New research has revealed that 89 per cent of people in Greater Manchester find listening to birdsong makes them happier, but more than one in ten haven’t heard a bird sing this Spring – and more than a third of adults say they hear less birds now than they did ten years ago.
The study, conducted on behalf of intu, marks the launch of a new initiative by the shopping centre brand to reconnect people with the wonder of birdsong.
The campaign is part of intu Trafford Centre’s pledge to make shoppers smile and is backed by naturalist Kate Humble.
It officially launches at the centre today, with Britain’s ten greatest songbirds including the blackbird, nightingale, robin and wren chirping birdsong out of a specially-created 12-foot ‘tweet tree’ featuring model singing birds. The 10-minute track features the soothing tones of ten native British birds with other songbirds including the cuckoo, woodpigeon and blue tit, and was created by BAFTA-winning ambient music producer Laurence Love Greed.
The initiative to reconnect people with the sounds of nature comes as nearly four in five people in Greater Manchester say listening to birds singing helps them relax and 68 per cent say it makes them feel less stressed. Almost a third lsay it helps them to work or study, but everyday life is becoming noisier with one in three worried they are losing touch with nature.
Of those questioned, just over one in four adults l could recognise the sound of a robin, less than half could identify a blackbird and only four in ten knew the sound of a nightingale.
The research showed that 43 per cent of 18-24 year olds wear headphones everyday and 37 per cent regularly wear them outdoors making them deaf to the sounds of nature. While 88 per cent said they enjoy listening to birds singing, only half think they make the most of the natural sounds around them during Spring.
Alison Niven, Regional Centre Director at intu Trafford Centre, comments:
“We’re bringing the sounds of the great outdoors into our centre to encourage our shoppers to reconnect with nature. We work really hard to create experiences that will bring a smile to the faces of our customers, and knowing that birdsong is proven to make people happier, we hope our tweet tree will bring joy to our shoppers and help them leave happier than when they arrived.”