Showing posts from March, 2013

Where have all the children gone?

Posted on National Trust Outdoor Nation blog on 21 March 2013 I’m not yet 40, but when I was growing up I fondly remember playing in the street with my neighbours, kicking a ball, running around, riding our bikes – even splashing in puddles. I’m not being nostalgic – everyday wasn’t summer, but we did have carefree play; we had a taste of freedom, independence and risk. We could leave the house from our front door straight into our own playground. My children do not play on the street, even though we live in a quite cul-de-sac. As a parent I am scared. What’s changed? Well the pictures below – the same street from a Valleys community in Wales half a century apart – tell a better story than any words can. The first thing that strikes me is that there are no children in the modern pictures. Come to think of it how often do we see children playing in the street? Do you hear them laughing? What’s changed? Cars, plenty of them, moving quickly. Our communities are no longe

Active Travel Bill

Posted on Click on Wales on 26th February 2013 If UK is in danger of becoming the ‘fat man of Europe’, as the  Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has claimed , then what does that make Wales? And what are we going to do about it? With 36 per cent of children overweight or obese Wales has the highest rates of childhood obesity in the UK – and not far behind the US. And it is not just a matter of appearances. Carrying too much weight has a direct impact on our health: type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and some types of cancer, are all consequences of the obesity epidemic. It is estimated that the NHS in Wales spends £1 million every week treating obesity related illness. Tackling the fast food and fizzy drink culture is a key part of the effort to tackle this modern scourge, but so too is getting people moving. Physical inactivity and sedentary living are among the leading causes of chronic disease, ill health and death in Wales. In fact as many people die from physical i