Schoolchildren in Exeter and Cranbrook ‘Leg it to Lapland’ and back – 14 times over!

Schoolchildren from Exeter and Cranbrook have walked, cycled and scooted the equivalent of the 2,100-mile distance from Devon to Lapland.

Thousands of youngsters took part in a festive challenge during December aimed at promoting active travel.

They were joined by teachers and parents in the Sustrans Leg it to Lapland scheme.

Some 20 schools collected ‘virtual miles’ for each sustainable journey pupils made.

Children also took part in physical activities to earn extra miles during the school day.

By the end of the fortnight, the 5,860 youngsters who took part managed to rack up a staggering 60,113 virtual miles of active travel.

The distance would see them make it to Lapland and back again fourteen times.

St Sidwell’s Primary School in Exeter was named the winner of the challenge.

Its children will be rewarded with a visit from top UK mountain bike trials athlete Andrei Burton.

Charlotte Stokes, of Sustrans, said: “Winter weather can make it more challenging to promote active travel, with many people wanting to use their cars more often.

“Leg it to Lapland is a fun way to encourage everyone to take a more sustainable and active journey to school, easing congestion around the school gates and improving air quality.

“We were really impressed with the enthusiasm of all the children who took part in this year’s challenge and hope that they will continue to choose active modes of travel for their journeys to school.”

Cranbrook Education Campus and St Martin’s Primary School children also took part.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council (DCC) cabinet member for cycling, said: “Considering the awful wet and windy conditions we’ve had this month, all of the schools that took part in the challenge have done incredibly well to stay active and clock up a huge number of miles.”

The Active Travel Schools Project is delivered by Sustrans and funded by DCC through the Access Fund.

Other Exeter schools which took part were St Michael’s Primary Academy; Whipton Barton Junior School; Willowbrook Primary School; Alphington Primary School; Exwick Heights Primary School; Pinhoe C of E Primary School; Ide Primary School; Newtown Primary School; Clyst Heath Nursery and Community Primary; Countess Wear Community School; St Leonard’s Church of England Primary School; and Redhills Primary.

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