Twenty-two members of the Wildlife Sound Recording Society attended this year's Spring Meeting held at the Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre, which is tucked away far up Ennerdale, one of the more remote of the Cumbrian valleys. This was a four-day event held over the first weekend in June, and the location, scenery and weather proved idyllic.
The accommodation was adequate and comfortable, and the self-catering arrangements possibly added to the sense of camaraderie and shared purpose.
Members were active in the field from 3am each morning, and many high-quality sound recordings were made in the relative tranquillity of the valley. PC-based sound editing equipment was on hand for members to process their recordings, and there were many types of recorder and microphone for inspection and field-trial.
An introductory talk had been arranged for the Friday evening, and this was given by a Project Officer working on the Wild Ennerdale Partnership. The message was of a managed return to the natural equilibrium of an earlier age, to which end commercial forestry ceased a few years ago, and vehicular access to the valley is now limited. The other evenings passed with members exchanging technical information, "talking shop", and generally socialising. All were made to feel very welcome and, despite early morning rising, members showed themselves partial to a wee glass or two.
Amidst the glories of the stunning scenery some thirty-plus species of bird were encountered, including Goosander, Buzzard, Woodcock, Tawny Owl, Rock Pipit, Redstart, Ring Ousel, Siskin, and Raven. There were also sightings of Roe Deer, Red Squirrel, and Otter.
The weekend was greatly successful, and it was felt that the meeting confirmed a "New Wave" of activity and focus in the Wildlife Sound Recording Society.