Wildlife sound recording field trips – Black River Valley – central Sweden.

These trips bring those with an interest in the sounds of nature to the very special environment of the Black River Valley in central Sweden. Though only two hours flight time from the UK there is a real sense of wilderness here difficult to find elsewhere in Europe. There are plenty of opportunities for sound recording and for photography as well as it is an ideal destination for those wishing to avoid man-made disturbance!



The Black River Valley is a mixed landscape of forest and wetlands lying at the southern edge of the northern ‘Taiga’ forest belt which stretches around the globe. The natural environment is healthy here as indicated by the presence of top predators such as wolf, lynx and sea eagle, as well as a wide range of other species such as European elk, beaver, wild boar, capercaillie, European crane, corncrake, snipes and bittern.


April is a good time for early spring wetland migrants birds as well as forest residents such as woodpeckers, whooper swanes, cranes, black grouse and capercaillie. May is the best time for summer migrant birds of wetland and forest and is also an excellent time to experience the rich insect and plant life.


The trip lasts 5 days and involve as little travel as possible, maximising time out in the field. A 40 minute drive from Västerås airport brings us to the accommodation ‘The Farm’: a comfortable large Swedish wooden farmhouse in a beautiful setting overlooking the Black River and lake Hällsjön, with a backdrop of extensive forest. The area can be explored on foot, by canoe, or by bicycle and you will find a refreshing absence of ‘private – no entry signs’ as the right to roam is an important part of the Swedish psyche, set in law. We’ll also be planning excursions off-site as specific opportunities present themselves. Group leaders Richard, Stefan and Kari each bring their own special skills to the trip to help you get the most from this experience. There will be a range of extras on offer including: independent canoe and cycle rental, guided beaver safari by canoe, forest horse-riding, outdoor hot tub, and even yoga.

Key facts about the trips

The cost is £690 GBP per person, 5 days full-board (around 7850 SEK)
14 untill 20 May – 2018;
Group size 7 guests plus 3 leaders.
What’s included

Travel to/from Stockholm Vasteras airport (approx 35 minutes);
4 night stay in twin rooms in large farmhouse (single supplement £50 may be available);
All meals (cooked breakfast and dinner, cold lunches, vegetarians catered for);
Bed-linen and towels;
Field excursions off-site (weather/nature dependent);
The services of group-leaders Richard, Stefan and Kari during your stay.
What’s not included

Flights (Ryanair London Stansted to Stockholm Vasteras);
Alcohol – we will be making a single stop-off to stock up en-route to the accommodation;
Extras such as bicycle and canoe rental, guided beaver safari, outdoor hot-tub, yoga.
What to bring

Sound recording and camera equipment, binoculars;
Waterproof hiking boots (or a change if not waterproof);
Clothing suitable for -5c > +15c (April) and 0c > +25c (May);
Sleeping bag if wishing to sleep out overnight;
Insect repellent (May);
Swedish cash – enough for extra activities (see costs below).
Download the complete initiary sheet >> here <<

About the trip leaders:


Richard Youell

Richard has been a keen landscape photographer since a teenager and his interest in field sound recording has developed alongside photography – often noticing the amazing soundscapes accompanying impressive visual locations. In addition to natural environmental, wildlife and ambient sounds, Richard has a special interest in binaural or ‘dummy-head’ recording which provides a spatial or 3D effect when played back over headphones. Some of Richard’s sound recordings are stored in the British Library Environment and Nature archive (previously known as ‘The National Sound Archive’). Richard will be on hand to offer advice and technical tips on sound recording as well as photography.


Some of Richard’s nature sound recordings can be played via his SoundCloud page, >> klick here <<

Stefan Taylor

Stefan has been a keen naturalist since youth. Much of his free time is spent in the field improving his knowledge and understanding of the natural world. His observational skills have been honed during several periods of working on research projects for the RSPB (the UK’s foremost nature conservation organisation) in Northern Ireland and Wales, and with the National Trust in England. His ‘day job’ is running an audio-visual business based in Cambridge, UK. Stefan is half-Swedish, speaks the language and has been visiting The Böack Rover Vally area as often as possible. His knowledge of the local wildlife has developed steadily, aided by sleeping out in the forest and communicating with the wildlife whenever he can (has been known to bring wildlife to the group with his bird impressions!). Stefan looks after the admin and the logistics for the trips and is your first port-of-call for any questions on practical matters as well as questions about the wildlife.


Some of Stefan’s nature sound recordings can be played via his SoundCloud page >> klick here <<
Kari Knight

Kari qualified as a yoga instructor with the British Wheel of Yoga in 2004. She also has a career in photo-journalism working part-time for a national newspaper. Her yoga practice has grown and further training has taken her into teaching mindfulness and compassion therapeutically, training yoga teachers at Foundation level, and successfully running retreats in Sweden with her partner Stefan for the last five years. Kari simply adores Sweden and even has a Swedish name despite not being Swedish! This project gives Kari an opportunity to combine her love of nature, wildlife, Sweden and cooking – being a keen amateur foodie and allotment gardener. Kari will be in charge of the cooking and assisting Stefan and Richard to make sure the trips are a great success. She also offers individual yoga or mindfulness sessions.

Booking & Info
For booking or more information or to reserve a place contact Stefan Taylor:
E-mail: stefantaylor61@gmail.com
Telephone: +44 (0)7710 177987
You are very Welcome!

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