The University of Oxford, Oxfordshire County Council and Newcastle University are looking for Citizen Scientists across England who are interested in documenting the presence of natural sound where they live.
Data collected will inform early explorations by academics at the University of Oxford, Newcastle University and King’s College, London into the soundscapes around us and how the audible presence of Nature (or lack thereof) may impact our lived experience, health & well-being.
What the project involves
Those selected to take part in the Nature Sensing project will have an AudioMoth, an open acoustic device for monitoring biodiversity and the environment, posted to them prior to an agreed start date. Upon delivery, the device will need batteries and an SD card inserted (delivered with the AudioMoth) and configured through an audio key, which will be available from this website.
Once configured, Citizen Scientists will be asked to safely deploy an AudioMoth in a green space accessible to them (such as a garden) for a duration of two weeks where the device will intermittently record samples of soundwave data.
Once the two-week data collection period is complete, the AudioMoth can be taken down and returned to the study team for data analysis in the pre-paid envelope provided.
See what we've been doing
One of the first locations we're installing AudioMoths is at Blenheim Palace. David Green, Head of Innovation at Blenheim, explains:
“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to participate in this study and it will be fascinating to hear the results. A key part of Blenheim’s Land Strategy is something we are calling the ‘Natural Health Service’, which is how we can share the estate with a wider audience to promote the benefits both of exercise and interacting with the countryside for mental and physical wellbeing. Hopefully the findings from this research will provide additional evidence of how important nature and access to green spaces is for all of us.”
You can find out more on Blenheim's website.
Data Collection & Privacy
A consortium of partners including the University of Oxford, University of Newcastle and Oxfordshire County Council will analyse the data collected by the Citizen Scientist.
Sound data recoded by the AudioMoth during deployment will be stored on an encrypted SD Card within the device.
Upon return of the device, raw data will be processed by the University of Oxford’s Department of Computer Science to extract soundwave data for project analysis.
The original sound recording from the encrypted SD card will be destroyed in compliance with GDPR.
No identifiable data will be stored by project partners. Datasets used for analysis will also contain no identifiable information from those taking part in the study.
If you would like to volunteer as a Citizen Scientist or discuss the project further, you can contact Sridhar.Raman@oxfordshire.gov.uk.
This project has been funded by a Research England grant awarded to the University of Oxford.