Danderhall pupils get on their bikes to learn more

Danderhall pupils cycle along the newly built Loanhead Path Extension cycle path
Danderhall pupils cycle along the newly built Loanhead Path Extension cycle path

Danderhall Primary School pupils geared up for learning as part of a ride along the newly-built Loanhead Path Extension cycle path last week.

Led by Sustrans Scotland’s I Bike team, 10 P6 pupils from the school went on a 4km ride along the new route as part of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) curriculum-based lesson on the path.

They were joined by Sustrans Scotland principal engineer Paul Cronin, who provided learning on some of the engineering and maths required to help build the path, and Sustrans ecologist Lenka Sukenikova who taught pupils about the range of wildlife and biodiversity on the route.

Danderhall Primary school is one of 26 schools in Midlothian receiving support from two dedicated Sustrans I Bike Officers. The project, which is funded by Midlothian Council and the Scottish Government, helps to deliver curriculum-linked cycling activities to pupils to encourage them to be more active.

Sustrans Scotland I Bike Officer for Midlothian, Roz Newman, said: “The Loanhead Path Extension is a fantastic new asset to schools and residents in the area.

“The local, traffic-free route is a safe and attractive place to take children out for led-rides and walks as well as vital link to access key local facilities such as the health centre and station.

“Led-rides and outdoor learning sessions are a vital part of a pupils everyday learning. Not only do they encourage children to be more active but it teaches them to engage with their environment in a more dynamic way.”

The 3km Loanhead Path Extension is a a disused railway line linking Lasswade, Danderhall and Shawfair.

The route has been developed over the past year by Sustrans Scotland in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council, Midlothian Council and contractors RJ McLeod.

It is hoped the new path, which is being funded by Transport Scotland through Sustrans Scotland’s National Cycle Network development fund will encourage residents and visitors to explore the area by foot and bike.