Nature Overheard: Tune in to Your Streets

Nature Overheard logo with a cartoon grasshopper making sounds

At a glance

  • Join us in a groundbreaking study of how noise pollution affects insects.
  • Record insect sounds near your local roads and help us train an algorithm to identify them.
  • Learn about the nature on your doorstep and how to make it thrive.

Join our mass community science project investigating the impact of  noise pollution on insects near roads.

Be part of the team and find out how we can make roads better for nature.

What’s it about? 

Insects are important for a healthy environment, but noise can make it hard for them to communicate with each other. They may have to change their sounds to be heard in noisy places.  

Join us to collect data to better understand how road noise affect insects through the Nature Overheard survey. Or take part in other activities to support this research while you build your own scientific skills and knowledge.

Contact us

If you have specific questions, you can email the Nature Overheard team at: communityscience@nhm.ac.uk

Sign up to our community science mailing list keep to hear news about this and other projects.

Ways to take part

FlyTunes

Listen to audio clips recorded during the Nature Overheard Survey, and decipher the sounds. Can you tell the chatter of animals from the hum of vehicles or the sounds made by humans?

The Nature Overheard Survey

We need your ears and eyes to record the sounds and sights of nature along UK roads.

How well do you know your local wildlife?

Are you an informed intentifier or a nature newbie? Test your knowledge of the amazing animals and plants that live near you with our fun and challenging quizzes.

How this work can help insects

Until now, we have not been able to investigate on a large scale how noise affects them. But new technology makes studying this problem easier.

We can work together to make our roads better for nature by sharing what we learn with road developers, councils and others.

Co-created with school students

To stimulate positive action and investigate nature in urban environments, we asked students across the country aged 11-14 to propose research questions that interested them.

Nature Overheard's overall theme emerged from these questions. Then months of further collaboration between school students and Museum scientists shaped the project's planned activities.

Data from the project is being stored in our new Data Ecosystem, powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Keep updated on the project

Do you want to know more about the project and keep up to date on its progress? Then please sign up to our Community Science team's newsletter.

Receive email updates from the Museum’s Community Science team - including project findings, training opportunities, evaluation surveys and new community science projects we’d love you to join - as well as other Museum news, exhibitions, events, services and fundraising activities. We may include third-party content from our corporate partners and other museums in these emails. We will not share your personal details with these third parties. You must be over the age of 13. Privacy notice.

Project team

This project was co-designed by young people and Museum scientists. The following members of Museum staff lead its delivery:

  • Ed Baker, Acoustic Biology Researcher
  • Dr Abigail Lowe, Community Science Officer
  • Dr Jessica Wardlaw, Community Science Programme Developer
  • Fareeda Atwan, National Learning Programmes Partnerships Manager
  • Victoria Thomson, Communications Manager
  • Freya Stannard, Head of National Programmes
  • Lucy Robinson, Community Science Programme Manager