TIDWORTH school children are on the track to better health following the opening of a new exercise pathway.

Devizes MP Claire Perry officially opened the track with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Clarendon Junior School last week.

The hardstanding pathway, built by Aspire Defence subcontractor Knights Brown, with assistance from landscaping subcontractor Gavin Jones, stretches around the perimeter of the school's playing field.

Described by the MP as “a fantastic initiative”, the new pathway will enable pupils of all ages to exercise in all weathers.

By running or walking five laps of the pathway, the children will be able to complete The Daily Mile challenge, a national initiative which aims to get classes outside and active for 15 minutes during the school day.

The PE teacher has also set up a new running club and 20 children are now enrolled.

In addition, the school is equipped to respond more effectively to the recommendations set out in the government’s current Childhood Obesity Plan, which encourages schools to improve the fitness level and overall health of their pupils, by setting healthy habits and supporting positive diet and exercise choices.

Karen Ward, headteacher of Clarendon Junior School, said: “For some time we’ve wanted a path to be created so that the children can make better use of our large outdoor space, as the field is often inaccessible in bad weather.

"We’re delighted with the finished pathway and very grateful to Aspire Defence, Knights Brown and Gavin Jones for their support. Since the start of term, the new facility has already helped teachers factor more exercise into the school day and we can involve the children in healthy activities all year round.”