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It's not just outdoor play that's gone so has a whole genre of children's fiction | Jonathan Calder

26 May 2014 3:34 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Bill Oddie and Chris Packham have called for kids to play outside. The spirit of adventure should return to books, too

Bill Oddie has told the Radio Times that he wants to see children once again straying into gardens and orchards to scrump apples. "When I was a kid," added his colleague Chris Packham, "there would be other kids out in the woods, making camps, starting fires, catching grass snakes and they're not there any more." He even suggested children should be encouraged to light fires and trespass a little.

This shrinking of the child's world has had numbers put on it by the filmmaker David Bond. His mother, he calculates, roamed across 50 square miles at the age of 11, but as a boy in the 1970s he was confined to just one. Today, his son and daughter do not leave the garden unaccompanied.

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- Jonathan Calder

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2014 | 2013 | 2010

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