New research project explores experiences of walking and creativity during COVID-19

Mum and daughter in the park

A UofG led project is to explore people´s experience of walking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Walking Publics/Walking Arts: walking, wellbeing and community during COVID-19 is a new research project which will also look at the role of creativity – or creative walking - in those experiences.

The team want to hear from UofG students through their survey (details below) to help them to capture the experiences of walking and creativity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Already the academics have been finding examples of this creativity at work around the country, including colourful stone trails; decorated and illuminated windows which have enlivened neighbourhoods and activities such as I Spy or I Can See It Bingo intended to keep both minds and feet engaged and curious.

Professor Deirdre Heddon, University of Glasgow, is leading the walking project in collaboration with academics from University College Cork, University of Liverpool and the University of East London.  

Professor Heddon said: “We know that walking is good for people in all sorts of ways. It helps with physical and mental health.

“Existing surveys tell us that more people have been walking more during Covid-19, but we don’t yet know enough about their actual experiences of walking: who is walking, where are they walking, why are they walking, even how they are walking and how they feel about walking?

“Alongside that, why might people not be walking, or what are the different challenges people face in participating in walking? A year is a long time to be walking the same paths around the local park so we are also keen to know if creative activities that can be done while walking, or walks that are themselves creative, have helped sustain people’s motivation, increased their enjoyment in walking, or offered ways for people who are physically distanced to connect creatively and imaginatively.”

The research project is also collaborating with a range of walking organisations to explore the potential of creative walking (Ramblers Scotland, Paths for All, Living Streets, Sheffield Environmental Movement) along with cultural organisations like Arts Canteen, Glasgow Life, Open Clasp Theatre Company, and Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA).

Survey Information

To share your experiences of walking during COVID-19, whether you are an avid walker or a reluctant walker, please complete our survey webpages - or via the project’s website.

If you are an artist who has used walking as a resource, the project team would like to hear from you through this survey which can be found here -

The surveys opens for a month on 21 April 2021 and closes on 21 May 2021.

For more information about the project visit, or please email





First published: 22 April 2021

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