Medium and message: The National Trust

The National Trust has launched a monthly podcast series to spread the word about the work it does.

Conservation charity the National Trust is producing free monthly podcasts about wildlife and the countryside to promote understanding and enjoyment of natural habitats.

Each podcast will include a wildlife story, an interview with a trust worker and a slot with butterfly expert Matthew Oates. The broadcasts are downloadable from the organisation's website and come with a monthly photo gallery.

The first podcast, for March, featured a search for the mountain hare in the Peak District and an interview with a volunteer geologist in Dovedale about the district's disappearing rivers.

A spokesman for the charity says the popularity of BBC programmes such as Springwatch and Coast inspired the National Trust to find an innovative way to tell wildlife stories.

"The podcast allows us to tell the story directly," he says. "On a radio show, our story tends to be just one part of a bigger programme featuring other organisations or other people. With a podcast, you communicate directly with your listener.

"The spoken word brings things to life in a way that is not possible with the written word."

The podcasts were cheap to produce, he says: "The equipment is not as expensive as it was. Digital recorders have come down in price and the software you need is often available for free.

"This is an inexpensive, practical way for charities to tell these kinds of stories to listeners."

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