Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Caring Pupils Stepping out to Save the Planet; Children Take Part in Walk to School Week

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Caring Pupils Stepping out to Save the Planet; Children Take Part in Walk to School Week

Article excerpt

Byline: AMY HUNT

CHILDREN are putting their best foot forward to help the environment this Walk To School Week.

Youngsters at schools around the region will be encouraging their parents to leave the car at home for the journey to school.

Organised by charity Living Streets, the annual event hopes to get more young people walking for the good of their health and the environment.

According to a Department for Transport survey in 2006 the proportion of primary schoolchildren walking the school run has dropped to 52%, while 41% are driven.

But the average distance from home to school for a primary pupil is just 1.5 miles. Living Streets says the majority of primary school pupils live within a 20 minute walk of their school.

At peak time, the school run accounts for one in five car trips by residents of urban areas and is estimated to be responsible for more than two million tonnes of harmful CO2 emitted in the UK each year.

In County Durham more than 120 schools are taking part in Walk To School Week activities.

Pupils at Collierley Primary in Dipton were among those taking part in map-reading and orienteering sessions as part of the national event, which runs this week.

They had to use their map-reading skills to seek out pictures of local landmarks hidden in their school grounds during orienteering sessions.

Sam, the council's Safer, Greener, Fitter mascot, will be calling into selected schools to encourage children to get walking as part of a drive to encourage people to explore their local area on foot.

Coun Neil Foster, Durham County Council's cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: "Research shows children who walk to school have a better understanding of how their neighbourhood fits together compared to those who travel by car.

"Walkers can also depict their community in more detail than car travellers. …

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