Feeling Good in a Green City is a two-day festival of nature and wellbeing, coming to three of the city's beautiful green spaces this March.
The event is run by the University of Sheffield, based on its research into improving wellbeing through urban nature. It brings together music performances in a bandstand, guided walks through parks, an exhibition, workshops, and more. See below for an overview of what's happening in each of the three green venues, and check the festival's full programme for details and timings.
The Victorian bandstand in Weston Park will be put into rare use as the stage for all kinds of performances across the two days – from acoustic soul to a South African choir to comedic spoken word and more. Elsewhere in the park will be talking benches, aimed at encouraging conversations, however brief, between strangers as they sit.
Inside Weston Park Museum, meanwhile, you'll have the chance to take part in a series of workshops on nature, wellbeing and mindfulness. Walks will set off from the museum on Thursday afternoon, with Simon Ogden leading the first with stories of the three Crookesmoor Parks (1:30pm) followed by Ian Rotherham taking a look at the wildlife and the benefit of connecting with nature in urban green spaces (3pm).
Just over the road from Weston Park, the Ponderosa will act as a second hub of activity during the festival. Head here first thing on both days for a guided walk with Julie Riley helping you to identify birds by sight and sound. On Wednesday this will be followed by two sessions in guided meditation and seeking harmony in nature with Rachel Massey – the creator of the Other Ways to Walk in Nature cards.
The Ponderosa will also be home to family fun across the two days, with face painting (12-4:30pm) and an activity exploring all the things you can do with a stick (10:30am-12:30pm). There'll be food and drink stalls in the park during the festival, including vegan and vegetarian options. As well as that, you can get to know more about local organisations that work in nature or mental health, including Flourish, Juice, Sheffield Marrow, SODIT, Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Manor Fields Park, River Stewardship Company, Manor and Castle Development Trust, and the Peak District National Park Authority.
The exhibition Nature Doesn't Judge You will be on display throughout the festival in the Winter Garden (open 8am-8pm), sharing people's nature experiences in the context of mental health difficulty.
The festival runs 10:30am-4pm on both days.