BBC Radio 3’s Slow Radio programme is set to visit Lundy, a remote island off the coast of North Devon. The audio voyage will take in the sounds of Atlantic grey seals barking, skylarks in the small hours of the morning and the calls of seabirds, such as guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and puffins. This musical journey, produced by Amelia Parker for BBC Wales, will be punctuated by the Northern Irish lilt of Dean Woodfin-Jones, the island’s nature warden.
The island of Lundy is located just 12 miles off the coast of Devon, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Bristol Channel, and is a haven for marine wildlife. Once ruled by Barbary pirates, the island’s stormy history has now blown over and is a peaceful haven and home to just 20 people.
Radio 3 will take us on the boat trip there and back from Lundy and capture the sounds of the island’s rockpools, the wind in the lighthouse, a nighttime visit from some Manx shearwaters and a dawn chorus.
The island’s seabirds take a starring role in the programme. ‘From the raucous cackles of guillemots and razorbills, to the cries of kittiwakes and growls of Atlantic Grey seals, Lundy’s coastline is like a polyphonic party throughout the summer breeding season,’ says Slow Radio producer Amelia Parker. ‘But after dark, a different kind of magic happens. At midnight, the island’s generator turns off and suddenly there’s no light, no internet – only the weather and the eerie sounds that emerge from the stillness.’
A Night on Lundy will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Slow Radio programme at 11.30pm on Sunday 29 August. It will be available as a podcast on BBC Sounds thereafter.