BOOMcast 1 : Rusland Valley & the Corncrake
This track has been created with the University of Cumbria as part of the Back on our Map Project 2019-2023 supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Explore the woods and fields around Morecambe Bay and south Cumbria and discover nature and habitats through sound. This 30 minute soundwalk, largely recorded in the Rusland Valley in November 2020, captures something of the magic on our doorstep. The peacefulness, the bird song, the trees. But listen harder, and listen to the words and recollections of farmers and coppice workers, those who’ve worked the land past and present, and you’ll hear sounds that are missing from this landscape.
The sound of the corncrake was once common in the fields and valleys of south Cumbria. Today, it has vanished. Over time, changing uses of the land and farming practices have altered the habitat and therefore changed the wildlife that calls it home
The corncrake is one of twelve rare or locally extinct species that the University of Cumbria are working to reintroduce, reinforce or share their story. The project aims to work with local communities to help them understand their natural, cultural and industrial heritage, how it’s different aspects are linked, how they have changed over time, and what impacts these changes have had. We will also be working with farmers and land managers to understand how positive changes could be made in the future, to benefit nature, and rural enterprise.
Produced by Dan Fox
Ecologist: Mike Douglas, South Lakes Ecology
Additional material from Dan Fox’s archive including oral histories from: Jim and Tiser Teasdale, Walter Lloyd, Lorna Singleton and Adam Crow
Location: recorded in the Rusland Valley, Cumbria. Additional birdsong recordings from outside the valley (notably the corncrake) have been added as layers to help the listener identify different species
Corncrake – Fintan O’brien
Additional birdsong from Xeno Canto by Patrick Berg, Paul Donald, Sander Bot, Simon Elliot, Stuart Fisher
Project created by the University of Cumbria and Morecambe Bay Partnership, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund