Listen to Forest Sounds From Home with This Digital Sound Map

Listen to Forest Sounds From Home with This Digital Sound Map

Travel through sounds, just until we can actually set foot onto the world’s woodlands.

I’m pretty sure I’m in my bedroom in Manila, but its walls reverberate with the chuffing of a very vocal orangutan in an Indonesian rainforest. Just minutes ago, I was entranced by gushing rainfall near the Ivory Coast. Did you know that there’s a website that lets you listen to forest sounds from the confines of your home? Aptly named Sounds of the Forest, the digital hub houses a sound map of forest sounds across the globe — music to any homebound nature lover’s ears.

‘Sounds of the Forest’: What is it?

Listen to forest sounds.

Image credit: Iswanto Arif

Simply put, Sounds of the Forest is a digital collection of sound recordings of forests from all over. Aside from bringing nature into the homes of those stuck in lockdowns amid the pandemic, the website also fosters collaboration over a shared fondness for the great outdoors. 

It goes both ways: Anyone can listen to any forest at any given time, and people may send contributions freely. In this sense, Sounds of the Forest lives up to its being an open-source library of “aural tones and textures from the world’s woodlands.” The website was created by UK-based social enterprise Wild Rumpus for the Timber Festival 2021, which will be held 2–4 Jul 2021.

Timber Festival 2021 presentation

Sounds of the Forest

A map that lets you listen to forest sounds. | Image credit: Sounds of the Forest

“The sounds form an open-source library, to be used by anyone to listen to and create from. Selected artists will be responding to the sounds that are gathered, creating music, audio, artwork or something else incredible, to be presented at Timber Festival 2021,” the website description explains.

Thanks to funding from Arts Council England and PRS Foundation’s Open Fund for Organisations, it looks like Sounds of the Forest is here to stay even after the festival in July.

‘Sounds of the Forest’: How does it work?

Sounds of the Forest sound map

How to listen to forest sounds online. | Image credit: Sounds of the Forest

To tune in to a forest of your chosen region, simply visit the Sounds of the Forest website and click on a sound bubble. (They’re yellow circles on the world map with sound waves — you can’t miss them!) Once clicked, a prompt will pop up, describing the forest in the sound file you picked. Press play, and disappear into any wilderness of your choosing.

To make a contribution to the sound map, simply follow the instructions on the submission page. The team behind Sounds of the Forest may be busy, so don’t expect your recording pin to appear in an instant. We assure you, though: Seeing your very own sound bubble on the map is worth the wait! 

Bring the world’s forests to your home

listen to forest sounds

Image credit: jplenio

Since Sounds of the Forest takes on an open-source format, all sound files fall under the Creative Commons Share Alike agreement. That means more people have access to this wondrous treasure trove of nature sounds. In fact, other pages like have used it as a resource. Don’t you just love it when initiatives like this one have a domino effect?

So how about it? Put on a pot of your most relaxing tea, open the windows, and let the sounds of the world’s forests take you on an auditory adventure while we can’t travel just yet.

P.S. If your country or region doesn’t have an entry, why not spread the word? We’d love to hear what nature sounds are like in your motherland.

About Author

Alyosha Robillos
Alyosha Robillos

In Russia, Alyosha is a boy's name popularised by literary greats Dostoevsky and Tolstoy—but this particular Alyosha is neither Russian nor a boy. She is a writer from the Philippines who loves exploring the world as much as she likes staying at home. Her life's mission is to pet every friendly critter there is. When she isn't busy doing that, she sniffs out stories and scribbles away on the backs of old receipts. She is an advocate of many things: culture and heritage, the environment, skincare and snacking, to name a few. She will work for lifetime supplies of french fries and coffee. Or yogurt. Or cheese, preferably Brie.


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