Duo’s plea to get on your bike and go for walks

A Berwick father and son are backing a Northumberland County Council campaign encouraging residents to give people-powered transport a go more often this summer.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 3:36 pm
Iain and Kai Petrie are taking part in ‘The Big Northumberland Gear Change’. Picture by Kaleidoscope CFA.

Research shows that a third of all journeys made in the county are 5km or less.

The message of ‘The Big Northumberland Gear Change’, aimed at all ages and abilities, is that swapping car journeys for walking and cycling can save money, improve overall health and help the environment.

More than 100 people have signed up so far, including father and son Iain and Kai Petrie.

Music producer Iain said: “I’ve always felt that it was important to get kids outside.

“During lockdown, we tried to get into a routine of getting out at least once a day and before we knew it 10 minutes turned into 20, and then it was an hour. It just feels so good.

“When Covid hit, we had to downsize our transport for financial reasons and I thought why not combine getting more exercise and going shopping, so now we cycle or walk to the shops most days rather than drive.

“Getting out and about is brilliant for my well-being and mental health, and I absolutely love nature.

“It clears my head, keeps me connected with the world outside and provides a great bonding opportunity for me and my son.”

Kai, 10, added: “There was a lot of gaming going on, especially at the start of the pandemic. But then we started to get out in nature and I realised how lucky I was living in the countryside with views of hills and lots of animals around. Those who live in cities don’t have that.

“I find walking so peaceful, I love seeing all the animals and I feel like I am part of their family. Walking with my dad really motivated me to get into more exercise and be healthier overall.

“I really hope others get into nature. It’s so much fun and there is so much to explore.”

A county council spokesman said: “A third of all trips made in the county are less than 5km, which for most of us is a gentle cycle or walk.

“This simple switch will improve physical and mental health and boost the environment by reducing our carbon emissions, helping to achieve our net zero target by 2030 – to find out more, go to www.northumberlandgearchange.co.uk