Thousands of youngsters from across Northern Ireland, including pupils from Lisburn, took part in this year’s Travelwise NI ‘Walk to School Week’, which ran from may 15-19.
Over 200 schools signed up to the annual walking initiative which promotes walking as a sustainable way of getting to and from school.
Travelwise NI encouraged teachers, parents and pupils to get involved with the aim of reducing the number of cars on the roads around schools during peak hours.
Walking regularly has many health benefits and helps young pupils develop greater personal independence.
Many schools use this week as an opportunity to celebrate walking and to teach children how to do so in a safe manner.
Recent statistics from the Travel Survey for NI indicate that over half of Primary School children travel to school by car and only 31% by active travel methods such as walking or cycling.
For post-primary school students only 18% use active travel means.
Parents and pupils who live close-by schools are encouraged to consider walking instead of taking the car each morning.
This will also go a long way in helping to decrease congestion around the school gate which is a worrying factor for many schools and their neighbouring communities.
Benefits of walking to school include helping children to understand that daily exercise keeps us fit and healthy, that walking is good for our hearts, lungs, muscles and bones, that walking can also have a positive effect on our mood, and that children that walk to school arrive more alert and ready to start the day,
Further information on ‘Walk to School’ is also available online at www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/walk-school-week