Stepping out on Wednesday walks

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PUPILS and parents across the county have put their best foot forward for a new project.

The Walk on Wednesday programme has attracted more than 50 schools in Northumberland, with up to 10,000 pupils participating so far.

Launched last month, it encourages students and their families to use walking as their main way of getting to school.

The scheme was set up to help reduce traffic congestion and increase the daily exercise undertaken by children.

Northumberland County Council Executive Member for Infrastructure and Environment Simon Reed said: “With appropriate encouragement, children and their parents are enjoying new ways of getting to school that don’t involve taking the car.

“Not only is it better for their health, it also reduces the impact on the environment from traffic congestion and emissions.

“Being over dependent on the use of cars is something we must all change and walking is a free, healthy alternative. Safety is also a priority and walking to school can reduce the traffic around school gates.”

Every school that registers for the programme receives a free resource pack with the chance to win prizes at the end of each term. Bikes, gift vouchers and wristbands are on offer to the pupils who have walked every Wednesday.