Martin Whitfield MSP has welcomed campaigners and pupils to Holyrood to help celebrate national Walk to School Week (16-20 May), organised by Living Streets Scotland.

Pupils from Abbeyhill Primary School joined MSPs and Strider, Living Streets’ mascot, outside the Scottish Parliament today to mark the week, which aims to celebrate the many health, social and environmental benefits of walking to school.

Walk to School Week is organised by Living Streets Scotland, part of the UK charity for everyday walking. Families are encouraged to walk, wheel, cycle, scoot or ‘Park and Stride’ for the week to see the big differences that come from small steps, from healthier and happier children to fewer cars outside the school gates.

Martin Whitfield MSP for South Scotland said:

“I’m delighted to be supporting Walk to School Week again this year. It offers a great opportunity for families to try walking to school and change their daily travel habits for the long term. Choosing to walk to school means more physical activity for children, reduced congestion and parking problems, improved road safety and cleaner air for all, and I congratulate all of the schools and pupils who are participating this year.”

Living Streets Scotland is working with schools across the nation to deliver WOW – the walk to school challenge in over 120 schools.

WOW is a pupil-led initiative where children self-report how they get to school every day using the interactive WOW Travel Tracker. Pupils who travel actively at least once a week for a month are rewarded with a WOW badge.

Additional events to celebrate Walk to School Week are taking place in Aberdeen, Shetland, Stirling, Moray, Orkney, Renfrewshire, Thurso and Wick.

Chris Thompson, Schools Manager, Living Streets Scotland said:

“Walk to School Week provides an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic strides pupils across Scotland are taking to get more active on the school run.

“It’s fantastic that Scottish Parliament recognises the range of benefits on offer from walking to school, from reduced congestion and air pollution to healthier and happier children. We’re thrilled to join MSPs at Parliament to shine a light on the simple joys of a walk to school.”

Mr Whitfield has also submitted a motion in Parliament welcoming Walk to School Week and congratulating all of the schools across Scotland that are participating in the event.