David Miliband addresses the Kinder Scout anniversary gatheringIt’s nice to know you have friends in high places – Ben Nevis, Snowdon, Scafell Pike, The Wrekin and the House of Lords!

grough was chuffed to hear one of our noble lords had recently quoted our interview with Environment Secretary David Miliband in a debate. Lord Greaves told the house that he was fascinated by Mr Miliband’s pronouncements that we reported from the anniversary celebrations of the Kinder Scout mass trespass.

Environment Secretary David Miliband addresses the Kinder Scout anniversary gathering 

Hansard , the official record of parliamentary proceedings, quotes Lord Greaves: “I entirely agree with his [Mr Miliband’s] sentiments.

“On 21 April, in an interview with the grough website – many people who go walking or tramping about mountains will be familiar with it and, no doubt, with the groughs on Kinder Scout and Bleaklow – the Secretary of State said: ‘I’m here today because I want to honour the rebels with a big cause …

“‘I think that it’s important to say that we honour their memory with the way we support national parks, with the way that we implement the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act but also from the next steps that we have with respect to coastal access’.

“It gets better. As part of the celebrations of that historic trespass, he posed in front of a big sign that said, ‘Trespassers will be celebrated’. I thought that, if this goes on, I will start to find some good things to say about this Government after all.”

Nice to see we are read by people close to the seats of power. Lord Greaves was talking in a debate on coastal access. He raised concerns that the timetable risked slipping and that the term access had been replaced by enjoyment in Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) documents. Lord Greaves asked for assurances that the Natural England (NE) proposals, which envisage a corridor of access land around the whole English coastline, would be the model adopted by the Government.

He praised the NE proposals, calling them innovative and exciting. Lord Greaves, a climber and member of the British Mountaineering Council’s access and conservation committee, said: “I look forward to the Government introducing coastal access that fulfils the very real vision that David Miliband has been talking about.”

Lord Greaves – Tony Greaves as was – is ‘a mainstream Grimond-era radical Liberal’ according to his Liberal Democrats biography. Born in Bradford, he served on Lancashire County Council before being made a life peer in 2000. He now deals in out-of-print political publications. He is the LibDem spokesman in the Lords on Defra matters. And, evidently, a grough reader.