Active in Lockdown

Welcome to the project page for Active in Lockdown: Exploring Bristol and the surrounding area during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Did you become more physically active during lockdown? If so, we want to hear from you. Active in Lockdown is interested in hearing and recording your stories of cycling, running, walking or any other form of human-powered mobility during lockdown. We want to hear of a variety of stories and experiences from those who became more active during the first period of lockdown as well as those who are now trying to remain active in the dark winter months of the pandemic.

What is the project about? Active in Lockdown is a project run by the University of Bristol and Knowle West Media Centre. Together we are looking to record and save for posterity one of the few positive aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic: the huge surge in active leisure (cycling, running, walking, or any other form of human-powered mobility) in Bristol and the surrounding area during England’s first lockdown (March – July 2020). We are also planning to record the stories of five Bristol residents who have discovered or retuned to active leisure this year as they try to maintain their activity levels over the winter (January-March 2021). We’d like you to donate your social media posts, photos, videos or any other media recording your outdoor adventures and experiences.

Why are we doing this? We want to create a digital and freely available archive of your stories and experiences so that we can learn some immediate lessons from them, but also so that we have a historical record of how the pandemic transformed lives in the area and our relationship to the world around us. We plan to use your stories to evaluate the physical and emotional benefits of active leisure, but also the difficulties of maintaining levels of activity since lockdown ended. We then plan to translate this into policy recommendations for Bristol City Council, WECA, regional public health organizations, and other bodies interested in improving residents’ quality of life.

What will I get out of it? You’ll be making history, for a start, but you may also help us to provide better informed advice to local policy makers. Plus, if you are one of our volunteers who keeps active over winter, we will provide you with the digital skills to record and edit your own stories.

Want to know more? Contact the team via

What next? Over the coming months we’ll save, archive and make your stories available on these pages for the general public and for posterity.

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