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Pathway to Education
Wednesday 2nd September, 2009

As the new term begins, Ashton pupils are benefiting from a better journey to and from school.

Over the summer, children from Year 3 at R.L. Hughes Primary took part in a woodland activity session with Wigan Council’s Environmental Education Team and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

Their ‘classroom’ was Skitter’s Wood, where the paths have just received a makeover from the council’s Local Transport and Road Safety Group. The improvements aim to actively encourage children to walk and cycle to school.

The network of off-road routes around the wood provides an ideal walking journey to R. L. Hughes from the residential area off Low Bank Road. Pupils from other local schools, including St Oswald’s, Cansfield High, Brychall High and Edmund Arrowsmith High, will also be able to use this new off-road route.

During their activity day, pupils had a great time mini-beast hunting, bark rubbing, identifying various birds and flowers and planting bluebells.

The council’s school travel planners and eco-school team also promoted ‘route adoption’ to get the children to take ownership and responsibility for looking after the footpath.

Cllr David Molyneux, the council’s champion for the environment, said:

“Not only will these improvements make the woodland more accessible as an educational tool, it will hopefully encourage more pupils and local residents to make use of these woodland routes going to local amenities instead of using a car. This in turn will help to reduce congestion and improve the quality of our local environment.”

R.L. Hughes teacher Mrs Gillian Simpson was delighted to take the children out to enjoy their local woodland. She said:

“We are lucky to have such a fantastic educational resource on our doorstep and thanks to the new improvements to the footpaths it is now much more accessible.”

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