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Ghost Ponds and Underwater Songs

Ghost ponds and overgrown ponds in Norfolk are being recovered and restored in an extraordinary conservation project in which sound is being used to measure the health of a pond.

Richard Waddingham, a Norfolk farmer has been the inspiration for a remarkable project which is recovering and restoring Norfolk’s ponds. Norfolk has more ponds than any other English county; around 23,000 ponds. In North Norfolk many of these ponds were created in the 17-19th centuries as marl pits to provide lime-rich clay to improve the soil for crops. But over the last 50 years many of these ponds have suffered neglected or been filled in, largely as a result of changes in farming practices. Today, the Norfolk Pond Project is working to recover and restore these ponds. And where there is life in a pond there is sound; for example, water boatmen, respiring plants and water beetles all produce sounds, so by listening to the underwater sounds in a pond, you can estimate its health. For one composer, this was also an opportunity to create music. Not only does a healthy pond ‘sing’, but it increases the biodiversity in an area, and as Richard Waddingham first discovered and demonstrated, pond conservation and intense agriculture can coexist.
Presenter Helen Mark, Producer Sarah Blunt
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24 minutes

Last on

Sat 24 Oct 2020 06:07


  • Thu 22 Oct 2020 15:00
  • Sat 24 Oct 2020 06:07