CHILDREN are encouraged to live healthier lifestyles by taking part in the UK's biggest cycling, walking or scooting challenge.

The Big Pedal 2020 campaign backed by British paralympian Dame Sarah Storey encourages families to do more physical activity while reducing their carbon footprint.

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Organised by the walking and cycling charity Sustrans, Big Pedal 2020 will run from April 22 to May 5 and will see young children in Berkshire compete to make the most journeys by either cycling, on foot or on a scooter.

Dame Sarah Storey, active travel commissioner, said: “I am proud to be an Ambassador for the Big Pedal and look forward to seeing thousands of schools take up the challenge across the UK.

“Walking, cycling or scooting to school is a fantastic way for families to include activity in their daily lives, and helps to improve both the physical and mental health of children and their parents."

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Figures from the charity show 17.5 per cent of children are meeting the recommended daily 60 minutes of physical activity but walking to school is an easy way to boost activity levels.

Only 2 per cent of children in the UK cycle to school with more pupils being driven into school.

Big Pedal 2020 aims to build on the success of 2019 which saw a record 513,573 journeys made by bike, foot and scooter and over 335 schools take part.

James Cleeton, director for South of England at Sustrans, said: “We are excited to kick off another year of what we hope will be the biggest Big Pedal yet.

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“To make it easier for more parents and children to cycle or walk to school, the UK Government must invest in walking and cycling infrastructure so that our streets become more pleasant and safer environment for families to travel by foot or bike.”

"With the climate crisis in the forefront of pupils’ and parents’ minds, campaigns like the Big Pedal are a fun way for us to reduce carbon by walking or cycling to school and make a real difference to our local environment – from less congested streets to better air quality.