Thirty local schools took a stand against emissions from transport in the Harrogate district last week as part of ‘Walk to School Day.’

The event, which runs each half term, is organised by volunteer-led charity Zero Carbon Harrogate.

Last Friday (13th May), schoolchildren walked, cycled, scooted or used public transport to get to school to reduce the community’s climate impact from transport emissions. 

This current academic year has already seen 57 schools participate.

Sarah Bissett, Event Coordinator for Zero Carbon Harrogate said:

We are continuously grateful to every young person, family and school who participates in Walk to School Day.

“The local young people’s ongoing dedication for this long-term initiative is heart-warming to witness as they recognise the multiple benefits for their health and the environment.

“The ultimate goal of running these events each half term is to encourage sustainable transportation choices on a daily basis. Suggesting inclusive, widely-achievable adaptations to our school journeys, such as ‘parking and striding’, is one way we believe we can reach this ambition.

“As a result, those who need to travel greater distances to their place of education can still make a tangible impact – every mile counts!”

Highfield School also took part in Walk to School Day.

Birstwith Church of England Primary School are the district’s Zero Hero primary school winners this time with an impressive 89% of pupils taking part.

Runners-up are Richard Taylor Church of England Primary School and Meadowside Academy, both with 84%.

Miss Victoria Kirkman, Executive Head Teacher at Birstwith Church of England Primary School stated:

“I am delighted that Birstwith School have for the second time topped the leader board of Primary Schools in Harrogate.

“It was truly wonderful to see so many of our children, parents and carers walking to school and helping our environment and local area.”

One pupil at the winning school shared their experience of taking part in the initiative:

“I love Walk to School Day because it is environmentally friendly.

“The village is so peaceful and we can hear the birds singing and I love watching the rabbits in the field.”

Another pupil reflected:

“By walking to school, we are helping to make a difference to our local environment.”

Highfield Pre and Pre School are the most improved school for participation, seeing an outstanding 20% increase in uptake. 

Mr James Savile, Headteacher at Highfield Prep and Pre School responded to their win, saying: 

“Walking is a healthy way to get to school and we’re very pleased that so many Highfield pupils and their families choose to come to school on foot.”

Find the full results table here: https://www.zerocarbonharrogate.org.uk/school-leaderboard 

Walk to School Day will return on Friday 1st July 2022.

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.