More than 7,000 schoolchildren from 20 schools in the Harrogate district will be walking to school tomorrow (Friday) for ‘Walk to School Day.’

The event, created by environmental group Zero Carbon Harrogate, is the first of its kind in the area and aims to combat climate change by encouraging ‘better travel habits’.

Primary and secondary schools across the district will be encouraging pupils to walk or cycle to school. Those that live far away will use public transport, or drive for part of the journey before ‘parking and striding’ the last mile.

Zero Carbon are hoping to see reduced carbons emissions in Harrogate and will be holding the event every half term.

Talking about the response from schoolchildren, Fiona Jones, Event Manager at Zero Carbon Harrogate, said:

“The children have been absolutely fantastic. They’ve all shown lots of enthusiasm and positivity for the event.

“It’s just such an important event for our community. It not only reduces carbon emissions, air pollution and congestion, but it also helps improve children’s health and wellbeing through active travel.

“Often children feel they don’t have a voice when it comes to climate change, but walk to school day is something that can really empower children to cut their own family’s carbon emission through their own actions.”

‘Walk to School Day’

At 28% above the UK average, road transport is the largest contributor to carbon emissions in the Harrogate District.

Petrol and diesel cars produce gases that warm our atmosphere, which causes unpredictable and extreme weather conditions.

This leads to many problems, not only for polar bears in the Arctic, but also right here on our doorstep with heavy rain and floods.

Zero Carbon Harrogate will be logging the miles walked (or cycled), and carbon saved by schools across the district, before producing a leaderboard to see which school has performed best!

For more information and for a free event pack, containing posters and communications suggestions, contact schools.zch@gmail.com

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.