Pupils have it all mapped out in the walking zone

Published: Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Havering Council has joined forces with Branfil Primary School to launch a new project that encourages more walking, cycling and getting active.

school and council join up for walking zone maps
Cllr Robert Benham joins pupils at Branfil Primary School, to launch the walking zone maps

A Walking Zone Map asks pupils and their families to walk at least five minutes on their journey to and from school, using specially chosen routes.

This is to encourage a more active and healthier lifestyle.

The zone also aims to reduce traffic and congestion outside the school and towards – and promoting a greener environment in the community around it.

To mark the launch of the project, Councillor Robert Benham, Havering’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families, joined pupils, families and school staff.

They took part in a scavenger hunt on one of the routes, spotting different items on the way, accompanied by Havering’s air quality mascot, Miles the Mole.

The project is funded by the Council with Year 5 pupils at Branfil Primary School, becoming walking zone ambassadors.

They plotted where the best routes were to walk or cycle in different directions to and from the school.  

Councillor Benham, said: “We want all our residents, both children and adults across the borough, to breathe cleaner air and live long and healthy lives.

“Our Havering Climate Action Plan Challenge is asking us all to do something however small, to help the environment and be healthier and more active.

“The walking zone maps will help towards our aim of getting as many children as possible in Havering to walk or cycle to and from school. 

"For those less able, we’re encouraging them to use public transport or school buses safely."

Maps were handed out to pupils at assemblies across the school and leaflets were given to families, to encourage use of the walking zone maps.

Posters designed by pupils as part of a competition, were made into banners that were put up outside the school gates.

Nicole Gunthorpe, Deputy Head Teacher, Branfil Primary School, said:

“Branfil is extremely proud to have launched the walking zone map.

“There has been a real buzz around the school and the children and the adults, loved meeting Miles the Mole. 

“Our junior travel ambassadors have been outstanding role models for our school.

"We’re excited to be displaying the banners outside our school, encouraging everyone to join us in being more active.”