Six unique “sound walks” – audio guides to short walking routes – have been launched to encourage people to get out walking in their community and tune in to the different sounds around them.
The walks are based in communities in north Aberdeenshire and a walk has been created for each of the following places: Banff Town, Wrack Woods, Ladysbridge Village, New Byth, Sandhaven and Rosehearty.
The routes capture moments in time using sound such as lapping waves, a helicopter passing overhead, and birds singing on a wire. Walkers are encouraged to listen to the recorded sounds as well as those happening “in real life” around them.
Each walk has been personalised with the thoughts, emotions and memories of local people. Passing Banff Pet Shop brings back tales of a beloved but naughty hamster and the tinkle of the ice cream van, even heard through strong coastal winds, can’t help but raise a smile.
The walks can be accessed from any internet enabled device, like a smart phone or tablet. Headphone are recommended. Walking along the route, different sounds will play at different points, along with a voiceover, to act as a “sonic guide.”
The walks have been designed to be enjoyed by individuals or family groups as a fun and interesting way to spend time outdoors and reconnect with places in the local community.
School pupils, local writers and community volunteers worked with artists Pete Stollery and Bryan Angus to write the audio guides and record voice overs.
The walks are part of the Soundmap: People & Place project, commissioned by Live Life Aberdeenshire’s Arts and Heritage team. The project has engaged more than 150 people during the last eight months, some of it carried out remotely, during lockdown.
Anyone undertaking a walk is advised to follow the latest guidance in relation to COVID-19, to be aware of their surroundings and take care near roads and water.