Citizen science and the urban mind

Do you feel happier when you’re in green space? Does listening to birdsong lift your spirits? We’re launching our largest ever citizen science project to record the benefits of being beside water, and we’d like you to join in as well.

Urban mind, citizen science in action Urban mind, citizen science in action

Mindfulness is about being present in the moment, fully noticing and appreciating our surroundings. This quality is often associated with good wellbeing, but how many of us regularly pause in our busy days to look around us?

Largest ever study

We’ve teamed-up with partners, including King’s College London, and are appealing for people aged 16 or over to take part in our largest ever study of the wellbeing benefits of spending time beside water. 

The academic study will enable us to better understand the health benefits of waterways and will help make the case to partners and funders of the importance of looking after and investing in Britain’s former industrial canals and rivers.

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare

William Henry Davies

Stop and look around you

To take part, simply download our bespoke app onto your smart phone.  Then, three times a day over the following two weeks, you will be prompted to answer ‘in the moment’ questions about how you feel and the environment around you  On each occasion it takes about one minute to complete the survey. 

You will then be able to access an individualised report summarising your experiences.  This could shed light on how being in different types of places, such as being close to birds, trees and water, affects your mood, as well as contributing to the wider study of the impact of different environments on mental health and wellbeing.

Urban Mind

The Canal & River Trust survey, which runs from 21 September to 15 November, is run on the Urban Mind app and partners King’s College London, J&L Gibbons and Nomad Projects.  The survey is confidential and participants are not asked to provide their name, phone, email or any other information which could identify them.

Find out more about Urban Mind and discover how data will be used and privacy protected.

A mindful way to wellbeing

Are you ready to stop and look around you? 

The app is free to download on App Store & Google Play. To take part please download and select the ‘custom’ study option and enter the password ‘water’ when prompted. 


Read frequently asked questions from Urban Mind.

Last date edited: 21 September 2020