Okay, more on the free-range kids thing. Look at this map, showing how the habitat of an English eight-year-old has shrunk in four generations; it's wild!
It's from this article.
My mother, as a child, was one of those "get out of the house and don't come back until six o'clock" kids but my brother and I stayed more close to home. The best bit was when "home" was five acres of land.