No Birds Land

Walking piece details

Duration10 minutes
No Birds Land - excerpt
Visual transcription
'Making of", by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

No Birds Land sound poem

CC-BY-NC: Tamsin Grainger

A soundwalk in the Trinity Tunnel, Edinburgh, drawing attention to the fact that during the 2 minutes it takes to walk through the tunnel, 2 pairs of breeding birds will disappear in the UK.
Once part of the railway located between Trinity and Trinity Junction, the Trinity Tunnel is now absorbed into the cycle path network. It is 183 paces long and an eerie, birdsound-less place. No birds land there. At either end are arresting signs – Stop Listen to the Birds! and a QR code which takes you to a Soundcloud recording of a sound poem made up of human-appropriated bird sounds. Along the walls are old cable hooks on which hang festoons of bunting, each triangular pennant sporting a bird illustration from found materials. On the reverse are common bird-sound written words, rough translations of bird song.
August – November coinciding with the Edinburgh Festival, the RSPB Revive Our World, and the Glasgow COP26. In partnership with RSPB and Sustrans.

The Trinity Tunnel is on route 13 (Trinity to Granton) of the Edinburgh cycle path network where it goes under East Trinity Road

Using w3w, you can find the south end at ///hands.calculating.wiping, the north end at wins.trial.preoccupied.

Geographic coordinates: 55.976045, -3.203276

Update 1: 25 October 2021. I led a group of 50 pilgrims through the tunnel and the bunting had been vandalised, the pennants lying crumpled and dirty in puddles. I didn’t take a photo. There was no time to make it right because we had a long way to walk that day. L and A, my friends, went on Tuesday to repair and rehang.

Update 2: 14 November COP26 ended last night and many feel that decisions taken did not go far enough. In light of this, I have digitally reworked the visual aspects of the No Birds Land installation, once more inspired by artist Hagar Vardimon (https://hagarvardimon.com/art/the-new-york-times-magazine/)

Tamsin Grainger

United Kingdom

I am a walker, writer, collector of images and sounds and Shiatsu practitioner. Until Covid-19 restricted my travel bug, I lived in Edinburgh for half the year and moved around Europe for the other 6 months; now I am mostly in Scotland. My first sound/...

Near Trinity Path, Edinburgh, UK

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