A Bend in the Stream

This was recorded at a bend in a forest stream (Flechs Water) that runs across the Ornamental Drive near Blackwater, on a winter’s morning in February 2016. Listen for the sounds of the stream as it runs around some half-submerged logs that create gentle clunks and bumps.

A variety of microphones were used for this recording, including underwater hydrophones that I dropped into the stream, plus contact microphones that pick up the vibrations of the water on the logs. Click on the link below to have a listen…

A Bend in the Stream

A Woodland Morning

A Woodland Morning


Enjoy an early morning in New Forest woodland, immersed in the beautiful sounds of Spring birdsong. Twenty-three minutes of natural soundscape brought to your favourite armchair. Just click on the link below for my sound file…

A Woodland Morning

Introducing The New Forest in Sound

Hello, I’m Clive and it’s nice to have you here. The New Forest is my home and it’s where I pursue my audio hobby. I usually carry a portable sound recorder with me wherever I go in the forest and, over the years, I’ve recorded many of the sounds that I’ve come across – the sounds of my forest; the woods, the birds, the streams, the sounds of the villages and the natural rhythms of this beautiful National Park. These are my soundscapes. I also sculpt pieces of sound from field recordings captured in the forest that I manipulate into new things. I call these my Sound Art pieces. Finally, I compose 100% forest-inspired ambient music.

Bringing The New Forest to you, wherever you are

Although some of my sounds are being used for research and historical  purposes, the main reason for producing them is to enable you to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of The New Forest, even if you can’t always get here to enjoy it in person. In short then, my mission is simply to try to bring the New Forest to you, a sound at a time, wherever you are!

The curated sound recordings that are introduced here on New Forest Knowledge are a small subset of those residing on my own ever-growing website called www.newforestsounds.co.uk. On the latter, there are many different sounds that range across a variety of topics, from soundscapes to birdsong, water, transport, wind and weather and so on. Here, I’ve simply tried to give you an interesting introductory flavour of the full online archive. I hope you’ll find some enjoyment and interest in listening to the selections. if you’d like to listen to more, then you will be most welcome on my website anytime.

Click here to explore my contributions so far.

Natural sound is good for you

Did you know that natural sound is good for you? From bubbling streams, birdsong and natural sounds, to the bustle of our villages and peaceful ambient music, research suggests that generally bringing the sounds of nature into your life can be very beneficial; it’s widely proven to significantly reduce anxiety and stress levels. I’ve even made complete programmes for Lymington Hospital Radio to help to do just that for patients recovering from illness.

Try this for starters…

If you’d like a taste of the enjoyable and relaxing benefits of the sound of our forest, simply settle back somewhere nice, and begin your journey into sound with me by trying this recording of dawn birdsong in Brockenhurst

The link to the sound should open in a new tab in your browser, so you can keep your place here and come back again where you left off.

What you’ll find in these posts.

As you begin to explore my New Forest sounds, you’ll come across field-recorded soundscapes, together with unusual sound art pieces the have been manipulated from forest sounds and then handmade into something new, often using historic reel to reel tape machines and techniques. Added to that, on the main website, you’ll find quiet and pensive ambient music that is 100% forest inspired, and sometimes combines musical sounds with natural soundscapes to produce its relaxing effect.

It’s all completely free.

My whole New Forest Sounds initiative is a not-for-profit activity and entirely free for everyone. If you like it, then try to visit the main site regularly, because more new sounds are being added bit by bit as I record, compose and produce them. If you wish, you can even subscribe so that you get an email whenever a new sound is added to the collection. There’s a form for this on the website.

Pony Sales at Beaulieu


This is one of my Sound Art compositions, created from raw material recorded at the Autumn Beaulieu Road Pony Sales. The idea was to create an organic piece that features the commoners, the sound of the ponies and the auctioneer, but compose it so that it has some unusual “listen again” elements, such as the modification of the auctioneer’s patter into a rhythmic pattern.

The Beaulieu Road pony sales yard is located on the Lyndhurst to Beaulieu road about three miles from Lyndhurst. The main pony sales occur late in the year there. All the New Forest ponies are rounded up by Agisters and commoners, taken off the Open Forest, counted and then health checks and necessary treatments given. The pony sales that occur soon afterwards provide the animals owners, (known as New Forest Commoners) the chance to sell their livestock, or to purchase more. Click on the link below to enter this traditional New Forest soundworld….




This is one of my gentle ambient music pieces that combines a New Forest stream with a soft Fender Rhodes electric piano to form a composition. It was recorded on a pair of linked, vintage valve Brenell and Ferrograph, early 1960’s tape recorders connected together by a loop of tape to form a time lag accumulation tape delay (a technique from the world of 1960’s experimental tape music). The intention here was to try to create music to capture the way that ripples in the forest stream sparkle and dance in the morning sunlight. I made it to be relaxing, see if it works for you by clicking the link below…


Soundwalk along the Ober Water near Brockenhurst

Soundwalk Along Ober Water

Join me for a walk in The New Forest along a woodland stream called Ober Water near the village of Brockenhurst. We’ll meet a dog splashing the stream, hear the bubbling water as it makes its way through the forest, crunch through some autumn leaves, encounter a wild forest pony coming to drink, be enveloped by the sound of birdsong, and perhaps even hear a woodpecker.

By the way, I recorded this soundwalk using a special production method, which will give you the feeling of really being immersed in the landscape and surrounded by the woodland and the stream, just like you’re really there – as long as you listen on headphones (the surround sound effect doesn’t work on speakers). For the technically-minded, it’s a recording technique known as ‘binaural’. Click on the link below to take the walk with me. It’ll be nice to have you along…

Soundwalk along the Ober Water

The Hunt Meeting


The sound of the New Forest Hounds meeting at the Rhinefield House Hotel, (although my photo is from them elsewhere at Balmer Lawn) before starting their day of hunting using a scent trail; thus, no foxes are harmed in case you’re wondering)….

During the main hunting season, which typically runs from early November to the end of February, the hunt will meet Tuesday and Saturday mornings at 10.45am. The meet will either be in a forest car park, or it will be by invitation at a private house, hotel or pub. These are referred to as lawn meets, and it is customary at these for participants to enjoy a small tipple before setting off.

Once the meet is over, usually after 20-30mins, the huntsman will sound his horn and move off with hounds to the first covert where he will cast his hounds and encourage them to search for their quarry.

Sometimes the trail may be found immediately, and the chase begins in earnest, or the huntsman may have to move on from covert to covert, recasting his hounds several times before a trail is found.

The unpredictability of hunting is one of the elements that adds to its appeal. Once the hounds are on a scent, they “give tongue” or “make music”, and once the hounds have left the covert, the field master will lead the mounted field in hot pursuit.

Once on a run, the control which the huntsman has over his hounds, and the respect and trust the hounds have in the huntsman, is a pleasure to behold. A run may be brief and fast if scent is good, or it may be long and slow with hounds having to work hard to keep on the line. In any event, the huntsman will re-cast, and the day will go on until 3 or 4pm. (Based on information from newforesthounds.co.uk. Visit the site for more details and an absolutely fascinating history that dates back 900 years!).

Listen to what a hunt meeting sounds like by using the ink below…

The Hunt Meeting

The Song of the Blackbird

The song of the blackbird is beautiful, and provides us with some of best melodies of all the garden birds. The individual that I recorded here is a real virtuoso with a gift for improvisation too, producing a mellow flute-like song at a nice, leisurely pace from the apex of a New Forest village roof in late Spring. The song comprises soft, clear and liquid notes that, to me, sound very pleasant to listen to, especially as the phrases never seem to repeat exactly the same twice. Click on the link below to have a listen…

The Song of the Blackbird