The Natural History Museum is to launch a new community science project which will see the public collect data and send data on local noise pollution and insect populations.
It is asking members of the public to record five minutes of audio from a local road, capturing both the sounds of nature and human-generated noise, and to note any insects found within ten meters of the recording spot.
The ‘Nature Overheard’ project will launch in April, and follows the museum’s appeal for UK students to share their research questions about the urban environment. The question, ‘how can we make roads better for nature?’ was chosen. A selection of students then worked with the museum’s scientists to codesign the research project.
The team will use the public’s data in their research, which the museum said would be used to support road developers and councils to make roads better for nature.
The data collected from the project will go onto the Museum’s new data platform, the Data Ecosystem, which collects information on the UK’s urban biodiversity.
It is part of the museum’s Urban Nature Project, which also includes the transformation of the Museum’s five-acre gardens in South Kensington into what it calls an “urban nature ‘epicentre”.
The museum was this week announced as the most visited indoor attraction in the UK last year, according to figures from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA).