Schoolchildren took to the streets last week to show how an innovative new scheme is helping more of them to get active on the school run.
Pupils, parents and teachers from Leafield C of E Primary School, between Witney and the Wychwoods, walked to class as part of a project aiming to cut out the impact of idling cars near schools.
An ‘incredible’ turnout featured the vast majority of Leafield’s 98 pupils taking part in the walk at the end of last month.
The Park and Stride scheme encourages parents to park away from the school gates and walk the last part of the journey, helping to reduce the number of cars around the school.
Living Streets, an everyday walking charity, helped the school introduce Park and Stride alongside WOW – the school’s year-round walk to school challenge.
Councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles, cabinet member for public health and education at Oxfordshire County Council, joined families to walk from Leafield Village Hall, where they met Living Streets mascot Strider, to the school.
She said: “Leafield is a great example of how Park and Stride can be used effectively to increase walking rates. Park and Stride is ideal for a more rural school such as Leafield where families may be more likely to drive to get to school, but still want to enjoy the benefits of walking to school.”
WOW rewards children who walk to school at least once a week with collectable badges each month.
Twenty-one schools across Oxfordshire have signed up to take part in WOW since the beginning of this academic year and are already starting to see results.
When Leafield Primary School started WOW, 76 per cent of their journeys were active but it is now up to 84 per cent, with 29 per cent of those being families using the Park and Stride.
Julia Crear, from Living Streets, said: “It’s fantastic to see the impact WOW and Park and Stride is having at Leafield Primary School – it’s only right that we’re celebrating the steps the children here have made.”