I loved flinging dried cowpats in the South Downs: OPINION

The South Downs National Park
The South Downs National Park
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I can’t escape the feeling that those driving the tech revolution of the 21st century have  a superiority complex.

Just because you can both make friends and hold a business meeting without leaving your front room doesn’t mean one should spend their life in just vests and pants.

Humans are sociable creatures, not designed to be kept indoors, with the only light coming from a small screen.

We need to be outdoors, with fresh air in our lungs and the sun on our necks, but it seems not enough of us are going much further than the local precinct – especially the youth of today.

Such is the concern there are now moves to encourage every child to spend at least one night under the stars in an English national park.

This ambitious target is included in a new report about the nation’s 10 national parks, written by journalist Julian Glover. His recommendations include a new governing body for the parks, the creation of a new ranger service that would see 1,000 posts created, and overnight trips for every school child.

The thinking is not every child is lucky enough to have parents who either want to or can take them to places such as the South Downs.

Getting in the car or hopping on the bus to travel considerable distances to a destination that doesn’t have a bowling alley or a McDonalds is neither easy nor especially appealing, but it is more than worth it.

I spent much of my formative years trudging along the South Downs and they are memories I would not swap for anything. But I probably wasn’t overly-thrilled by the prospect of trekking up a hill just to pick blackberries.

Kids today are no different, yet they have far more gadgets to avert their attention. 

Responsible adults must ensure their young are given the opportunity to experience our incredible landscapes first-hand.

They need to experience what it is like to fling a dried cowpat into the autumn sky or to scale a large hill or moderately sized mountain.

This is birthright stuff for any child lucky enough to be born or brought up on these incredible isles. I want my kids to have the experiences I had when I was a lad.