The sign ‘Free range children’ on the entrance to Glewstone Court, country house hotel, has always made me smile, as does the sign ‘slow children’ – are they just not that bright? Seriously though, it’s good to see the sustainable transport charity Sustran’s new campaign calling for measures to be taken to allow kids to play outside and move around their local area more safely, freely and independently. Specifically, they’re asking for the law to be changed to make 20 miles per hour the maximum speed limits in residential areas across the UK and for further investment in walking and cycling routes, particularly to school.
Thinking back to childhood, the memories that stick are riding your bike, visiting the park on your own and being out and about with friends. Sustrans claims that of today’s adults 70% experienced most of their adventures outdoors.
Contrast this with today’s children. Top of their list is also playing on their bikes and exploring new and unfamiliar places. But only 29% are experiencing adventures outdoors, often closely supervised by adults. It’s little wonder childhood obesity is growing.