PUPILS, teachers and parents from schools across Devon walked, cycled and scooted their way to school during December for the Sustrans ‘Leg it to Lapland’ winter challenge.
Sixteen schools took part in a race to be the first school to reach 2,100 miles – the equivalent of travelling from Devon to Lapland.
Schools collected ‘virtual miles’ for each non-motorised journey they made and the children also took part in school led activities from mini-Olympics to laps of the playground, to earn extra miles during the school day.
By the end of the two weeks more than 4,500 pupils and teachers had clocked up a staggering 66,853 virtual miles of active travel – making it to Lapland and back almost 16 times.
The winning schools were St Michael’s Primary Academy in Exeter and Haytor View Primary School in Newton Abbot, with Exwick Heights in third place.
Helen Morse, a Sustrans active travel officer in Devon, said: “It’s been fantastic to see how many of our schools signed up for the challenge this year. Winter is often a time when car use increases, so the challenge provides a fun way for schools to promote healthy and sustainable travel while helping to reduce congestion around the school gates.”
Graeme Hankin, a teacher from Haytor View Primary School, said: “We noticed for the duration of the challenge, that the zig-zag markings outside of school were actually clear and there was very little congestion, making our children’s and families’ journeys to school much safer. It has really shown us what it can be like in the future if we continue to work together.”
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said: “Well done to all of the pupils and teachers who took part in this winter’s Leg it to Lapland challenge, which was once again well supported by our local schools. It’s incredible to see how many miles were clocked up by everyone, helping pupils to stay active during the winter months.”
The winning schools will be receiving a visit from local legend, Andrei Burton, the UK’s premiere mountain bike trials athlete.
The Active Travel to Schools Project is delivered by Sustrans and funded by Devon County Council through the Access Fund.