Walk to School is a national campaign that was launched in 1995 with a simple aim – to encourage all parents and children to make walking to school part of their daily routine. We now have over 6,400 schools and 1.6 million children taking part. We run schemes in primary and secondary schools, and offer a range of helpful classroom resources.
The campaign is run by Living Streets, the national charity which stands up for pedestrians. With our supporters we work to create safe, attractive and enjoyable streets, where people want to walk.
Our most popular scheme, WoW (Walk once a Week), rewards children who ‘walk once a week’ with highly collectable pin badges every month. We also offer a range of free lesson plans and helpful classroom resources for both primary and secondary schools, including wall charts, walking passports, certificates and stickers.
There are plenty of ways to get involved, including Walk to School Week in May and International Walk to School Month in October, and our schemes are open throughout the school year. Every year, we help children all across the UK to increase their walking rates, and we are here to support anyone who wants to encourage walking to school.
Facts and Stats
• The number of children travelling to school by car over the past 20 years has doubled. (Dept for Transport)
• Road traffic in Britain grew by 80% between 1980 and 2005. Car traffic makes up nearly 80% of total traffic. (Department for Transport, 2004)
• In 2006, just over half (52%) of trips to school by children aged five to 10 were made on foot and 41% were made by car. (Dept for Transport: National Travel Survey 2006). In 2009, the number of journeys made by foot had fallen by 2% (50%), with 42% made by car (National Travel Survey 2008).
• The average length of the trip to school for children aged five to ten increased from 1.3 to 1.5 miles between 1995/1997 and 2009. (Dept for Transport: National Travel Survey 2009)
• Obesity is now the second biggest cause of death after cancer. (World Health Organisation 2001)
• 4 out of 10 boys and 6 out of 10 girls do not carry out the recommended minimum of one hour a day of physical activity. (National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2000)
• Walking one mile (1.6km) can burn up at least 100 calories of energy and walking two miles (3.2km) a day, three times a week, can help reduce weight by one pound (0.5kg) every three weeks. (Department of Health)
• Short-term and even superficial exposure to natural areas through brief walks have been found to have positive effects on mood, reducing feelings of anger and anxiety. (Journal of Environmental Psychology, 2003)
• Driving the average school run for a year costs over £400. (Figure is based on approved mileage rates from the Inland Revenue)
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