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Ashville pupils and staff cover more than 250 miles on Walk to School Day

Pupils, parents and staff from Ashville College have left the car in the garage as they took part in the Harrogate District Walk to School Day, with pupils and staff collectively exceeding the distance between Harrogate and London.

Walk to School Day is a half-termly event that encourages school communities to combat the effects of climate change by opting for more environmentally-friendly transport habits such as walking or cycling.

Those supporting the event, promoted by Zero Carbon Harrogate, included computing teacher Giles Dumont, who walked all the way from his home in Otley.

He set off at 6.30am and completed his ten-mile journey in two-and-a-quarter-hours, in time to welcome Year 7 pupils to his first lesson; three-quarters of the class had also arrived on foot and covered similar distances from their homes.

To take part in Walk to School Day, participants can walk, cycle, or ‘park and stride’ (where people drive or take public transport for part of the journey and walk the last part).

Class Teachers and Form Tutors from Acorns to Upper Sixth logged the number of pupils in their form who took part, and the total miles covered per form.

Collectively, 185 pupils, plus several staff, covered 250.9 miles on their walk in on Friday morning – well over the distance between Harrogate and London. (The total figure was correct as of 3pm on Friday, with figures from a few form groups yet to add.)

Brian McHugh, Ashville’s Head of Year 10 and the College’s Walk to School Day co-ordinator, said: “It has been great to see the positive support from staff and pupils, with individuals walking, cycling and running from nearby towns, in positive and healthy competition with each other.

“All these examples indicate that active transport is possible, when we choose to break our dependency on polluting cars.

The importance of the Harrogate District Walk to School Day, or days, as there are six planned this coming year, is to allow people to see that they can take an active part in reducing emissions.

“Walk to School Day prompts and nudges people into good behaviours that can help reduce emissions in our local community on a regular basis, with the hope that people then choose to walk more regularly.”

Rhiannon Wilkinson, Head of Ashville College, said: “I am delighted that so many pupils, parents and staff have embraced Walk to School Day, and with another five planned during the course of the academic year, there’s plenty more opportunities to get involved.

“For some the ‘school journey’ is simply a habit that can be broken. Days like this show there are alternative ways to get to school, and ones that are healthier and non-polluting.

As a College, we are very conscious of our impact on the environment, and are always looking at ways of reducing this. Last year for example, we partnered with the Woodland Trust and planted 500 native saplings within our 64-acre campus.

“We are now sourcing 100 per cent of our electricity from renewable sources and we have reduced our water usage by collecting rainfall from the roof of the Sports Centre in a large tank, which is then used to water the cricket pitches.”

For more information about Ashville College, please visit www.ashville.co.u or call 01423 566358.

 

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