Playing Out

Children need to play out of doors, but if you live in a town the road in front of your house is not a safe place to play. Alice Ferguson and Amy Rose, two mothers of young children in Bristol, decided that they would get permission to close their street to cars for an afternoon, and see what happened.

 It was stunningly successful. There was no need to organise games and activities, the children knew what they wanted to do and did it. Neighbours who had never spoken to each other made friends.

The scheme started in 2009, and there are now more than thirty similar schemes in Bristol and beyond.

There is a good account of all this at, but if you just want to learn more about what children and mothers think of it, visit


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