Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel takes place this year between 20-31 March. It is the UK’s largest walking, wheeling, scooting and cycling challenge.
Pupils can take part in the challenge by walking or wheeling to school. Choosing active travel can help to improve air quality in the local area and create healthier, happier communities. Throughout the challenge schools compete to see who can log the greatest proportion of their pupils that walk, use a wheelchair, scoot or cycle to get to school.
Tackling air pollution
Like many of us, children in the UK worry about the environment. A 2021 YouGov study showed nearly half of UK children worry about air pollution near their school. It also showed that children thought active travel was the best way to bring pollution levels down.
In 2022 there were some fantastic results from the Big Walk and Wheel. 2,984kg of nitrogen oxide and 1,335 tonnes of CO2 were avoided as a result of the 10-day challenge*. Plus, pupils at 1,519 schools made 2,096,336 journeys to school by foot, wheelchair, scooter and cycle.
Encouraging everyone to get involved
The Big Walk and Wheel doesn’t just focus on walking and cycling – any type of active travel counts. You can take part whether you scoot in, use a wheelchair, walk or cycle. And for children that live too far to walk or wheel the entire journey, Sustrans are counting any active journey that takes ten minutes or more towards the total.
So if you usually get public transport or drive in, you can still take part. If it is possible and safe to do so, you could get off your bus or train a few stops early and walk or wheel the rest of the way. As long as it takes ten minutes or more, it counts!
Take part and get wheeling and walking
Is your school or class taking part this year? There are fantastic daily prizes to be won for schools if over 15% of their pupils walk, use a wheelchair, scoot or cycle to school on that day of the challenge.
So far this year, 2,723 schools are involved and over 900,000 pupils are taking part! You can watch the journeys increase in real time and find out more on the Big Walk and Wheel website.
*Based on the assumption the journeys logged in the challenge would otherwise have been made by car.