Yeo Valley’s, which is bursting with wildlife and nature, or even in your own back garden.’

‘Biodiversity is a topic very close to my heart’, Steve continues, ‘and we can all do our bit to champion our surrounding environment and help create a more sustainable future for the thriving species that occupy it. We don’t often get to hear the natural sounds of biodiversity, so it really is a magical moment!’

Steve Backshall
Steve Backshall

How to create a biodiverse garden

Steve Backshall is a pioneering wildlife champion who understands the importance of maintaining a flourishing environment. Here are his top tips for bringing biodiversity into your own outdoor space.

  • Encourage pollinators to flourish by making your very own bug hotel, using wood, straw, fabric scraps and string
  • Create a wild water feature, such as a bird bath or a hedgehog drinking station, and your outdoor space will soon bloom into a minibeast heaven
  • In lieu of natural nesting sites, garden birds really rely on our help; all you need to make is your very own bird box
  • With even a square metre of space, a wild garden dedicated to wild plants and old logs gives room for caterpillars, beetle larvae, hibernating amphibians and nesting hedgehogs

These tips, which show that even simple steps and measures are extremely beneficial to biodiversity as a whole, are explained in full in short clips available on the Yeo Valley website.

Click here to listen to the soundscape, download the full soundtrack and check out Steve Backshall’s short biodiversity videos.

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