Leaving some space for wildlife?

How much of the earth should we set aside for wildlife in order to protect diversity? This is the question to be discussed at the Symposium Zoological Society of London this week Based on this question, The Nature Needs Half Movement is "a science-based and common-sense vision of a relationship between people and nature that ensures enough natural areas of land and water are protected and interconnected – and of sufficient size and resiliency – to provide life-supporting ecosystem and biodiversity services that are essential to both human health and prosperity and a bountiful, beautiful legacy of wild nature." It will be interesting to follow up what comes out of these discussions, but for u

Association of Manchester Open Space Societies

“Manchester has a wide range of habitats and wildlife. This includes everything from floating water plantain in the Rochdale Canal through to ancient woodland in Blackley. These species and habitats make up a rich and valuable diversity that we should aim to protect and manage so that this can be enjoyed by all, both now, and in the future.” Read more here: Association of Manchester Open Space Societies

Poetry on Prescription?

Poetry has been an important element of this project, and our weekly poetry sessions with local poet Nige Wood have been popular and introduced another creative way to share our experiences, articulate our feelings and explore language around sound, noise, distraction, quiet, tranquility, space and much more (please see our poetry section to read some of the poems the group has produced). William Sieghart published a book last year: The Poetry Pharmacy which is a collection of poems prescribed to people in need by Sieghart, each poem addresses specific conditions including: fear of the unknown, unrequited love, stagnation, purposelessness, convalescence, oppression, and on the Today program

One man's search for silence

Two interesting articles written by George Michelsen Foy relating to his book Zero Decibels about his year long search for silence: And on why we need silence to survive: Foy's quest corresponds with many of the concerns and findings of our own project. In particular that we tend to find quieter places away from centres of concentrated human activity. There is an economic case for noise as Foy describes in this article, there isn't money to be made from the wild. Nature and wilderness still hold some of the quiet spaces on this planet. But

Poem Created from Sound/Feeling Sampling Walk

rolling wheels lead to beeping idling engines on wet roads chatter, coughing, feet shuffling laughter surrounds the swish of puddles distant traffic breathing by the gushing water the banging knocking bus diesel engine carries on the wind traffic chatter, chatter traffic whirring sound from garden footsteps passing running water train passing lock 89 drip drip plip plop rumble rumble roar of engines brakes by the bridge bird squawking, feet shuffling rustle of wind and water falling building banging work, train braking connected at Catalan Square bustling wind over water lapping clanging coughing train rumbling past Manchester my Manchester r.e.b.

Sound & Feelings in the City

On Tuesday 13th February 2018 a group made up of participants from TLC St Lukes and Manchester Community Qigong Group walked from a meeting place in front of Sainsburys corner of Oxford Street and Whitworth Street along the canal to Castlefiend and over onto the Bridgewater Canal. You can hear our sound recordings of the walk on the LISTEN page of this website. The objective of the walk was to explore the sounds we could hear in different parts of this walk and also how we felt as moved through these different sound spaces. In each place that we stopped to listen and record the sounds and our feelings we jotted them down in our folded beak book. These recordings then informed our discssions

Fresh Eyes

I like to imagine landscapes without human development all over them. I will play with my mental time-machine to create a picture of what a place looked like maybe after the last Ice-Age. I blot out all the signs that say “human was here 10,000BC-2018 AD”, the electricity pylon, the radio mast, the houses that have replaced the curving brow of a hill, the pavements that cover grasses and shrubs. I replant forest across farmland in my minds eye. I left Manchester some years ago but still come back to visit once or twice a year. Every time it seems more crowded, noisy. Every street is stuffed full of cars, every bus and shop full of people. It feels...tight, everything and everyone packed in o

Forest Bathing scientifically proven!

Check out this article from the World Economic Forum - the Japanese practice of Forest Bathing is now proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone production, boost the immune system, and improve overall feelings of wellbeing. Fletcher Moss Gardens, Didbsury Trees soothe the spirit too. A study on forest bathing’s psychological effectssurveyed 498 healthy volunteers, twice in a forest and twice in control environments. The subjects showed significantly reduced hostility and depression scores, coupled with increased liveliness, after exposure to trees. “Accordingly,” the researchers wrote, “forest environments can be viewed as therapeutic landscapes.” So we can all ben

Noisy Cities

With thanks again to Coryn Smethurst for sending this in:

Sound Futures...?

with thanks to Coryn Smethurst for bringing this to our attention: This article directly discusses the question that underlies our whole project. What effect do sound levels have on our health? The article points out that it is not just our mental health/wellbeing that suffers from high levels of noise pollution, but: "High noise levels can exacerbate hypertension, cause insomnia or sleep disturbances, result in hearing loss, and worsen a plethora of other medical conditions. All of these problems can aggravate other health issues by inducing higher levels of stress, which can cascade into worsened immune systems, heart problems, increased anxiety

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