Youngsters put their best walking feet forward

Children, families and teachers joined together for their Big Walk to School event to celebrate a year of walking activities.

Flax Bourton Primary School have been taking part in the Living Streets WOW – the year-round Walk to School challenge.

The grand finale to their Walk to School Week saw everyone meet at the village hall and walk along Festival Way, bringing the community together in a fantastic finish to the whole year.

WOW encourages children to choose sustainable travel with an interactive Travel Tracker (™) to log how they journey to school each day. If they walk, cycle, scoot, skate, park and stride or get off the bus a stop early, once a week for a month they get rewarded with a badge. The national scheme claims an average 30% reduction in car journeys and a 23% increase in walking rates for schools that take part.

With support from North Somerset Council a total of 14 schools have taken part in the Living Streets walking challenge this academic year. Money from the Department for Transport’s Access Fund has funded WOW and provided staff training, led assemblies, and lesson plans linked to the curriculum.

As well as earning badges for all their active travel choices the children have been empowered to choose active travel with Bikeability training sessions, North Somerset Council child pedestrian training, and Tarmac Vulnerable Road User training. All these initiatives, along with taking part in WOW, has helped the school work towards accreditation from Modeshift STARS, the national school travel awards.

Councillor James Tonkin, North Somerset Council’s executive member with responsibility for transport, said: “We are pleased to be able to support schools to improve their active travel programme.

“It’s wonderful to see the children working hard to complete their walking challenge with such positive benefits – it’s been a great opportunity for all to get more active, help reduce traffic and improve their local environment.”

For more information about joining WOW next year, or the support available to improve active travel and gain Modeshift STARS accreditation, contact North Somerset Council’s sustainable travel team: