Click to listen live to the soundscape at Knepp Rewilding Project - the ultimate slow radio

Project team: Alice Eldridge, Dawn Scarfe and Grant Smith of Soundcamp
Project partners: Knepp Wildland Project
Funders: Sussex Humanities Lab and ESRC Impact Acccelerator

Across the world, ecosystems are being restored. Experiments in rewilding, such as at Knepp in West Sussex, provide beacons of hope in the face of global biodiversity loss and climate change. But how can we keep track of these slow, open-ended ecological changes? how can we connect with this process on a personal level? brings art, science and technology together to allow us to listen in to ecosystems in recovery and become part of long-term, positive ecological change.

In May 2022, a pair of Beavers were introduced into Knepp estate on a small brook that runs south-north through the estate. Beavers are ecosystem engineers: they copice shrubs and trees to build dams. Their dam is expected alter the flow of water turning the seasonal lag at brookhouse into a wetland area, altering the flora and fauna of the ecosystem and therefore the soundscape of the biome.

We have installed an off-grid quadrophonic live audio feed just north of the dam. A pair of microphones let us listen in as if we were sitting in the willow tree, and a pair of hydrophones transmit the tiny sounds of fresh water organisms, along with the trickle of water and sounds of the wind in the trees.