Enjoy The Environment, Damn It! Or Else!

One in seven children in London has not visited a green space in the last year, a shocking new report claims.

Oh noes! Disaster!

The Sowing The Seeds report, commissioned by the London Sustainable Development Commission, which advises the Mayor on green issues, is calling for local borough councils, planning authorities, schools, the Greater London Authority and other key bodies to reverse the trend.

Errr, how? And more to the point, why?

“This report shows that in recent decades there has been a decline in the number of under-12s accessing natural spaces on a regular basis to play,” said Tim Gill, who wrote the report. He added: “The decline is steeper for children in poorer families and some black and minority ethnic groups.

Well, so what? I mean, it’s not like they don’t have enough opportunity, since London is bursting with parks:

Two thirds of London’s area is made up of green spaces or water, and 10 per cent is designated as Metropolitan Open Land.

So, the only conclusion to draw is that they don’t fancy it much. And why is it the responsibility of the authorities to reverse this?

Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor’s environment director, said: “Our city is getting safer, leafier and cleaner and we want to see more kids out and enjoying the green spaces our city has to offer.”

What are you going to do, send buses round, herd them on at gunpoint and decant them into the middle of Hyde Park? When they’d much rather be doing other things?


6 comments for “Enjoy The Environment, Damn It! Or Else!

  1. November 29, 2011 at 9:41 am

    There’s an elephant in the room here – or rather in the playground.

    For full-time parents, a park is a valuable resource and meeting-space, not to mention a useful place for older children to burn off excess energy after school; if the parents are at work and the children confined to daycare or after-school clubs, small wonder the resource is under-used.

    Since these under-12s – the law-abiding ones, at least – would usually be there accompanied by a parent, decades of policies intended to get mothers of pre-school children into work must inevitably lead to a decline in the number of children brought up to associate parks with recreation.

    • November 30, 2011 at 5:40 am

      Good point!

  2. November 29, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Trying to convince everybody that Gary Glitter lurks behind every tree probably hasn’t helped the situation. 😡

    • November 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      Where? Where?

      • November 30, 2011 at 5:41 am


  3. November 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    1 in 7 children. That’s a pretty precise figure for a report which probably consisted of asking 100 people to complete some silly tick box form. Still,all that money spent on these silly departments have to have something to show at some point. I mean-SOWING THE SEEDS REPORT! you couldn’t make it up. I expect it’ll find its way onto the National Curriculum at some point. “we’re going to look at some greeny things today children, so you don’t grow up to be deprived and start doing burny things”

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