From Jennings’ straw hut, to Just William’s shed, to Stig’s den in the dump, the Book Doctor gets nostalgic for the golden days when children could go off on their own and build a den without fear or reprimand.
From toddlers right through to teenagers, children love secret places to play or rest or meet their friends. Or just a quiet place in which to think.
Sadly, parental anxiety and the amount of surveillance that most children experience today, and the danger with which roaming about outdoors is viewed, one of the greatest pleasures of childhood – building a den or having a secret clubhouse – rarely happens anymore. And when it does, the builders can find themselves in trouble, as happened recently to a group of teenage girls in Northumbria who were reprimanded by local police for “anti-social behaviour” after they built a den in some woods. Although they had not committed any offence the police felt the need to intervene after passers-by had complained.The result of this attitude is that dens have been taken out of the wild and made safe.
Continue reading at The Guardian.
Image source The Guardian.