Pupils put best foot forward for Walk to School Week

Walk to School Week

Published Monday 20 May 2013

Thousands of school children in the New Forest are getting out of the car and stretching their legs for Walk to School Week.

Nearly ten thousand pupils (9,980) in the New Forest are taking part in the initiative which runs from May 20 to 24. They include children at Our Lady & St Joseph Catholic Primary School, Ashley Infant School, Ashley Junior School, Hordle CofE Primary School and the Burgate School.

Walk to School Week is run by the charity Living Streets. By walking to school, the charity says parents find the journey to school less stressful, their petrol bill goes down, their children perform better at school and both they and their children feel healthier and fitter.

But a YouGov national survey of 1,000 parents commissioned by the charity found that one in four parents said they did not even consider walking their child to school.

The survey also found that half of parents who drive their children to UK primary schools live under a mile away. The charity says a one mile walk typically takes about 20 minutes.

This is despite four out of five parents saying they had walked to school when they were young.

Living Streets’ Chief Executive, Tony Armstrong, said: 'The overwhelming majority of our grans and granddads walked to school, but over generations we are seeing a steady decline to the  point where it seems a fifth of parents wouldn’t even think about ensuring their child walks to school. Meanwhile obesity rates have more than doubled.

'We hear a lot from the coalition government about investment to encourage participation in sport, but it overlooks this very simple and cost effective intervention. Encouraging the walk to school not only helps to keep children healthy today, but makes for healthier adults in the future.'

To find out more you can download the Must Try Harder report published by Living Streets.

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