Augmented reality creates actual active fun in Plymouth

dsc01097-reducedFamilies have been having fit and active fun in our green spaces as part of the Active Neighbourhoods project, run by Plymouth City Council and Devon Wildlife Trust.

The team hosted three Pokemon safaris over half term in Efford Marsh, Budshead Wood and Central Park, and between them, the families who took part burnt 25, 000 calories – the equivalent to eating 370 chocolate bars.

Collectively the families covered 350km of Plymouth’s green spaces, that’s the same as walking to Exeter and back nearly three times. In all they took 380,000 steps.

Two of the mums – who are sisters – were so inspired by the events that they started getting more active as a result and have now lost two and half stone.

All the families felt that the activity had raised their awareness of how they can use augmented reality games like ‘Pokémon Go’ to get active and improve their health.

All participants were entered into a prize draw to win Pokemon Go badges and on Friday, two families were presented with their badges by Councillor Mike Leaves, Cabinet Member for Street Scene and the Environment. Neil Minion from Plymouth’s Public Health team was also present.

Councillor Leaves said: “This is exactly what this programme is all about – encouraging families and people of all ages to use the incredible environment on their doorstep to get fitter and more active. What’s great is that two of the mums have really got into the walking more and are losing weight as a result. This is how to get families healthier, by making it fun!

Active Neighbourhoods was awarded £419,000 from the Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities Fund for a programme of health and community-related activities in and around woods and green spaces across the city.

The project, led by the Council, will be delivered with Devon Wildlife Trust and will work intensively with residents in Stonehouse, Ernesettle, West Park and Honicknowle, St Budeaux, Kings Tamerton, and Efford.

The three-year programme follows in the footsteps of the Stepping Stones to Nature project, a citywide scheme designed to get local people more connected with their environment. These five areas will receive special attention to help residents enjoy the open space on their doorstep, promote a sense of ownership and help protect it for generations to come.
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