walktoberTo celebrate International Walk to School month, this October, Hampshire County Council is encouraging drivers to leave the car at home for all, or part of the school run, and to walk the journey instead – to help improve air quality around schools.

The month-long campaign celebrates the importance of walking to school for health, safety and the environment.

Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said, “We can all do our bit to improve local air quality by the way we choose to travel – and we’re keen to encourage everyone to try different options on their daily commute to work and school, and leave the car at home if they can. Not only does it support the environment, and cut down congestion, but it also helps keep you healthy and active.

“Even if it’s not possible to leave the car at home for the entire school run, ‘Park and Stride’ sites may be available at schools, and turning off idling engines while waiting can make a positive difference too.”

During October, Hampshire County Council’s My Journey team is encouraging schools to promote walking to parents and pupils, through a variety of events and competitions. Children in Hampshire are being encouraged to get involved in the County Council’s ‘Clean Air Basil and Babs selfie competition’, where pupils receive a cut out bird to colour in, and then take pictures on cleaner air routes to school. Schools can also get involved in DIY Park and Strides, where pupils can create their own cleaner air routes to school.

Schools recently awarded Modeshift STARS awards can also take part in the Park and Stride clean air facts hunt, where children can learn more about air pollution and take part in assembly-time quizzes to test their knowledge, to be awarded their STARS certification.

The number of children walking to school in Hampshire over the last 15 years has risen to over 50% of pupils.

To get involved, visit the MyJourney website

Polly has almost 20 years in the media industry. As Editor of Andover and Villages, she strives to bring the latest and greatest news with a minutes notice. Polly can be contacted via editor@andoverandvillages.co.uk or alternatively called at