More than 10,000 city children and their families are expected to take part in Brighton & Hove’s Walk to School Month, during October.
A national campaign, Walk to School Month aims to encourage, reward and celebrate walking and other active ways to travel to school - and get families into the habit from the start of the academic year.
Even if families can’t walk every day, they are urged to do something different in October, such as walking for one or two days when they usually drive. Or they might walk the last 10 minutes of their journey, or scoot or cycle.
Parents and carers are encouraged to find out how to join in with their local school. Some schools will run a Walk to School Week, in the first fortnight of October.
Thirty Brighton & Hove primary schools are involved – many devising amazing stunts to get the message across. Balfour Primary is organising a whole school walk, creating a "conga line" down the road.
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary will also be encouraging all the pupils and their families to join in a walk from their local park, led by Piers the Meerkat, the road safety mascot.
St Bartholomew’s CE Primary will organise a prize draw to reward the children who have made a special effort to travel sustainability for five consecutive days.
Brighton Steiner will ask their nursery children to find a beautiful treasure on their way to school and when they arrive, to place it on a spiral, creating a school travel mosaic. Thee school will also provide breakfast for families whilst the children “bling” their wellies with special decorations.
There is also an early years version called Walking and Wheeling, encouraging families with pre-school children to leave the car at home more often. Around 30 nurseries are taking part. More information is at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/early-years-walking-week
A number of other settings are running a ‘Walking and Wheeling’ week or month later in the year.
Chair of the council’s environment committee Cllr Gill Mitchell said: “Getting out of the car is good for children’s health and good for the environment. Walking or cycling is a great habit to get into and will hold children in good stead for the rest of their lives.”
Early years settings that join ‘Walking and Wheeling Week/Month’ encourage parents, carers, children and staff to walk, scoot and cycle to their nursery, pre-school, playgroup or childminder's.
For those unable to walk the whole way, the council is encouraging everyone to walk at least the last five minutes of their journey if they can, with settings providing a ‘five-minute walking zone map’ on their websites.