MINIBABE | Lockdown Walk with Angie Butler

Artist and researcher Angie Butler takes us through the sights and sounds of St. George…

During these extraordinary times, I have noticed the same thing as a lot of people have mentioned, due to lack of traffic volume. When carrying out everyday activities: sitting at my computer, cooking in the kitchen with the back door open or walking outside…birdsong.

It’s usually completely drowned out by the traffic noise from Church Road. I realise that they are there, but are unheard. Like many voices often are… but now they can be heard everywhere.

On my morning run, I take one of a few habitual routes around St.George, towards Hanham, up to Kingswood then come down Two Mile Hill and take a right turn before The Fountain (at the top of Church Road) into the aptly named, Park View Terrance.

This is my favourite entrance to St. Georges Park, as you don’t see the full view of the park until the very last moment. On entering, my eyes are instantly drawn upwards and I feel that rushing sense of awe and wonder that comes over you when you walk into a grandiose building, marvel at a panoramic view or witness an amazing event.

The avenue of trees tower above me, a canopy of unfurling green. They are alive with birdsong. It’s like being in a cathedral of Nature.

Enveloped by this feathered orchestra, I feel uplifted and at one with all that surrounds me, momentarily losing track of my sense of self (and my ability to run properly!) in briefly closing my eyes in order to tune-in to all the different bird songs.

This daily event seems even more precious to witness now.

5.30am Dawn Chorus, St. George Park, Bristol. Friday 24 April 2020.

Sound recordings: Si Butler. Photos: Angie Butler.

As this is a true document of time, space and place, traffic noise from the main road can still be heard alongside the birdsong.

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