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Reduction of environmental noise - WA0401

There has been a significant rise in the number of community noise complaints over the last decade, which results from increased public awareness of noise rather than an increase in noise output. In the USA it has been shown recently that noise is rated second only to crime as the reason why people wish to move away from urban areas. In Britain this increased awareness of community noise has resulted in the formation of the Noise review Working Party (1990), which has recommended recently the introduction of stringent noise regulations with potentially serious consequences for agriculture. The noise from intensive livestock buildings is already a factor considered by planning authorities. Evaluation of the noise output of all other farm buildings for which planning permission is required is likely to be required. Regulations may also be introduced to control the emission of low frequency noise.

Agricultural noise is particularly undesirable because of the high expectations of the public for peace and quiet in the countryside, the low background noise level and the already ambivalent view of the public towards farming activity. Much fixed farm machinery has a long working life. Therefore to meet the likely future expectations of the public for quiet and unobtrusive farming activities, research should be undertaken to identify and reduce agricultural sources of noise.

The objective of this research is to reduce the environmental impact of agricultural noise through an understanding of the generation and propagation of agricultural noise and of the attitudes and expectations of the local population.
The overall objective of this approach is to characterise the background acoustic environment of rural and semi-rural areas. To investigate noise propagation over agricultural surfaces (crop types,ploughed land etc) measuring the acoustic impedience of the surfaces and the changes experienced over an annual cycle.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1991

To: 1994

Cost: £394,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Silsoe Research Institute (BBSRC)
Fields of Study
Environmental Protection - Agriculture