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A major study is asking for our help

September 2020

narrowboat on canal
Water can help us feel peaceful and happy

Most of us know that sitting or walking by water can be hugely enjoyable.  Not only is water beautiful but it can offer a level of peace and tranquility that is difficult to find elsewhere.

Luckily here in the UK we have many inland waterways which are easily accessible for most of us. Now the Canal and River Trust, which does so much to ensure we can continue to enjoy the waterways, needs our help.

The Trust has just launched a huge project which longterm they hope will ensure access to waterways continues in our ever growing cities and rural communities. The project is collecting new and updated data on how the environment around us alters how we feel and of course they are especially interested in any information on the benefits of spending time beside water.

The project is being run along with other partners including King’s College, London and anyone over the age of 16 is being asked to take part in this study.

canal and river trust appIt is very easy to take part. All you need do is download an app onto a smart phone and then, three times a day over the following two weeks, answer quick questions about the environment around you and how you feel at the moment.  On each occasion it takes about one minute to complete the questions.

This information will help shed light on how being in different types of places, such as being close to birds, trees and water, affects mood. The results will also contribute to the wider study of the impact of different environments on mental health and wellbeing.

Jenny Shepherd, research and impact manager at the Canal & River Trust, comments: “Those of us that know and use the waterways feel instinctively that spending time beside water is good for our wellbeing.  With our academic partners, and with the help of the public, we’re collecting data to record how people are affected by their environment and how this changes when they are on or beside water.

“The scale and scope of this research is a first for the Trust,” she said. “With the help of those taking part, we can emphatically demonstrate to decision makers and funders the importance of canals and waterways and the vital role they play, particularly in our towns and cities where green and blue space is at a premium. 

“We’d like as many people to take part as possible –it literally takes a minute just three times a day.”

If you are willing to help with this study, and possibly help ensure access to lovely water for our family and future generations too, simply download the free app. It is available on App Store & Google Play. Simply search for Urban Mind..mapping your mental wellbeing.  To take part, download and select the ‘custom’ study option and enter the password ‘water’ when prompted.  The survey is confidential and participants are not asked to provide their name, phone, email or any other information which could identify them.

You can find out more about the Trust by visiting:
https://canalrivertrust.org.uk

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