Twenty Devon schools took part in a race to be the first school to travel the 2,100 miles – the equivalent of travelling from Devon to Lapland – during a recent active travel challenge.
Teachers, pupils and parents from across Devon walked, cycled and scooted their way to and from school during December as part of Sustrans’ Leg it to Lapland winter challenge.
Schools collected ‘virtual miles’ for each sustainable journey pupils made, and the children also took part in physical activities to earn extra miles during the school day.
By the end of the two weeks the 5,860 pupils who took part managed to rack up a staggering 60,113 virtual miles of active travel, making it to Lapland and back again fourteen times.
Charlotte Stokes, Sustrans Active Travel Officer in Devon, 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.”
The winning school was St Sidwell’s C of E School in Exeter who will be receiving a visit from local legend, Andrei Burton, the UK’s premiere mountain bike trials athlete.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility 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.
“Pupils can also be pleased that their cycling efforts are a great way to reduce carbon emissions which helps our environment. Congratulations to all of the pupils who Legged it to Lapland!”
The Active Travel Schools Project is delivered by Sustrans and funded by Devon County Council through the Access Fund.