Will the countryside die with our generation?

Not so many years ago, playing outdoors was the staple pastime of children of any age.

I remember spending day after day playing in the fields, building dens, climbing trees, looking for frogs in the pond and playing with friends at the park.

As I got older, outdoor activities would include walking in the hills, cycling, climbing, running and playing cricket on the local sports field, using our jumpers as the wickets.

Back then, if the weather was terrible we might watch television or read a book. But the days indoors were long, there wasn’t much to entertain you.

I am a firm believer in the old adage that there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. So whatever the weather, I’m outside every day.

For my children’s generation, things are so different. If the weather isn’t great, it’s tempting to stay inside. There are iPads and games consoles to provide entertainment without getting damp and muddy.

Quite often, when I take my children out to the park or for a walk, we don’t see any other children. This never really surprises me because it’s usually a weekday.

But this Saturday, we didn’t have much on so we decided to head to the park. We have a favourite park that is a little bit further from home than our local park, but it is set in beautiful countryside.

We spent a good hour there because the girls were enjoying it so much.

Will the countryside die with our generation?Will the countryside die with our generation?

Will the countryside die with our generation?

The park is perfect. It has a zip wire, a selection of swings, a slide, see-saw, roundabout, and a toy train. Just outside, there are trees to climb and a field to run around on. Everything a child could want.

And yet, during the time we were there, no other children arrived. There were a couple of dog walkers but nobody under the age of about 50.

The parks in town are usually quite busy so I know that people do still venture outside with their children. We also go to National Trust properties quite regularly and there are always plenty of children in the parks there.

But the National Trust can’t save every piece of countryside or provide facilities everywhere for people to use. They are a charity and in order to carry on, they do rely on public money, including memberships and entrance fees.

And it is a sad fact of life that the urban sprawl is creeping out into the countryside. In Worcester, outlying villages are set to become attached to the city due to the housing estates being built on the open spaces in between.

And when planning applications are submitted to build on our beautiful countryside, there are inevitably objections. But if the children of today don’t see views like this, will they grow up to appreciate them as adults?

Will the countryside die with our generation?

In years to come when my generation are dead and gone, I’m sure a planning application will be submitted to turn this beautiful area into a supermarket, housing estate or car park. And will anybody care enough to object?

If we’re not bringing up our children to appreciate the countryside, what will they, in turn, teach their own children? And will the countryside die with our generation?

I hope not.

Will the countryside die with our generation-



  1. @SarahAnneDG
    January 27, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    I hope not. I live in a national park and the beautiful of it is something I could never leave. We love getting out and about, but sometimes it can be hard to amuse kids who don’t want to walk. But maybe that’s the thing – people in general are less able to amuse ourselves than we used to be, not just kids but adults too, as we are so used to being handed entertainment, so maybe the clue to is is making the countryside more instantly amusing and entertaining – more play areas, more things to do to encourage people to actively engage.

    • monsterid January 28, 2016 / 12:38 am

      Yes, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there. But I do hope we don’t come to rely on play areas and things to entertain us, there is so much beauty everywhere that we miss if we’re absorbed in activity.x

  2. January 30, 2016 / 9:52 pm

    I suspect the decline of the importance of the countryside in the eyes of the Government is because they are changing from a group of landed gentry with pheasant and deer shooting on their minds (along with the need to manage the countryside for the benefit of their quarry) into a generation of bankers with no particular use for the land other than to generate profit by selling it off and commercializing it. As for our kids, we’ve been drummed as a generation by environmentalists to stay off the grass, don’t pick the flowers, don’t climb trees, don’t feed bread to ducks … so I think by trying to preserve, in many ways they have fostered a disconnect.

  3. February 10, 2016 / 9:50 pm

    It’s such a shame but so true. I love taking the girls out for a walk around the parks and along the river but I do avoid really bad days as I struggle with chronic pain badly when its cold and there are strong winds etc.
    To try and make up for it even our shopping trips usually involve a quick stop by our local church the feed the squirrels though 🙂 xx

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