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Eco-friendly primary schools celebrated at the Green Travel Mark Awards at Leeds Castle, Maidstone

By Liz Nicholls

Twenty five schools across the county have been recognised for their commitment to the wellbeing of pupils and the environment.

Green Travel Mark Award winners 2017 with supporters at Leeds Castle, Maidstone.
Green Travel Mark Award winners 2017 with supporters at Leeds Castle, Maidstone.

Top schools from Kent, Medway and Bexley received Green Travel Mark Awards for championing the KM Walk to School campaign, run by the KM Charity Team. They were praised for successfully implementing green travel schemes to encourage families to get active and walk, cycle or scooter to school instead of taking the car.

Representatives from the winning schools attended a certificate presentation at Leeds Castle, Maidstone. They were commended by walk to school supporters from Kent County Council, Bel UK, Medway Council, Ashford Council, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Golding Homes, Orbit, and Countrystyle Recycling.

Hannah Lawrence from Leeds Castle said: “We are really proud to support the walk to school campaign which has helped create 600,000 green journeys and taken a quarter of a million cars off the roads.”

Green Travel Mark Awards can be earned at Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze levels with additional recognition for schools that provide a walking bus service.

Platinum level award winners have made a three-year commitment to green travel and schools receiving this honour included: Charing C of E Primary, Ashford; Furley Park Primary, Ashford; Chartham Primary, Canterbury; Swalecliffe Community Primary, Whitstable; New Ash Green Primary, Dartford; The Gateway Primary, Dartford; Sheers Green Infants, Gravesham; Wrotham Road Primary, Gravesham; Archbishop Courtenay CE Primary, Maidstone; Senacre Wood Primary, Maidstone; St Francis’ Catholic Primary, Maidstone; St Michael’s RC Primary School and Nursery, Chatham; St Peter’s CP School, Sittingbourne; and Priory Infant School, Ramsgate.

Just two schools received the ultimate Platinum+ level award: Walderslade Primary School, Chatham, and Goudhurst and Kilndown CEP School, Tunbridge Wells.

Simon Dolby, chief executive of the KM Charity Team, said: “The Green Travel Mark Awards are a mark of excellence and it gives me great pleasure to recognise the dedication of these fantastic schools.”

He added: “Our winners are helping children to make healthy choices and establish good habits that will set them up for life. Pupils are learning essential road safety skills and benefiting from increased safety at the school gate as fewer cars jostle for space during the busy school run.”

The KM Charity Team runs green travel initiatives for schools including parent-led walking buses, Active Wow and Green Footsteps. Organisations supporting the campaign include London Borough of Bexley, Specsavers, Eurostar, Whitefriars, Jelf, Gallaghers Aggregates, and Volker Highways.

Schools have until July 1 to sign up to KM Walk to School at a 20% discount and have the scheme in place for the next academic year. Contact Sarah Clyne on sclyne@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 0844 264 0291 for details on joining the scheme.

Find out about the KM Charity Team’s literacy scheme for schools at www.bustersbookclub.co.uk

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