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Cornwall schools ready to celebrate 15 years of UK’s largest active travel to school challenge

The Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel inspires pupils to make active journeys to school, improving air quality in their neighbourhood and discovering how these changes benefit the world around them.

Schools in Cornwall still have time to sign up to the UK’s largest walking, wheeling, scooting and cycling to school challenge.  

Taking place 11-22 March 2024, the Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel inspires pupils to make active journeys to school, improving air quality in their neighbourhood and discovering how these changes benefit the world around them. 

The event sees schools compete each day to make the most journeys by travelling actively to school and is seeing its 15th anniversary by celebrating the success enjoyed across the years for pupils, parents, and schools. 

The challenge is delivered by Sustrans, the charity that aims to make walking, wheeling and cycling easier, in partnership with Cornwall Council and headline sponsors Schwalbe Tyres UK. 

Nick Ratcliffe, Sustrans Project Manager in Cornwall, said: 

"Millions of pupils have risen to the challenge and embraced active travel throughout these past 15 years of Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel, and who wouldn’t when the competition is such fun?  

Not only are pupils and their families enjoying the delights of an active school commute, they’re also saving money and improving congestion and the environment around their schools. We are encouraging all schools in Cornwall to sign up and join in.” 

Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel is open to all primary and secondary schools in the UK, including SEN/ASN/ALN schools, with prizes to be won every day. In addition, extra special prizes are being arranged for the winning Schools in Cornwall!  

Free resources are available to encourage pupils to help reduce air pollution and learn about the benefits of active travel for themselves, their schools, their neighbourhoods, and the planet.  

15 years of the Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel  

Since data collection for the challenge began in 2011, a staggering 23.9 million miles (1) have been travelled by pupils taking over 15.9 million active travel journeys to school. 

That equates to around 200 trips to the moon, or over 1,900 journeys around the Earth (1), saving 12,700 tonnes of CO2 polluting the air on the school run, from 31.7 million car journeys had the participants been driven to and from school (1). 

Just under 2.7million active journeys to 1,862 participating schools took place during the 2023 challenge, saving an estimated 1,890 tonnes of CO2 emissions if the journeys logged had otherwise been made by car (2). 

Xavier Brice, CEO at Sustrans, said: 

"For 15 years, millions of pupils across the UK have enjoyed taking part in the Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel by walking, wheeling and cycling to school with friends and family…and winning prizes along the way! 

“The challenge shows how people of all ages want to travel actively. Parents save money by not having to drive and children get to be out and about exploring their world. This gives our children healthy habits they can take with them into adulthood.” 

Join in 

Comment and share your active journeys to school, using the hashtag #BigWalkandWheel 

Find out more about registering for the Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel 2024  

Follow us on Twitter @sustrans and on Facebook  

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