Over 40 schools across the Harrogate district set to take part in 'Walk to School Day'

On Friday, October 8, to coincide with the Climate Action Festival, primary and secondary school pupils across the district will be leaving the car at home to walk, cycle or ‘park and stride’ to school.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:23 am
Updated Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:35 am
Harrogate Grammar School topped the secondary school leader board back in June at the last Harrogate District Walk to School Day

Organised by Zero Carbon Harrogate, over 40 schools are set to take part in the second ever ‘Walk to School Day’.

At 28% above the UK average, road transport is the largest contributor to carbon emissions in the Harrogate District.

Fiona Jones, Event Manager for Zero Carbon Harrogate, said: "The second Harrogate District Walk to School Day is even bigger than the first, with 44 schools across the district taking part.

"Students will be swapping their normal car journey for a lower carbon alternative, whether this is walking, cycling, using public/school transport or reducing their car journey by parking sooner than normal and walking the last part.

"This event is so important to help our district build good transport habits to lower our carbon footprint, which is why we are running these events every half term.

"The goal is for students and families to be able to make these changes on a permanent basis, and is part of an overarching weekly campaign of Car Free Fridays, which also launches this Friday."

The physical and mental health benefits of exercise are well known, with studies also showing that walking to school improves concentration and helps pupils arrive ready to learn.

Making the journey on foot, by bike or by using public transport means fewer vehicles on the road, benefitting the wider community with less traffic and cleaner air.

Highfield Prep School is one of the schools taking part in the event and Vicki Van Seller, a teacher at the school and head of the schools eco committee, backs the initiative.

She said: “Small changes can really make a difference and we want to encourage those people who can walk to school, to do so, because it does help ease congestion and encourages people to take more exercise.”

Zero Carbon Harrogate will be logging the miles walked (or cycled), and carbon saved by schools across the district to see who can top the leader board.

For more information and to claim a free event pack, containing everything you will need, including posters and communications suggestions, contact [email protected]