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Over 40 million birds have vanished from UK skies in just 50 years, it is time to Let Nature Sing

let nature sing rspb
  • The RSPB is releasing a track of pure bird song to raise awareness of the shocking loss of over 40 million birds from the UK in just 50 years.
  • ‘Let Nature Sing’ features the song of many threatened and endangered birds to get more people talking about the beautiful sounds the we could lose.
  • New research reveals 82% of people say bird song makes them feel positive, and more than half (54%) would choose it as the #1 sound to wake up to.
  • However, only 15% of people realise nature is in crisis, highlighting the UK is in danger of sleepwalking into a natural tragedy.

Over 40 million birds have vanished from UK skies in just 50 years, 56% of species in the UK are in decline, and one in ten of our wildlife are critically endangered. Nature is in crisis, and new research from the RSPB has demonstrated that the UK is dangerously unaware of the impending danger.

Only 15% of the UK realise nature is in crisis, and worryingly over a quarter (27%) believe nature is in fact doing well. The UK is in immediate danger of sleepwalking into a disaster, as our natural world and wildlife face a mounting and immediate crisis.

To wake up the nation to this threat, the RSPB is today releasing a track of pure bird song into the charts for the first time in UK music history.

‘Let Nature Sing’ is an arrangement of some of the UK’s most loved and most threatened bird songs. It has been created to raise awareness of what the UK might lose if nothing is done to stop the crisis facing nature, which is pushing many UK birds towards extinction. The message is simple: If we do not act now, and work together, the magical sound of bird song could be lost forever.

The RSPB’s research illustrates how devastating this loss would be to the people of the UK. When presented with the shocking facts about the decline of wild birds’, half (49%) of UK adults said they were upset by this, and a third (31%) went further to say they were angry. The majority put pressure on political powers for change, with more than eight in ten (84%) feeling the governments of the UK should be doing more to save nature.

Young people are also shockingly unaware of the crisis facing nature. One in three (33%) said that had no idea that the UK had lost over 40 million birds in the last 50 years, but upon hearing this, over a third (40%) said they want to do something to save nature, showing hope for the future.

Martin Harper, the RSPB’s director of conservation said: “The signs are all around us that something is not right, that nature is falling silent and you only need to stop and listen to find the beautiful bird song that should be the background music to our life is absent. But no one is talking about the crisis facing wildlife and nature in the UK. We all need to start talking about this, and the Let Nature Sing track is a good starting point as it perfectly highlights the music we risk losing.

“Wildlife and our natural world can recover, it can be saved for future generations, but we need more people to talk about the issue and how much something as simple and wonderful as bird song means to each of us. Because if we do not start talking about the threats facing nature the inspiration behind so much of our music, poetry and literature may go silent.”

Mercury Prize nominee, Sam Lee, who helped edit the single, said: “Birdsong has been one of the biggest influences of our song, poetry and literature. The loss of it should concern us all, because it is a signal that all is not well in the world. We should see birdsong as a barometer for the health of this planet, and hence of ourselves.

The track is being released on Friday 26 April, in time to get bird song into the charts for International Dawn Chorus Day on the 5 May.

Let Nature Sing is available as a digital download or as a CD. To find out more about the vital work the RSPB is doing to save nature, and to purchase the track, please visit www.rspb.org.uk/letnaturesing 

Header image: RSPB.

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