Friday, 30 March 2012
Children Need Some Wildness
The report written for the National Trust and published today is widely quoted in the media, for example here and here. It is stating what some of us have for long known and been horrified by. Those who grow up differently are almost in effect different species and with different values - an avoidable generation gap. It's easy to put the blame on one or other of the trends of the last 50 years. But as late as the 70s and 80s children between 9 and 11 were spending summer evenings in the wilder parts of their neighbourhoods. Parents will not go back to being less protective without some help from authority that limits other kinds of freedom (or, I might have said, indulgence). Despite a considerable number of green spaces all reachable from home parents understandably won't release their young onto streets where fast moving through traffic is the dominant feature.