CHILDREN and staff from Binsted Primary School put their best feet forward to launch the Big Walking Weekend.
Organised by the Friends of Binsted School, the walk on June 29 was designed to kickstart an £80,000 fundraising campaign to revamp the school playground.
With temperatures nudging 29C, all 95 pupils set off on a four-mile walk through the Binsted countryside, undertaking simple tasks such as identifying trees, plants and animals, as well as local landmarks, en route.
Year 4 pupil Safran Chowdhury said: “It was lovely seeing Binsted as I have never really discovered it before.”
Headteacher Sharon Morton said: “What better way to raise money for the outside space than to get everyone into the surrounding outdoor space.
“Lots of the children were sponsored for the walk so they could help raise money toward our playground appeal.”
The event continued next day with a challenging 20-mile community walk led by Paul Brooks, gathering at Bentley station, where they were featured on local radio, before setting off for Alice Holt Forest, taking in part of The Shipwright’s Way. Then it was on to Kingsley, continuing south into Selborne and onto East Worldham, stopping for refreshment at The Three Horseshoes pub before heading back to Binsted School for a barbecue.
While the majority of children walked more than five miles, according to Mr Brooks, siblings Finlay, 8, and Rosalie Taylor, 6, “completed the full 20 miles on a very hot day, which was outstanding”.
The last few walkers were helped along the last mile with renditions of songs from The Greatest Showman before staggering over the finishing line to receive a medal.
The day was such a success that Binsted School plans to make it an annual event.