New campaign urges Scots to go for a ‘wee walk’

Transform Scotland "A Wee Walk Works Wonders" campaign launch. Left to right: Elspeth Murray (head of enterprise at Transform Scotland), Andy Smith - Transform Scotland creative director), Patrick Harvie MSP (Scottish Government Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants' Rights), Susan Jeynes (National Walking Campaign Manager at Transform Scotland) and Laura Hyde-White, policy and communications officer, Transform Scotland). Photo: Colin Hattersley Photography

A new campaign in Scotland is hoping alliteration is the way forward when it comes to boosting health by walking.

The new ‘A Wee Walk Works Wonders’ campaign is a pilot project encouraging Scots to embrace walking for short trips to cut travel costs and boost health.

‘A Wee Walk’ features four new characters – a brain, heart, piggy bank and planet – who will help spread the word about the benefits of active travel in Scotland.

The campaign, launched on March 1, in Renfrewshire, Moray and Aberdeenshire stresses that even 10 minutes of walking has benefits for health, finances and the planet.

The campaign features radio adverts, a social media campaign, and posters on streets and on buses. The aim is to encourage people to swap one or more of their regular car journeys each week for a short walk.

Scottish Government Minister for Active Travel Patrick Harvie MSP said: “We hope this new campaign will make people stop and think before they automatically reach for their car keys when they’re running quick errands.

“Many of us have a choice to make when it comes to those short, local trips and by leaving the car behind and going on foot we’re not only helping to reduce pollution and improve air quality – we’re also making a positive choice which benefits our own physical and mental health.

“I hope people in Renfrewshire, Moray and Aberdeenshire will take inspiration from this colourful new campaign and think twice the next time they have a little bit of spare time on the school run, or when they’re popping out for a pint of milk.”

With the cost of living and sedentary lifestyles on the rise, the month-long pilot campaign seeks to highlight the benefits of walking for short journeys to local shops, stations, and other nearby destinations.

 “In Scotland we’re often in the habit of jumping into the car, even just for short journeys of less than a kilometre, like doing the school run, visiting a friend, or popping to the corner shop,” said campaign manager Ros Browning.

“Our campaign aims to remind people that walking is a great choice for those regular daily trips. Not only is it really good for your body and mind, it will help you to save money too, as every journey adds up.

“It doesn’t have to be every trip, or every day – but regular short walks can be really beneficial, and even leaving the car at home once a week will make a difference.”