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Record number of Essex schools take part in Walk to School Week

Communities / Sun 2nd Jun 2024 at 09:04am

A RECORD number of Essex schools took part in Walk to School Week this year, helping mark National Walking Month in Essex.

Essex County Council’s sustainable transport team worked with 97 primary schools to mark Walk to School Week, with around 29,000 pupils from Key Stages 1 and 2 participating this year.

Living Streets’ annual walking challenge, which this year took place from May 20 to May 24, aims to encourage more children to walk as a form of exercise.

May also marks Living Streets’ National Walking Month.

Katherine Holcroft, who leads on Living Streets’ walk to school programme, said: “Walk to School Week is a wonderful opportunity for pupils across the UK to come together and enjoy the many benefits of walking to school. Schools that take part can enjoy reduced congestion and pollution, while children are well on their way to meeting the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day to stay fit, healthy and happy. 

“This year’s challenge, The Magic of Walking, encouraged children to travel actively to school every day of the week. Meeting various magical beings along the way, pupils learnt about how active travel benefits individuals, communities and the planet. We’re very grateful to Essex County Council for their support.”

More than 25 million steps were also walked collectively over a six-week period by Essex residents in the third annual safer, greener, healthier walking challenge. This equates to a distance of nearly 20,000kms and a saving of 2,366kg of carbon emissions.

The challenge to walk 5k steps a day or 35k steps a week was run in collaboration with walking and nature app Go Jauntly. The app has 100 Essex walks available to download on the free.

An Essex County Council spokesperson said: “For many people, walking is the easiest type of travel and yet many of us don’t walk enough. We often don’t even consider it a form of transport.

“Walking is one of the easiest ways to improve our own physical and mental health. By swapping a short drive for a short walk, you can help reduce air pollution and congestion which is so important when it comes to our children – research shows that they are particularly vulnerable to the effects of pollution.”

Will Cubbin, Safer Essex Roads Partnership Manager, said: “Regularly walking with your children to school is a great way to help them develop safe road use habits and give them the experience that will help them stay safe as they get older and travel independently.”

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2 Comments for Record number of Essex schools take part in Walk to School Week:

Guy Flegmen
2024-06-02 09:27:06

Back when I were a lad, every week was walk to school week.

Resident
2024-06-02 18:20:21

Walking should be a normal part of a child's life, not a special event. Sad times we live in that walking to school has become a special 'week'

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