City of Trees, the charity planting 3million trees across Greater Manchester, worked in partnership with the RSPB and The Hallé this spring to celebrate International Dawn Chorus Day
The worldwide celebration of nature’s symphony is held on the first Sunday of May each year, and is a great way to herald spring and recognise the importance of nature.
City of Trees invited members of The Hallé to come and play a short concert in Chorlton Water Park, Manchester.
Six members of The Hallé performed Vivaldi’s violin concertos from The Four Seasons. They describe the sights, sounds and atmospheres of the changing seasons of the year and create vivid musical pictures.
Spring is a joyful announcement of the season featuring the song of birds, the gurgling of brooks and the dramatic tempest and the calm after the storm. Summer depicts the singing of a cuckoo and both a turtledove and a goldfinch respond in turn.
The excerpts were chosen as they reflect the themes of nature. Every year when birds start to nest they fill the air with the varied sound of birdsong. From March until July male songbirds compete to secure a mate through song.
The RSPB was founded in Fletcher Moss in Didsbury and Jenny Hackland is the Mersey Valley Project Officer, working in partnership with Manchester City Council to oversee Chorlton Ees, Chorlton Water Park and Fletcher Moss.
Jenny said: “The Mersey Valley is a haven for wildlife in an urban area. It provides a really important wildlife corridor with a mosaic of varying habitats such as reed beds and wetlands. Species include willow tits, which is the fastest declining resident bird species in the UK as well as great crested grebes, herons, kestrels, bullfinches, nut hatches and sparrows and starlings.”
City of Trees has teamed up with the RSPB to highlight the importance of trees for wildlife and nature and illustrate that they provide a home to many species of birds.
City of Trees also helped people to learn more about birds and trees through a guided walk around Chorlton Water Park, led by RSPB volunteers. They also created a Heritage Tree Trail showcasing trees of note around the park, which can be downloaded from the website.
Beth Kelsall, of City of Trees, said: “Trees and woods are the fabric of our towns and cities, benefiting people and providing a home for wildlife. It is City of Trees mission to plant a tree for every man, woman and child in Greater Manchester providing more natural habitat. Native species such as oak trees can home up to 500 different species including bats and birds such as Jays.”
Fun facts about birds and trees will also be on City of Trees social media platforms.
Chief Executive of The Hallé, John Summers, said “We are delighted to be part of International Dawn Chorus day. In spite of its industrial image Manchester is a city full of green spaces, trees and birds and many of our players feel passionate about celebrating this aspect of the City. This is not least because so much music that we play is inspired by the natural world and birdsong in particular. It is also great to be working with so many other Manchester institutions on this inspiring project.”
Jenny Hackland from the RSPB said: “Blackbirds create the most beautiful birdsong as do song thrushes and chiff chaffs. People can search on our website to listen to the range of different birdsongs so they can start to identify them.”