Rustling leaves, distant birdsong and children playing, are some of the sounds we tune into as we walk through our parks.
Take Ten Minutes, a new free-to-use guided meditation service is being trialled in our parks, to encourage people to engage in guided walking meditations to help improve their mental wellbeing.
The physical and mental health benefits of accessing open spaces is well known, and the City’s six million park users can now access specially designed audio recorded meditations to help them harness the power of the outdoors.
Urban Green Newcastle, an independent charity which manages the city’s 33 parks and 61 allotment sites, has joined forces with ‘Take Ten Minutes’, an organisation specialising in guided mindfulness in outdoor settings, to run a trial in five of its parks.
Park users can access a series of different guided meditations by simply holding the camera on their phone up to the QR codes on the totems placed in the parks. They can then choose the meditation which best fits their walk. Some models of phone require the user to download a QR reader app first.
The guides will help users focus on the present, observing the sights and sounds they encounter in the park with increased awareness of their thoughts, physical movement and breathing.
“We are excited to be involved in this project and hope many of our visitors will benefit from a more enriching experience,” explained Urban Green Newcastle CEO, James Cross. “Our parks are popular destinations and visits have increased during recent months when the public faced restrictions on where they could meet due to Covid. We are proud that our parks remained open and it’s important that we offer a range of ways to enjoy these fabulous spaces.”
“We are committed to investing in our parks to ensuring they are vibrant places where anyone can take part in activity to benefit their physical and mental well being and connect with nature. Park users can use the free technology to explore guided meditation without needing to attend a class or course, making it free, accessible and convenient.”
Founder of ‘Ten Take Minutes’, Hugo Ross added: “TTM want to provide a Gateway to meditation in Newcastle and encourage people to engage with mindfulness whilst benefiting from the great outdoor parks. We are delighted to partner with Urban Green for this, first of its kind, forward thinking, trial of meditation in the great outdoors.”
The trial will take place for an initial six-month period in: Castle Farm (opposite the Freeman Hospital in High Heaton), Hodgkin Park in Benwell, City Stadium in Shieldfield, Iris Brickfield Park in Heaton and Tyne Riverside Park in Newburn.