Childhood plea

SIR - After reading the letter from Mrs K Bond in the Sidmouth Herald (October 14th) it makes me wonder how many of us survived childhood!

My husband and I (aged 80 and 76) always played with conkers as children, wore no goggles and the only damage were bruised knuckles. I cannot ever remember reading about anyone being damaged by a falling conker either.

We also climbed trees, cycled with our friends, explored woods and went frog spawning in local ponds.

Why are people hell bent in stopping children enjoying themselves? By playing outside, children learn new skills and learn about their environment.

I know there are those who will say our lives were spent in a safer era, but is that true?

There have been far more dangerous times for children. Victorian England was not a good time to be a child in the slums and my generation was brought up in the last war. My family home was bombed and we had to be evacuated to another area. This happened to thousands of families and the bombsites became the only play areas for children.

I see the internet as a greater risk for children, with easy access to pornography and the dangers of being “groomed” by predatory paedophiles.

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As for cutting down the horse chestnut trees in the Byes, unless they are dead or diseased, is absolute madness. Not are they only beautiful, they are magnificent when in flower.

Do let common sense prevail, but perhaps that is not politically correct!!

Mrs Claire Crouch

16 Cottington Court, Cotmaton Road, Sidmouth