A new initiative aimed at getting schoolchildren and staff fitter has been launched.

The Healthy Outdoors for Schools programme is now open for Shropshire schools to sign up to completing ‘daily miles’ or walking clubs.

It is provided by Shropshire Council’s Outdoor Partnerships service, which leads on Rights of Way, countryside parks and sites and Walking for Health.

Helen Foxall, Shropshire Council walking co-ordinator and leader of the programme said: “We want to help schools to get children walking, to help them become more active and healthier. We also want to encourage people to get out and about in Shropshire’s great outdoors, and we’re keen to start with our youngsters.

“The Daily Mile is a regular 15-minute walk, run, dance or hop around the school grounds aimed at including the whole school. Walking Clubs can encourage before, during or after school walking.

“Both initiatives help towards the government guidelines which recommend that all children and young people aged 5 to 18 engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day, of which 30 minutes should be in school.”

Several packages of support are available within the Healthy Outdoors for Schools programme, and – as a special offer – a 25 per cent discount is being offered to the first five schools that sign up to the scheme.

Full details, including a short film from schools that took park in a pilot project, can be found on the Healthy Outdoors for Schools webpage on the Shropshire Learning Gateway.

Any schools wanting more information should contact Helen Foxall to ask any questions or arrange a free consultation to discuss their wishes and needs. Email helen.foxall@shropshire.gov.uk or call 01743 255059.