Sound fishing 1 River Stour, Wimborne

room 9 ECHOES

Wimborne, Poole, England, United Kingdom

Chalk rivers are recognised throughout the world as an important habitat for many plants and animals, including otters, kingfishers and fish. Yet many river species are difficult to see, because they live under the water surface. Might we be able to hear them instead?

We have been fishing for sounds in the River Stour, by placing special microphones (called hydrophones) in the water, suspended from fishing rods. This enables us to listen to the sounds being made by creatures living underwater.

This soundwalk presents some recordings that we've made using this approach. These reveal a strange and complex soundscape, full of chirrups, churring, clicks and pops. Very little is known about the sounds made by the species that live in rivers, but we know that water beetles and caddis flies both produce sounds. Some fish are known to vocalise too. And on these recordings, you can also hear the sound of water plants photosynthesizing.

We hope that this soundwalk will help you to appreciate the River Stour in a different way - as a place teeming with life, much of which is hidden from view.

Adrian Newton
Adrian Newton



The Echoes

River haiku 1

A mayfly is born Flies towards infinite sky Swallowed by a gull

River haiku 2

Sunlit lily pad Casting a murky shadow On the world below

River haiku 3

Patient heron waits Darting minnow’s sudden dash Ended by sharp beak

Sound fishing 6

There are many different calls on this recording, which sounds as if they were made by crickets or g…

Sound fishing 5

These sounds were recorded at this stretch of river. You can hear the sound of minnows munching, plu…

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