Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
10:01 PM 4th May 2020

Name That Nature Tune - With New Ear & Eye-Q Test

Canal & River Trust challenges children to 'Tune in to Nature' and beat their grandparents in new wildlife sounds quiz.

Blackbird - credit Canal & River Trust
Blackbird - credit Canal & River Trust
Survey shows that young people are increasingly becoming disconnected to nature
40% of young people cannot identify the sound a duck makes!

The signs of spring are in abundance right now, but with the coronavirus lockdown confining people indoors and within the remit of their homes for much of their day, everyone is at greater risk of losing touch with nature.

The Canal & River Trust charity has responded by launching an online wildlife quiz, so everyone can imagine they’re strolling along a waterway towpath listening to nature.

Fox - credit Canal & River Trust
Fox - credit Canal & River Trust
The Trust, which cares for 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales (19 rivers and canals totalling 316 miles in Yorkshire & North East England), commissioned a survey that showed young people are less likely to be able to identify wildlife than older generations.

According to the findings, only 59% of people aged 16-24 could identify a duck’s quacking sound, compared with 78% of the over 55s.

The survey also discovered 76% of parents believe they are less knowledgeable about nature than the previous generation, with 68% of parents also believing that their own children are less knowledgeable about nature than they were at the same age.

Moorhen - credit Canal & River Trust
Moorhen - credit Canal & River Trust
Some people are lucky and able to enjoy wildlife as part of their daily lockdown walk - more than eight million live within 1km of a canal (nearly 1.1 million in the charity’s Yorkshire & NE region). But to keep everyone in touch with nature, Canal & River Trust is throwing down the gauntlet for families to take part in a national intergenerational test of knowledge.

Ear and Eye-Q Test is a simple, fun, multiple choice quiz, suitable for any age. Ten questions feature a wide variety of wildlife sound recordings from bats and blackbirds to geese and deer.

Bat - credit Canal & River Trust
Bat - credit Canal & River Trust
Peter Birch, environmental policy adviser with the Canal & River Trust, said:
“Waterways are a wonderful place to enjoy the great outdoors and get closer to nature – particularly in our towns and cities where green space is at a premium and not everyone has a back garden. They boost our health and wellbeing – which is why we’re all missing them so much at the moment. Our new online nature quiz is the next best thing - a fantastic way for families to come together across all generations in different locations, have fun and hopefully learn something new.

“The survey, commissioned by the Trust in 2016, showed that young people are increasingly becoming disconnected to nature and with lockdown restrictions this could be amplified. This wildlife sound quiz may be online but hopefully when the lockdown is lifted, it will have whetted people’s appetites to make the effort to explore their local waterway, really listen to wonderful nature sounds all around them and put their knowledge into practice.

“Anyone lucky enough to have a canal or river on their doorstep is still able to go for a short walk there each day but at the moment we are asking people to limit their use and stay local. Everyone should abide by the government guidelines, share the space along the narrow towpaths, respect social distancing and.”

Deer - credit Canal & River Trust
Deer - credit Canal & River Trust
The sound recordings were made by members of the Wildlife Sound Recording Society (WSRS).

John Paterson, of the WSRS, added:
“The society was founded in 1968, since then we have been recording the sounds of nature not only in Britain, but increasingly elsewhere throughout the world as well. Particularly at a time of national crisis, we are pleased to be able to share these sounds with the British public as a link to the big outdoors, which offers us much to look forward to when the lockdown lifts.”

To test your nature knowledge on the Canal & River Trust Wildlife Ear and Eye-Q Test go to:

The Canal & River Trust cares for and brings to life 2,000 miles of canals and rivers across England & Wales. They believe waterways have the power to make a difference to people’s lives and that spending time by water can make us all healthier and happier. By bringing communities together to make a difference to their local waterway, they are creating places and spaces that can be used and enjoyed by everyone, every day