Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Herefordshire...... is a sound place

Every time I head off to Malvern for the Spring Gardening Show, I always say to myself, I must come back here and visit this area properly. Hereford, Worcester and Shropshire are a bit of a closed book to me, yet easily reachable for a day out.

Anyway yesterday, I had a chance to do just that, as I was out on my first location recording of Radio 4's Living World at a location in Hereford. And what a beautiful spot. The National Trust property we went to, Brockhampton, has ancient orchards, amongst many other charms. This is an area of Hereford I do not know. So the drive up was great, sun shining and the countryside just looked absolutely stunning. You know those few days which occur each season when everything is "just right"

Anyway we duly decamped, met up with the National Trust team, said our hello's and then I was sent off to a far and distant corner of an ancient orchard (containing relic agricultural machinery) to record some atmospheres. Which is obviously a euphemism, for "get the idiot out of the way, we have proper work to do" So off I went to frighten some wildlife with my Rycote microphone and Nagra recording kit.

In this image I'm recording the sound of a fence post. It didn't make much sound, but after 20 minutes I had enough material to return to the fold and say I'd finished. By the way one shouldn't hold the microphone, as they're very sensitive. This was pointed out to me yesterday!!

But what a cracking place this estate is. You'll have to listen to the programme to find out what was going on, so book mark the Living World Radio 4 site here. I think this programme is going out in June, but will let you know. But if any of you out there are into insects, I think you will like this one, Mistletoe Weevil and Noble Chafer to name but two stars of the show.

And finally I'm going to enter this in a wildlife photography competition. I think you will agree this is just a stunning photo of a Cardinal Beetle. The clarity and composition are second to none!!!!!!!!! (oh if you can't see it, it's behind that nettle leaf).


  1. What a nice place to go to work in! Tough work but someones got to do it!
    I have bookmarked that programme and will listen to the fencepost in the course of time...
    Nice pictures as always.

  2. I like R4s nature programmes and look forward to this one.
    Why is it so many of nature's creatures love to be photographed, but only if they can hide their heads? :)

  3. I'm having such trouble keeping up with all the great blogs of which yours is definitely one Andrew! I loved your previous Malvern post and this one is fascinating about your work, I have always been a huge fan of Radio 4 and always said I learnt more from it than I ever did at school, so will try and remember to listen to your fence post!!!

  4. I often holiday in wales Andrew, and I cant resist hoping over to this part of the country.

  5. Hi Andrew,
    the reason the post, didn't make much noise- listening post.

  6. Andrew - the BBC is proud of you. Even famous sound recordists would have given up after 5 mins at a fence post. What did the beetle sound like?

  7. Actually thinking about it Andrew I think you make a very profound philosophical point by recording a fence post. I remember from back in the Jurassic when I studied a bit of philosophy that someone was waffling on about sunrises and cockerels and just because the cock has crowed every morning so far doesn't mean it will tomorrow - so just because a fence post has never sung an aria before, doesn't mean it won't now. Or something like that. I think it was Hume discussing empiricist naturalism.

  8. been to the Brockhampton estate, beats east london!

  9. Just up the road from us! ( well about 10 miles!) Yes it is a lovely place and I shall await the R4 prog with interest...

  10. So funny, you do make me smile in the early morning.

  11. Hi Goosey, life is tough these days I have to tell you.

    Thanks Midmarsh, Shysongbird, I'll put a link on as soon as possible.

    Warren, it is a stunning part of ther world, I can understand why you pop over.

    Hey ST have you been reading the Andrew book of awful jokes? top comment.

    Hi Mary, we'll make a radio producer out of you yet... ha ha

    Pete, I'm struggling to spot the difference between the two :-)

    Good to have you pop by compostwoman, and congratulations on your 500th post

    Now steady Oldcrow, with comments like that him indoors may think some funny business is going on :-)