It’s 4:30pm on Thursday 27 April 2023. I am walking across the vast expanse of The Stray, in Harrogate. The temperature is around 10 degrees. No rain. My dog is behaving himself, reasonably so.

I took this photograph to remind me of this profoundly sad moment. Look behind the dog: over hundreds of acres of freshly-mown grass, in this lovely setting, there isn’t a child (including my own) using this space. Where are they all?

To compound matters, today is yet another strike day, which means that homework hasn’t been set for most of the children in Harrogate.

I won’t and don’t blame the children: this is a societal problem. We have conditioned our children to be scared of too much. We have filled their calendars with clubs and homework, stifling any spontaneity. We should hang our heads in shame. I don’t know how to change this. I do know that this is wrong.