As a one time teacher of young children I know exactly how essential play is to child development. Every time I read of new educational policies in the U.K., with their ever increasing emphasis on rote learning and examinations, I despair. It would seem that all the wisdom that was dispensed by Piaget, Montessori and their ilk about the nature of learning has been chucked out of the window by ignorant politicians. Children need space and freedom to experiment without fear of failure. They also need to play outdoors, but there again the trend is negative. Sports are neglected in British schools , playing fields sold off to developers, and some cash strapped councils are even unable to maintain existing children's play parks. That is why my heart soared when I saw the recent developments in our village. Where once we had a large flat area of earth with a couple of rickety football posts, trees have now been planted , a beautiful wall built in local stone, and best of all a wonderful children's play park has been created.