BBC Childrens' programme Blue Peter has come under fire today from the National Association of Parent-Teacher Associations for this year's "Zombie Watch", where children are being encouraged to go out into their local communities to find and record information about the undead for the new National Zombie Register. Supporters of this project, including celebrities such as Dane Bowers, have praised this as a bold initiative to provide a greater understanding of the walking dead and to encourage children to overcome their natural prejudices against animated corpses.
But not everyone is happy. Last week elderley residents at a nursing home near Frome complained that local school children were poking them with sticks and asking them if they were dead. "I told them I was alive", resident Jack Smithy told us, " but they didn't believe me. In the end they told me they'd note me down as a 'probable' and go away.". A Blue Peter spokesperson responded that while these incidents were unfortunate, there will always be some confusion when it comes to elderly people who don't move very fast.
Reginald Mosley, from the National Association of Parent-Teacher Associations, was more damning in his criticism of the project. "We're hearing reports from several areas that schoolchildren frustrated at not being able to find enough zombies are digging up corpses, posing them for photographs and uploading them to Facebook to increase their 'zombie count'."
Our investigations have confirmed these claims, and we have seen evidence on YouTube that some older children have even created machines to help articulate the bodies.
"But our main concern is for the children. ", Mr Mosley continued, "Although I have nothing personally against them, zombies are well-known for eating living brains, and we're telling our kids out to go out and meet them? We haven't had any nasty accidents so far, but I fear this could just end in tragedy."