Looking for Silence in Efford Marsh


Listen up: There’s a really unusual event going on at Efford Marsh and it involves a lot of noise.

The sounds of nature will be taking centre stage in a ‘soundscape’ project called ‘Looking for Silence’ which takes place on 13 May.

It’s an arts project by Take a Part, artists Nicholas Leverington and Nadja Wuthrich and Active Neighbourhoods and they have been working with volunteers, schools and families to explore Efford Marsh using sounds such as bird song, bees buzzing and frogs croaking along with urban noise.

Photo credit: Gem Smith for Take a Part

Workshops exploring sound have been run in local primary schools and with families in Efford Library. Volunteers have gone on listening walks with parabolic microphones to gather research for the project.

Artists Nick and Nadja have created a ‘listening pipe’, based loosely on the pre-radar detection devices, sometimes called ‘acoustic mirrors’ that are dotted around the south coast of England. The project aims to encourage people to find new ways of listening to nature and finding out more about the sounds of local wildlife.

Gem Smith, Creative Education Producer, Take A Part said: “Looking for Silence is a wonderful project, focussing on the sounds of the A38 which can dominate Efford Marsh and subverting them to listen more carefully to the wildlife.”

“Finding and really listening in to the wonderful hidden sounds at the marsh has been a really interesting process. The final listening pipe will be a wonderful reflection of this and of the importance of taking the time to stop and listen when out and about in nature.”

The event runs from 11am to 2pm, meeting at the entrance at the top of Deer Park Drive. Food, fun and games are provided.

Active Neighbourhoods will be working hard with volunteers in May to improve the paths in Efford Marsh to make it easier everyone to enjoy this beautiful nature reserve.