Map the good things about Sheffield with new smartphone app

Tuesday 22nd August 2017

Urban flowers, Parson Cross, by Paul HobsonUrban flowers, Parson Cross, by Paul Hobson

A new smartphone app developed by the Universities of Derby and Sheffield is helping Sheffield residents determine how city living affects our health and wellbeing – and now you can get involved this summer through community walks with a twist, organised by Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust.

‘Shmapped’ invites users to record the good things they see around them, and the valuable information provided will be used by town planners to design better spaces in the future and help people enjoy their surroundings. It is part of the innovative IWUN (Improving Wellbeing through Urban Nature) project run by the Universities of Derby, Sheffield and Herriot-Watt which aims to better understand how our health and wellbeing is affected by living in a city.

Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust – who are engaging communities with the app – are running free guided walks around Sheffield’s parks, nature reserves and canals throughout the summer. The walks will give people a chance to get out and about in Sheffield’s green spaces, as well as learn more about their local area. They will also get to learn more about Shmapped, and record the good things they see, share photos on social media through the app, and create a personalised map of all everything they log.

Walks will be taking place at Meersbrook Park, Bingham Park, Grenoside Woods and Mount Pleasant Park, as well as other locations yet to be announced.

Shmapped is free to download from Android and iPhone app stores now. Users are invited to record something good that they have seen once a day for 30 days, and then take part in a follow up questionnaire a month later. The first 1000 Sheffield residents who complete the study have the chance to be entered into a prize draw, with a one in 10 chance of winning a voucher ranging from £50 to £500.

Eleanor Comley, IWUN Engagement Officer at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, said:

“We’re lucky to live in a city where we value green spaces so highly and I think people want to make sure we continue to protect and develop those places in the future in a way that is best for everyone.

“Shmapped gives everyone the chance to tell city planners what they want to include in the Sheffield environment and is also simply a nice way to spread a bit of positivity each day.”

Dr Kirsten McEwan, Researcher in the College of Life and Natural Sciences at the University of Derby, said:

“The great thing about Shmapped is it will give us a unique insight into the type of natural and built spaces people encounter in their day-to-day life and what type of spaces benefit their wellbeing more than others.

“Knowing what it is about these spaces that benefits wellbeing will help us to inform urban planners and designers and public health organisations about how to create better urban spaces for people and wildlife.”

To find out more about Shmapped and how you can book onto the guided walks or get a walk organised in your area or for your group, visit wildsheffield.com/shmapped or contact Eleanor Comley at e.comley@wildsheffield.com or on 0114 279 2650.