Think back to those seemingly endless days at the seaside when you were a kid. These were the times when a lifelong love of the coast was formed for millions of people in the UK. Day trips to the seaside were filled with a real sense of excitement and holidays at the coast seemed to last forever, with new adventures every day.
Many of our memories of days on the coast are shaped by the sounds that we heard. It could be the laughter of children as they dashed in and out of the chilly sea around the UK, the sounds of the fruit machines when someone hit a jackpot or the constant soundscape of the waves as they roll up and down the beach.
Sounds also reflect the changing nature of coastline: as places of work become places of play. Our relationship with the coast is inexorably linked to the sonic landscape of the shoreline around the UK.
Thankfully the vast majority of our coastline remains undeveloped. These places will be filled with a richness of natural sounds. However, the sounds of the great cities on the coast, the bustling seaside towns or the busy ports are equally valid.
A new project launched today by the National Trust, National Trust for Scotland and the British Library wants the public to help record those sounds. Sounds of our shores, a three month crowd sourced sound project, is all about capturing the sonic diversity of the whole of the UK coastline.
The aim is to get the sounds of the summer months up on to a sound map, hosted on the British Library website, and then into their Sound Archive.
So, this summer why not have a go at recording sounds from a day-trip to the coast or a holiday by the sea. You’ll see and hear the coast anew and your sound will be there for generations to come to listen to!
~ Written by Mike Collins, Senior Press Officer (Natural Environment) at The National Trust
Here's an important date for your diaries! Saturday 18th July is World Listening Day so tune in and celebrate your acoustic environment! This year’s theme is H20 and the day hopes to spread awareness of the global water crisis and the affects of climate change! Read more about it here.