School pupils in Shetland will celebrate the end of a successful Walk to School Week on Friday (20 May), when they are joined by a special guest.

Schools in Shetland have been encouraging families to swap four wheels for two feet for Walk to School Week (16 – 20 May).

Thousands of pupils in every part of Scotland have been taking part, getting active and transforming their journey to school. 

Walk to School Week is organised by Living Streets Scotland, the everyday walking charity.

Strider, the Living Streets mascot, has been visiting participating schools across Scotland. 

Since Walk to School Week launched outside Scottish Parliament last week, Strider has visited schools in Moray, Inverness, Fife, Perth and Kinross, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, before jumping on a ferry to Shetland, thanks to Northlink Ferries, to celebrate with pupils there.   

This is Strider’s first visit to Shetland and pupils at Bells Brae Primary School and Sound Primary School are looking forward to celebrating the end of a successful Walk to School Week when Strider joins them on Friday (20 May).

Strider takes the ferry

This May, we wanted to get the whole of Scotland involved so we’re really glad that Strider has been able to make the journey to Shetland – the furthest journey yet. We’ve been urging families up and down the country to give walking a go during Walk to School Week and the reception has been phenomenal. Hopefully those who have taken part in Walk to School Week will be inspired to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Chris Thompson, Schools and Projects Coordinator, Living Streets Scotland

This is a great opportunity for us to support this fantastic initiative to help get Strider to Shetland and promote healthy, active journeys to school.

Northlink Ferries

Walking to school is a free, easy and accessible way for children to fit some vital physical activity into their day to ensure they remain fit and healthy. It also provides an opportunity for children to learn vital road safety skills and arrive at school feeling alert and ready to learn. Plus, when children walk to school there are fewer cars on the roads, reducing air pollution and congestion and making roads safer for everyone. 

Despite these many benefits, over the past decade, the number of children who walk to school in Scotland has dropped from approximately 56 per cent to 46 per cent. However, when schools participate in successful walk to school schemes like Living Streets’ WoW Scotland (Walk once a Week), they see over 75 per cent of pupils regularly travelling to school by foot, scooter, cycle or park and stride.

Pupils from Abbeyhill outside Scottish Parliament

Pupils and teacher, Mr. Keith Martin from Abbeyhill Primary School are greeted by Miles Briggs MSP and Strider at Scottish Parliament to launch Walk to School Week.