My trip to the most tranquil place in England features in the Sunday Times and Daily Mail today. The spot was identified in 2006 by the CPRE (Campaign for Rural England) who commissioned research that mapped out the tranquility across England. I visited it as part of my research for Sonic Wonderlands & The Sound Book.
The Daily Mail didn’t show a picture from the actual spot, so I thought I’d blog some here. Every picture in the slideshow below, except the one with the concrete trig point, was taken with me standing in the centre of the 500x500m square with the highest tranquility score in the CPRE mapping.
(Can’t see the slideshow? This link will take you to the photos)
There were two parts to research. First researchers asked what people thought made a place tranquil. A rough summary would be people wanted to hear more natural sounds and less man-made sounds. They also wanted a view free from man-made structures. The researchers then carried out a mapping exercise where they predicted things such as the man-made noise level (e.g. from roads) and whether there was line of sight to man-made structures. This then allowed them to map the tranquility across the country.
I’d upload one of my recordings from the spot, but all you would hear is electronic noise. The place was completely silent.