A DETERMINED villager is campaigning to create a safe space for youngsters to enjoy.

Debbie Burrows, of Oxford Road, Manningtree, wants developers to dedicate an area of land for children to play safely on.

To gather support, Debbie has created a video and picture campaign, which she hopes will go viral.

The video, filmed by Debbie, shows children on their bikes doing wheelies to make a stand that young people don’t have a green area to play on.

Debbie said she wants to provide children with a safe place they can call their own.

She said: “There is so much pressure on the kids of today in everything they do.

“Adults say kids are spending too much time in front of a computer, but when they go outside people start moaning at them for riding their bikes, doing wheelies or not wearing helmets.

“I just think, as a community, we owe them a space.

“Where they can learn responsibility and become leaders and role models for the younger ones.

“There is loads of building going up on green spaces and I really think it might be nice if a developer would donate a small piece of greenery back to the community just for the youngsters.”

She said she would like to see a bit of tarmac for bikes and skateboards and a few seating areas – and possibly a tuck shop.

Debbie organised a meeting last Wednesday, in Lawford, which ten children attended, most with their parents.

She said: “I’m going to be up at the park again next week and I hope that more kids turn up and eventually we can find them somewhere safe for the youngsters of today and the future.”

The idea came about when Debbie met a boy called Will Metcalfe who told her about the “Bikes up, Knives Down” campaign which started in London.

The movement was started by Jake O’Neill to stop knife crime by getting teenage boys on bikes.

Last year, the movement saw more than 3,000 people - mostly teenagers - taking part by cycling through London’s streets.

Martin Metcalfe, Will’s father, said: “Adults moan about the kids out on the streets but offer no solutions.

“Let’s get a skate, bike or scooter park and let them be responsible for it.

“Let’s build some pride and confidence in them.”

Victoria Talbot, of Cotman Avenue, Manningtree was at the event with her three children.

She said: “I would love my children to have somewhere safe to play with friends on their bikes.

“They need a space they can call their own instead of meeting near local shops or on street corners just to be told to move on by adults or older children.

“Debbie’s idea is amazing and our children will benefit from this so much.”