The BBC launches new project Soundscapes for Wellbeing

Audiences can experience Soundscapes for Wellbeing via Radio 3, 6 Music, BBC Sounds, BBC Two’s Winterwatch and the BBC Sound Effects Archive, plus take part in a new scientific experiment.

The BBC has launched a new collaborative project called Soundscapes for Wellbeing. The project aims to “connect audiences with nature through creative programming” via BBC Radio 3, 6 Music, BBC Sounds and BBC Two’s Winterwatch. It also incorporates the BBC Sound Effects Archive, which relaunched today (25 January) as an interactive platform with over 33,000 sounds, 17,000 new nature sounds and a Mixer Tool feature. This feature will allow users to download sounds, and create, mix and share their own soundscapes for free.

Soundscapes for Wellbeing will be hosted across the remainder of January and the entirety of February. The BBC has lined up dedicated music and nature-themed programming including a special Soundscapes for Wellbeing version of Mary Anne Hobb‘s Ambient Focus mix, now complete with 3D nature sounds. 

The BBC is also inviting audiences to take part in a new UK-wide nature experiment commissioned with the University of Exeter. It’s been designed to “unearth the potential of virtual nature experiences to boost our wellbeing”. Dubbed The Virtual Natural Experiment, it’ll explore the emotions individuals experience while engaging with nature environments via differing online and broadcast formats, spanning “rich visual scenes” to “immersive natural sound recordings and big budget wildlife documentaries.” Audiences are invited to take part in the 10-minute experiment from home using a laptop or a phone. Participants will be asked to play one of several short videos and answer a series of questions.

Rebecca Sandiford, BBC Music Commissioning Executive says, “Soundscapes for Wellbeing is a collaboration involving teams right across the BBC, offering imaginative ways for audiences at home to immerse themselves in the natural world – something we all need right now.”

“Our UK-wide research with the University of Exeter invites people to help scientists create robust insight into the benefits of digital nature experiences, and audiences can investigate the effects for themselves by exploring our newly launched BBC Sound Effects archive and listening to the creative content on radio, TV and digital specially produced for the project.”

Find out more about Soundscapes for Wellbeing here.