Zoe Trinder-Widdess is a keen walker and is on the Bristol Walking Alliance Executive Group. She’s also Communications Manager for Bristol Health Partners and NIHR CLAHRC West. Here, she tells us about her walk to school with her daughter and the benefits.

Come rain or shine, my daughter and I walk to school. It’s an opportunity to grab a few more minutes together doing something vaguely relaxing after the drill of getting ready and out of the house. We can have a chat about what’s on our minds or we can gripe about a car blocking the pavement. We often bump into friends, or see a nice cat along the way.

We all know that being outdoors is good for us, but the daily schedule of work and school can keep us trapped indoors for long periods. The school walk is a small window where we get to be outside.

Although our walk is urban, there are little signs of wildlife along the way. We might spot a fox poo or see a bird gathering nest material. On the way home, when we have a little more time, we sometimes stop to play or climb a tree on a small patch of land near the school. Walking gives us a stronger connection to the changing seasons and nature.

And we’re out in all weathers, which helps a child develop a certain resilience and stoicism. Or that’s what I tell myself, anyway. There have been a few times that I’ve had to pack dry socks in my daughter’s school bag because the rain has been so heavy.

Sadly, despite the benefits walking to school is in decline. Less than half of children walk to school, compared with 70 per cent a generation ago. I remember my walks to school with fondness, and I hope my daughter will feel the same about hers. My hope is that walking with me helps her develop lifelong habits that will help her stay healthy and happy.

Join Zoe on the Walkabilty Easton Walk

Zoe will be leading the Walkability Easton walk which takes place on Monday, 20 May 2019 at 10am. This free guided walk will explore good and bad walking environments in the neighbourhood. The route will cover some of Easton’s key school routes and is an opportunity to discuss the challenges faced by parents who walk their children to school.

Walk to School Week and Happy Shoesday

Why not give walking to school a try as part of Walk To School Week which takes place from Monday, 20 May to Friday 24 May 2019? You never know what you might discover!

Happy Shoesday takes place on Tuesday, 21 May 2019, where primary schools across Bristol will be wearing their favourite shoes, making shoes or jazzing up their footwear for their walk to school in aid of Living Streets.

Photo: Zoe and her daughter walking to school.