You are currently viewing Sonic Pond Dipping (Durham Wildlife Trust)

Sonic Pond Dipping (Durham Wildlife Trust)

Create your own underwater recordings and become a citizen-scientist for the day!

This was the mission on 21st and 22nd February at Low Barns Nature Reserve in County Durham. It was a fantastic few days, in spite of the tremendously challenging weather conditions!

The audio library captured on the day can be heard here:

The looks on everyone’s face when they first hear alien sounds emerging effortlessly from beneath the water is priceless. I can’t wait to host this event again!



Ponds are scattered throughout our landscape. As well as being widely accessible in urban environments, they are a key feature of many Wildlife Trust nature reserves. As Spring arrives, these spaces become alive with the sounds of frogs, birds and insects. But did you know that some of the noisiest creatures live beneath the pond surface?

David de la Haye sits on the bank of a pond and listens. By using a hydrophone (an underwater microphone) he tunes into the sounds of amphibians, invertebrates, fish and even plants! Human ears aren’t adapted to listening underwater but this technology allows us to reveal incredible hidden soundscapes.

By offering audiences the chance to listen from an aquatic perspective he hopes to raise the cultural value of these overlooked spaces. Two-thirds of Britain’s freshwater plants and animals are found near small ponds, including some of the most threatened. And since 1970, there has been an 84% collapse of freshwater species.

On the 21st and 22nd February, you have the chance to listen for yourself. Become a citizen scientist by contributing your own audio recordings for acoustic ecology research. Also experience a unique sound installation, curated by members of the Wildlife Sound Recording Society, that explores the soundscapes of Wildlife Trust sites in the North of England.

David de la Haye is currently supported by Sound And Music (Arts Council England / PRS Foundation) and Newcastle University Institute for Creative Arts Practice. He is a member of the Wildlife Sound Recording Society.

This event is funded by Durham County Council and sponsored by AquaBeat Hydrophones