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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 August, 2003, 08:32 GMT 09:32 UK
Adults 'stop children playing'
Sapphire McIntosh
Sapphire McIntosh says there are few places she can play
Children in Leeds say grumpy adults often make it difficult for them to play outdoors

A national survey by the Children's Society has found that youngsters are having their development stifled by intolerant adults.

In the Woodhouse area of Leeds, 13-year-old Sapphire McIntosh agrees that adults are not always pleased to have children near their homes.

"Even when I'm chilling on a bench with my friends they come and shout," she said.

Ball games

Sapphire added: "There's not a lot places for me and my friends to go. There's not a lot to do."

Paddy O'Connor, also 13, said: "You can't play football.

"There's 'No ball game' signs all over the place."

The problem is getting worse, according to Frank O'Malley of the Leeds Play Network.

"Every time we talk to children we hear they have problems with adult intolerance of their play," he said.

"Adults are becoming intolerant of normal play behaviour and not what is a genuine nuisance."

The research by the Children's Society talked to 2,600 youngsters aged seven to 16.

Four out of five said they had been told off for playing outdoors while half of those talked to said they had been shouted at.

Children's Society spokesman Tim Linehan said: "We are in danger of letting grumpy grown-ups tidy our children away."



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