We have always walked to school through all kinds of weather. There have been weeks when it has rained and rained every day and we never thought we would see the sun again. Three weeks after my son was born the snow came and didn't leave for six weeks. I couldn't get the pram through the snow and carried my son in a sling. Every day the school was opened my daughter attended.
In the past week the walk to school and back has been a joy. The sun has been shinning and the signs of spring and new life are everywhere. As we have several routes to school that we can take you can see what has grown in the days inbetween our last visit. One particular favourite of mine is honesty. It can easily be spotted by its heart-shaped leaves from which either purple or white flowers grow out of. As the year goes on the the petals will go and in their places will be paper-thin seed heads loved by dry flower arrangers.
Blossom is everywhere at the moment and the delicate white petals looks stunning against the blue sky. Once the blossom goes it will start to be replaced by tiny cherries. When the cherries are full grown the blackbirds will flock to this tree to greedily pick off the ripe fruit.
If we go the slightly longer way to school then much of the route is away from busy roads and on traffic free paths. The kids are able to enjoy the freedom this brings as they don't have to tightly grip my hand. They are able to race each other to the next junction to decide who picks the next route to take.
The closer we get to school danger is everywhere. Cars are parked on both sides of the street taking up pavement space. If you have a pram or pushchair sometimes you end up walking in the road. The residential roads were never designed for such levels of traffic. There have been times when ambulances haven't been able to make their way through to the school. Vehicles come charging round the corners without any regard for anyone else in the vicinity.
To help ensure children get to school safely Churchill Insurance has launched their Lollipoppers campaign. They will be funding 50 lollipop men and women up and down the country to help get our kids across the roads by their schools. If you want to nominate your own school for a Lollipopper check out the nomination page.
Since the Transport Act 2000 was passed it is no longer a legal requirement for a school to have any sort of crossing patrol. Since then the number of lollipoppers has decreased with Churchill's research finding that 32% of parents have said that a lollipopper had been recently removed from their local area with a further 61% stating no crossing alternative had been put in its place.
So please support the campaign and encourage other children to walk to school. Every child should have the opportunity to enjoy the health benefits of walking and the enjoying the changing seasons in a safe manner.
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