The sweet notes of the nightingale and the distant throb of the engines of Lancaster bombers – surely two of the most evocative and iconic sounds of the England we have all but lost!
In this remarkable recording, the now all too rare songbird was recorded one spring night in 1943, as the four-engined bombers headed out towards the North Sea and the sleeping cities of Germany.
Of the brave crewmen who survived, the vast majority are of course now dead. As for the nightingale, numbers have sadly crashed in recent years, with building development, the decline of traditional woodland management and the habitat-destroying spread of the alien and invasive muntjac deer being the main culprits.
But a handful of restored Lancasters still fly, and the nightingale may still be heard in a few precious woodlands in south east England, many of them maintained by conservation volunteers. Long may it be so!