Northumberland school children will be taking to the streets this week and celebrating the benefits of walking for Walk to School Week.

Walk to School Week takes place during National Walking Month from May 17 – 21 and is organised by Living Streets, a UK charity for everyday walking.

This year’s campaign focuses on the health and environmental benefits of walking to school, with Walk to School Week exploring how being active helps children gain ‘superpowers’ to improve their health, happiness, and local environment.

Families are being encouraged not only to walk, but also cycle, scoot, or ‘Park and Stride’ for the entire week to see differences such as fewer cars outside the school gates, and healthy and happy children.

Children will take part in activities throughout the week, including being introduced to a brand new ‘Walking Superpower’ comic-book inspired design which will teach pupils about the benefits of being active and reinforcing the power of walking.

Cath McEvoy-Carr, Executive Director for Adult and Children’s services, said: “This is a great initiative for our children to get involved in. Walking is not only great for a child’s physical health and wellbeing but their mental health and wellbeing too.”

Last year, almost 200,000 children across the UK took part in Walk to School Week, and even more are expected to do so this year.

Mary Creagh, Chief Executive of Living Streets, said: “Walk to School Week is a fun, inclusive, free and simple activity, which improves the physical and mental wellbeing of children and celebrates walking for all.

“Pupils enjoy the health and happiness that comes from walking, while schools and local communities enjoy reduced congestion and pollution.

“We’re thrilled that families nationwide are joining us this week and enjoying the fresh air, fun, freedom, and friendship that walking to school brings.”

Walk to School Week is another campaign running alongside the Big Northumberland Gear Change, which is encouraging residents to adopt more sustainable ways of getting around the county, whilst benefitting their own health and wellbeing.

Northumberland is aiming to meet its target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.