THE QUIET PROJECT
Lochgair is a monitoring location for The Quiet Project, a nationwide survey of noise levels during the coronavirus lockdown.
Many people have noticed how much quieter it has been due to reduced road and air traffic and how natural sounds like birdsong are more noticeable as a result. This is an unexpected positive effect of the lockdown as environmental noise has been shown to have an adverse effect on human health and increased engagement with nature a beneficial one.
Sound levels have been measured for approximately ten days during May, which will be repeated after 6, 12 and 18 months. Along with those from many other locations around the UK, the measurements will be analysed to see what the changes are over time as life returns to normal.
The graph below shows the results of the measurements in Lochgair. The blue line shows the average (dB, LAeq) level for every 15 minute interval, and the red line the underlying background sound level (dB, LA90), which excludes short-term noise events such as passing cars and dogs barking.
You can see how the sound levels drop dramatically at night, with a sharp increase at dawn - this is due to the dawn chorus. Peaks during the day are likely to be due to activities such as grass-cutting. Higher levels on the 10th, 17th and 18th of May are due to increased wind speeds and / or rainfall on these days.
This page will be updated with further results once the other measurements have been made.