Our work

The start of many kestrels counted we hope © Douglas Holden

The start of many kestrels counted we hope

The Big Count 2015

On 1 January National Trust Rangers, Coastal Conservation Group volunteers and conservation organisations are starting a yearlong wildlife survey along The Leas and Whitburn Coastal Park.

The Big Count 2015 is the first time ever that wildlife along this stretch of coastline will be recorded for a full year. Wildlife being surveyed include birds, mammals, moths, dragonflies, butterflies and bees, as well as wildflowers, grasses and marine life.

The yearlong wildlife survey is something that has never been done before, certainly not along this stretch of coast, and the results will be a valuable resource for us and local conservation organisations.

The Big Count 2015 offers lot of opportunities for you to get closer to nature along The Leas throughout the year, including seashore safaris, seasonal walks, bird ringing, moth traps, cetacean watches, and on the 30 August, a Bioblitz which will be a race against time to see how many species can be recorded in a 24 hour period.


Foghorn Requiem

On June 22nd 2013, more than 50 ships gathered on the North Sea to perform an ambitious musical score, marking the disappearance of the sound of the foghorn from the UK’s coastal landscape.

Foghorn Requiem was performed by three brass bands, ships at sea and the Souter Lighthouse Foghorn. Conducted and controlled from afar, ships sounded their horns to a score taking into account landscape and the physical distance of sound. The composition, performed live to audiences on the coastal cliffs, was played across a space of several miles around Souter lighthouse.

Artists Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway collaborated with composer Orlando Gough to create an event that incorporated this sense of landscape, memory and space into the musical composition. New technology allowed ships horns several miles off shore to play together in time with the musicians on shore - three of the finest historical brass bands of the northeast, the Felling Band, the Westoe Band and the NASUWT Riverside Band.

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Listen again

Listen to a recording of the performance here.