Explore a selection of photographs, poems and quotes by the communities involved with the Sounds of Nature Project.

“We had a wonderful day.  The whole day was well organised, realistic in reach and timings and so very interesting.  The activities were super- perfectly pitched for 7 year olds.  Charlotte’s sound detectives story really keyed them in to listening and thinking about ears.  Using the sound equipment was really special, and the children loved exploring the sounds around the garden. I hope there were some usable sounds for the project.  Getting the chance to use specialist equipment is wonderful, and the children responded really well.”   – Catherine Kington, Year 3 Teacher, Redlands Primary School 

“As part of my RED Award at the University of Reading, I was expected to carry out some hours in volunteering and the Harris Garden project allowed an excellent chance for me to learn leadership skills whilst having the benefit of interacting with nature. This was a humbling experience for me as I came to realize how much we tend to forget to take a break from our current busy lives. I was completely shocked at myself during the project as I never even realized how I got through the whole day without even checking my phone once! Perhaps, working with children and nature was a joy in itself. My appreciation goes out to Stephanie Mitchell for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this inspiring project.” – Chetan Arurah, University of Reading Student and Volunteer

Poem from work done at the gardens. By Charlotte Allchin, outdoor learning practitioner. Through these gates, Rustling leaves and voices Rocks crunch under your feet Magpies and jay overhead Around these gardens, Puddles that swish and splash, reflect the sky above Bumpy tree bark awaits your touch Yellow, green, pinky red leaves grow Along these paths, Imagination and sound are weaved like flower stems and vines Story and song can be created The wild and the tame walk close to each other Throughout this landscape The past is brought to life by trees that have travelled through time Brought here from distant countries For us to cherish and learn from Just STOP Take a few precious moments and rest awhile Find your lost words and lost thoughts as we did Through these gates, Around these gardens, Along these paths and throughout this landscape Nature is our friend, Deer and hedgehog Horse chestnut Turkey Oak Cherry All wait here For you

“Recording the sounds with Richard was pure Tech awe and wonder.   I’m not sure the ‘right’ sounds were recorded and I think my teacher voice features in some!  The children really took creativity to another level when the instruments came out.  They created a little music sanctuary that was a delight to see. ” – Dawn Newton, Alfred Sutton Primary School 

“The joy and enthusiasm of the primary school pupils we worked with was contagious. When amplified through headphones, the simplest of sounds; splashing in puddles; rustling leaves; squelching in mud; provoked the most amazing reactions from the children. After such a difficult couple of years, listening to the garden with them seemed to give us all a much needed lift!” – Richard Bentley, Sound Artist 

“The gardens were a perfect venue- so many different spaces, but so safe and enclosed.  The gazebos for our base were excellent.  The adults involved were all well prepared and had so much to give the children, but without being over bearing.  The children were able to explore and to find out for themselves, which was wonderful to see.  ” – Catherine Kington, Year 3 Teacher, Redlands Primary School 

Gunnera Catapillar-eaten aven like root, Oh your so furry; Even tough leaves can be peirced by the spines on your stem. Verse 2 Crinkly old leaves brown from age, Sticking out from the root; A graidient from brown to yellow Pink, green, brown and yellow those are the colours it holds. Finally in autumn watch it move. The gunnera bu Frank B.

“My heartfelt thanks and appreciation for inviting Alfred Sutton Children to join you in the Harris Gardens for the pilot sound trail project. The children loved the gazebo set up and one child excitedly gestured as we approached, “there is a special event there”.  His delight was evident when he realised the special event was for us. ” – Dawn Newton, Alfred Sutton Primary School

“This opportunity attracted me as I am planning to work with children after my degree and this gave me the chance to interact with school-aged pupils and supervise them as they interacted with the gardens. I now have the confidence I believe I need when going into a classroom environment. Furthermore, the initiative is a wonderful opportunity for pupils of the local community to see what their local university has to offer and give them an insight into what their future could look like and inspire their decision.” – Saif Maher, University of Reading Student and Volunteer