PUPILS took on the area's MP in a race as they tried out their brand new running track last week.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP and keen runner Tim Farron attended Beetham C of E Primary School on Friday for the opening and christened the track with a race with pupils.

The field has been in the school’s ownership for several years but over the summer a permanent all-weather track was installed so the field can be used no matter the weather.

Mr Farron gave a speech about the benefits of running and welcomed the school’s new headteacher Abi Johnson.

The Westmorland Gazette: WELCOME: Tim Farron welcomes new headteacher Abi Johnson

“It was great to welcome Tim as our local MP, who also enjoys running and spending time outdoors, who gave an inspiring talk about the benefits of running,” said Mrs Johnson.

“Starting at Beetham CE Primary has been a very exciting experience.

“I have been welcomed so warmly by the staff, governors, families and community and am really looking forward to being part of the Beetham family.

“We have many exciting projects coming up including further developments on the school field with the addition of a composting toilet and activity centre to help our lunchtime usage as well as upgrading our technology to ensure our children are learning for the future.”

Mr Farron added: “I had great fun opening Beetham Primary School’s exciting new running track.

“It’s a fantastic resource which will be brilliant for pupils’ physical and mental health.

“We did a lap of the new track, and while I must admit that many of the children were miles faster than me, it did make a nice change to cut a ribbon by running through it!”

The opening of the track was met with excitement from the school’s children.

One pupil from year five said: “I think the track is good because even if it is wet we can still use the field and get exercise.”

Another added: “I like the track because if it is wet we can run on there instead of the wet grass.”

And another pupil from year six said: “The track will be useful for races and will be great for playtime so we can have fun running while being safe.”