Ibstock children get their 'paws' on new school trail

Tailor-made, brightly-coloured paw prints are encouraging children in a North West Leicestershire village to walk to school.

Leicestershire County Council has put in yellow bear paw prints to help children reach St Denys Infant and Junior Schools in Ibstock more safely.

As well as the innovative trail marking out a route to and from school, improvements include new tactile paving and crossing points.

The paw print was chosen by pupils who were asked to vote for their favourite design.

The £20,000 scheme aims to encourage more parents and children to walk to school.

The safety boost coincides with 'walk to school' month where children, parents and teachers are urged to leave the car at home and travel to school on foot. 

Lesley Pendleton, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for environment and transport, said: "The paw prints are designed to show where it’s safer to cross and act as a visible reminder of the importance of road safety.

"By asking the pupils to choose an image, we've woven road safety into their lessons and I'm delighted we've incorporated the children’s favourite design."

Jane Sharp, Headteacher at St Denys Infant School, said: "The children at St Denys were delighted to be involved in the project and love the bear paw prints on the pavements around the village.

"The school is also very pleased that a large majority of the children do walk to school. The recent improvements within the safer routes to school scheme will continue to promote walking to school as the safer, healthier option for parents."

Leicestershire County Council works with schools to bring in travel plans – a series of practical steps to reduce the number of cars arriving at the school gate and to encourage walking and cycling – and over 80 per cent now have one in place. As part of Ibstock St Denys' and Ibstock Junior's travel plans, a new advisory 20mph zone was introduced on Melbourne Road.

Children, parents and governors can help spark improvements by finding out about their travel plan by asking at school or visiting the County Councils website:

For more information on traffic schemes in Leicestershire, please visit the County Council's website at

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