The attractions of the local park are clear to see – green space within easy access of your front door, enabling some physical activity, but also giving us a chance to think and to be.  In particular, parks give us the opportunity to engage with the nature on our doorsteps – just stopping for a moment to look at the sun dappling through the leaves on a tree can lift the spirits. During lockdown, city dwellers across the world discovered parks and in the midst of all the uncertainty found an unexpected source of calm.

There’s growing evidence that access to nature can improve sleep, reduce stress and reduce negative emotions, promote positive social interactions and even help to generate a sense of meaning to life. Being in green environments boosts various aspects of thinking, including attention, memory and creativity.

There’s a social element to parks as well. You can just walk around and watch the footballers, cricketers and joggers and get a sense of your local community, or you can join in, organise a picnic and meet with friends and family in the great, local, outdoors.

For those of us who feel anxious or self-conscious about walking around the park on our own, why not bring a book and sit on a bench, or take a friend's dog for a walk? Pets offer company and someone to share the day with. 

And the best thing about parks and urban green spaces? They're free - and in Sheffield they’re pretty much all around us!

For more information about Sheffield parks and green space, click here
For the Greenground map of Sheffield click here