In PART 2 of our podcast exploring how we got closer to nature under lockdown, Kaska talks to Tayport’s own John Wills about his life-long fascination with nature sounds, his lockdown listening project and the awesome sounds of spadefoot toads, swan’s wings and Weddell seals.
The Great John Cage Project – in Lockdown https://anchor.fm/greatjohncageproject
John's recordings of nature:
Tayport dawn garden sounds under lockdown (including brid wings on feeders): https://johnwills1.bandcamp.com/track/fife-garden-just-past-dawn-in-lockdown
Draft: a 50 minute journey around some of the the most beautiful areas of Scotland (a fully immersive, ambisonic sound installation): https://johnwills1.bandcamp.com/track/drift
The voice of the natural world: Bernie Kraus TED talk 2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTbA-mxo858
An interview with Bernie Kraus about his 2019 Great Animal Orchestra installation: https://thevinylfactory.com/features/bernie-krause-great-animal-orchestra-interview/
2 hours of Weddell seal underwater sounds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dbSA4dTICc
There’s been a lot of talk about how one of the benefits of lockdown which probably kept a lot of us sane, when we were in the depths of it a couple of months ago, was that we got to spend time watching, listening to and learning about nature close to home. We decided to explore this a little over the next couple of podcasts.
In this episode I talk to Calum who was involved in running a Backyard Bioblitz, an online project in North East Fife, which encouraged people to look at and record nature around them in early June, at the peak of lockdown. We also chatted to some visitors to Tentsmuir about their experiences of nature under lockdown, and to my pal and botanist geek Helena about her addition to iNaturalist app.
Next Backyard Bioblitz is running this weekend 27th and 28th of September. Find out how to join on their Facebook page or Twitter, or email Calum on email@example.com.
Try your hand at iNaturalist app to help you identify nature around you - find out more here.
Just how many pollinators can you find on one wild carrot flower? And what exactly is a pollinator? Listen to find out!
In this podcast episode, Kaska and Johanna Willi, Fife Council's Biodiversity Officier, marvel at the flowers, bugs and beasties which can be found in Tayport’s wildflower meadows established by Fife’s Buzzing project. PLANT volunteers turned out in force to do the sowing and planting in the Spring of 2016. We hear about the extraordinary benefits of this project for protection of these rapidly vanishing natural spaces locally and how it’s already helped our precious pollinator dwellers. Tips on how to make home for pollinators in your own backyard are also included.
Project team was careful to involve Tayport community in selecting the meadow sites, they held consultation 'drop-in' event with the Community Council, and also consulted park users in the Common.
Fife’s Buzzing was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Fife Environment Trust. Partners in the project included Fife Council and Buglife Scotland.
Land owners involved ac included The Woodland Trust Scotland, Fife Golf Trust, St Andrews Botanic Garden, CommScope, Dalbeath farm, Fife Council.
Fife’s buzzing project: https://www.buglife.org.uk/projects/fifes-buzzing/
Buglife’s B-Lines project providing wildlife corridors for insects to connect fragmented habitats (Tayport is on a B-Line!): https://www.buglife.org.uk/our-work/b-lines/
All things bumblebee at Bumblebee Conservation Trust website: https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/
Exploring pollinators – backyard science:
Count pollinators visiting your flowers https://www.ceh.ac.uk/our-science/projects/pollinator-monitoring. Flower-Insect-Timed Counts which involve monitoring a flowering plant in a 50x50cm square for 10-15 minutes and counting the different pollinators that visit the flowers.
Record bee-flies for Bee Fly watch (April – June): https://www.brc.ac.uk/soldierflies-and-allies/bee-fly-watch
Spotting bumblebees on a BeeWalk: https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/beewalk/
Ideas on how to support pollinators in your garden:
- Buglife Make a Mini Meadow: https://www.buglife.org.uk/get-involved/gardening-for-bugs/make-a-mini-meadow/
- Buglife How to make a community meadow: https://www.buglife.org.uk/how-to-make-a-community-meadow/
- RHS plants for pollinators (many ornamental plants included): https://www.rhs.org.uk/science/conservation-biodiversity/wildlife/plants-for-pollinators
- Wildlife gardening tips from Wildlife Trusts: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/gardening
- Garden for life leaflets (Scotland): https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/local-environmental-quality/community-projects/garden-for-life/resources/
In this episode, Kaska talks to Clare Maynard about the Green Shores saltmarsh regeneration project she's running in Tayport.
They discuss the secret life of saltmarshes, their importance to wildlife and preventing erosion and how her experiments are helping re-establish this threatened habitat locally. Clare has some good news about the success of plantings done by our volunteers a couple of years ago, and how marshes can help us fight climate change by stabilising our shores and through carbon capture.
To find out how regenerating nature can help with tackling climate change see:
For more information on Green Shores saltmarsh regeneration project see:
Project looking at regeneration of Eden estuary saltmarshes and carbon storage:
C-side project on carbon storage in intertidal environments:
You can get involved in measuring saltmarsh carbon storage through their citizen science project, Carbon Quest:
We would like to thank John Wills for donating his talent and time to help with editing of this episode and lending us some great nature sounds.
In this episode Kaska talks to Will Whitfield, PLANT volunteer who coordinates our tastiest project yet - Tayport Apple Juice!
You can find the video of Will and his volunteer helpers in action on our website.
Our juicing equipment was funded by Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund in 2016-2017.
We would like to thank John Wills for donating his talent and time to help with editing of this episode.
In this episode, Kaska interviews Janice who is a volunteer coordinating maintenance of Tayport's very own public community orchard. Fruit Tree Walk is based at Scotscraig drive and it's fruit available for everyone to pick. We touch on the walk's history, giving home to nature and preserving the amazing biodiversity of Scottish apple varieties.
Peter, PLANT's community gardener, will be running a winter apple tree pruning workshop at the Walk on 1st March, 1-3pm. See our events page for details: https://tayportgarden.org/events/
There is also more information about the fruit tree walk and how to get involved on our website here: https://tayportgarden.org/fruit-tree-walk/
This episode will be a part of an audio tour of Tayport's green spaces we are planning to launch at the end of March, at the Larick Centre opening weekend.
Thank you to John Wills for help with editing of this episode.
This story was included in a multimedia exhibition Climate Reflections: Human Stories of Hope and Fear. A five-day multi-media exhibition, from 18-22 November, brought together podcasts created as part of the Scottish Communities Climate Action Network‘s Future Voices project, and photography and video from the Environmental Justice Foundation‘s No Place to Call Home exhibition, first shown at the National Theatre in London.
Tayport Community Garden Carbon Conversations is a project which aims to help local residents reduce their household carbon footprints by coming together for a series of 5 small group workshops. The project has been a big success with people finding the process challenging, but also enjoyable and helpful in taking significant steps towards lower carbon lifestyles together. The project is delivered by PLANT group of Tayport Community Trust and funded by Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund. This story shares a discussion among some of the past Carbon Conversation group members sharing thoughts on their experiences. Find out more: www.tayportgarden.org/carbon.
In this Halloween episode, Kaska chats with a local bat man, David Martin, about eavesdropping on bats at Tayport Community Garden. Find out why they are cool, what they sound like, and how we can make them feel more at home in Tayport gardens.