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Sport England pilot project encourages families to walk to school

Park & Stride characters in Bure Park, Bicester

Park & Stride aims to make children active, healthier, and happier.

Funded by Sport England, Park & Stride sees families park in a designated spot or in a safe place and walk part of the way to school.

Along the route children can follow signs and characters whilst enjoying games and activities.

It's hoped the scheme will help to reduce congestion around the school gates, whilst improving air quality.

Five schools are currently taking part including Sandhills Primary in Headington, Hanwell Fields Community School in Banbury, Tyndale Community School in Cowley, St Josephs Catholic Primary School in Carterton and St Blaise C of E in Milton.

Oxfordshire County Council will be surveying parents and pupils to find out how they travel to school and what drives active travel behaviours, measuring traffic volumes and pollution levels outside the schools and be asking for feedback on the Park & Stride routes.

Oxford Brookes University is also carrying out interviews and running focus groups with pupils, parent and staff with all the information being shared with Sport England.

The idea is for families to enjoy active time before and after school, to improve their physical and mental health.

The council says giving children the opportunity for physical exercise at the start of the day helps them 'be alert and ready to learn.'

Any school can be considered for the Scheme by emailing



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