Going green and keeping fit are such a perfect match

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Going green and keeping fit are pretty much at the top of a lot of people’s lifestyle agendas.

So seeing Hampshire County Council putting the two together for youngsters is a welcome sight.

It is working with national charity Living Streets, with the aim of getting more pupils walking to school in a bid to cut fuel emissions and congestion.

Over the next three years, specialists from the charity will visit schools across the county and talk to them about changing the way they get to school.

Hopefully, it will give the pupils the information and the confidence they need to talk their parents out of the need to drop them at the school gates every day.

As Councillor Mel Kendal, deputy leader and executive member for environment and transport, said: ‘In the UK, over half of primary school children do not walk to school regularly.’

This is a truly shocking statistic and bears out the theory that families are slaves to their cars.

Of course, not everyone will be able to walk, whether they live too far away or some other practical reason. But for most, there’s no good reason not to.

And there’s also the positive knock-on effects of getting youngsters out of cars.

Fewer cars on the roads means less congestion, which in turn means lower CO2 emissions and so less damage to the environment.

That also means families would save cash on the petrol they wouldn’t be using. And it gets the youngsters out into the great outdoors and walking.

Whether it’s a five-minute stroll or half-an-hour, it’s exercise that many aren’t getting at the moment and can only benefit their health.

It’s only five schools at present, but it would be great to see this scheme rolled out across the area in the future.

It’s a win-win situation for all sides and we only hope parents, schools and pupils give it the encouragement and support it deserves.