Walking the focus as Everybody Active comes to Northumberland

Children from Chantry Middle School and Newminster Middle School, with Strider, to promote this year's Walk to School.

Children from Chantry Middle School and Newminster Middle School, with Strider, to promote this year's Walk to School.

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A campaign to get everybody in Northumberland walking over the next month is about to get underway.

Everybody Active North East comes to Northumberland in May, with the aim of encouraging more people to take up exercise.

The campaign involves all 12 local authorities in the region, as well as Public Health England (North East), with councils taking it in turns to showcase one physical activity each month.

Northumberland’s turn in the spotlight will involve a month of activities dedicated to walking, including walks and litter-picking sessions on beaches, activities in schools, walking challenges in the workplace, and fund-raising events.

The activities are being delivered by Northumberland County Council in partnership with Active Northumberland, Living Streets, Go Smarter Northumberland and Northumberland Sport.

Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture, said: “Whether you’re a school pupil or a pensioner, there is an activity to suit everybody in the coming month, from gentle, guided walks in rural settings to something more strenuous that will test your fitness.”

The month kicks off with the workplace challenge, run by Northumberland Sport, which encourages workers to take to their feet and feel the benefits of walking.

Walk to School Week takes place from May 16 to 20 and was launched at Chantry Middle School and Newminster Middle School, in Morpeth, where pupils were introduced to Strider, the Living Streets mascot.

During Walk to School Week, schools can also take part in Happy Shoesday on Tuesday, May 17, a fund-raiser where children have the opportunity to add some bling to their walking shoes.

Other activities will include environmental action walks on beaches at Newbiggin, Beadnell and Blyth, and the annual Race for Life by Northumberland Sport, in which people walk and run to raise money for Cancer Research.

Members of the public are invited to take part in a 20 to 30-minute walk to launch the programme, which sets off from County Hall at 12pm on Tuesday (May 3). Anybody wishing to take part should gather at the statue outside. Refreshments will be provided after the walk.

For information about any of the activities, email Michael Firek at mfirek@activenorthumberland.org.uk or call 01670 622179. Information can also be found at www.northumberlandsport.co.uk