It is ironic that, in the same week that the Government has proposed new initiatives relating to the countryside, it is also proposing to take away the necessity for schools to have any outside space at all.
For many decades, there has been a consensus that children need a certain amount of outdoor space - school grounds - while they are in full-time education. This has been enshrined in the Education (School Premises) Regulations.
The Government is now proposing to sweep these away in a mistaken attempt at deregulation. The effect of this will be to render it possible for nursery and infant schools to be built with no grounds at all.
In the past five years, Learning through Landscapes has shown just how critically important school grounds are for children to be taught the national curriculum and for recreation.
For many young people, the land around their school is the closest they will get to the countryside. It cannot make any sense to suggest that it is so unimportant that it can fall victim to the dogma of deregulation.
Chairman Learning through Landscapes Southside Offices The Law Courts, Winchester