The 1932 mass trespassers gather in Bowden Quarry, Hayfield, before their march up the hill

The 1932 mass trespassers gather in Bowden Quarry, Hayfield, before their march up the hill

Ramblers will gather this weekend to commemorate a decisive event in the history of mountain access as part of the organisation’s 75th birthday celebrations.

Members of the walking charity will retrace the route of the Benny Rothman-led Kinder Scout mass trespass that was instrumental in securing public access to large parts of the Peak District and other upland areas.

The 1932 event took place on the highest hill in the Peak District when a group of working-class ramblers exerted their right to walk on the Duke of Devonshire’s land and paid the price after a fracas with the landowner’s gamekeepers led to five of the men, including Manchester Communist Benny Rothman, being jailed.

The rambling establishment distanced itself from the trespassers’ direct action at the time, but it was the catalyst for a more co-ordinated movement and within three years the disparate clubs throughout Britain came together to form the Ramblers’ Association.

Now, the rebranded Ramblers are celebrating their 75th anniversary and the commemorative baton that is doing the national rounds will be carried up Kinder Scout to mark the mountain’s place in walking history. The event, expected to be attended by hundreds of walkers, has been dubbed a ‘mass march’.

Tom Franklin: help pass the baton

Tom Franklin: help pass the baton

Tom Franklin, chief executive of the Ramblers, said: “When the Ramblers first came into being, much of Britain was out of bounds to walkers including 99 per cent of the Peak District.”

The charity’s chief urged walkers to join the celebration, which starts at the village of Hayfield, in the shadow of Kinder.

He said: “Over the past 75 years the Ramblers have lobbied for – and obtained piece-by-piece – legislation to open the countryside up to walkers.

“Now we’re asking everyone, of all ages and walking levels, to get out, celebrate walking and help us pass on the baton for future generations.”

The baton walk to Kinder’s summit will start at 10.30am, Hayfield car park. Less ambitious walkers can join the Get Walking team in an easier walk, taking in the scenery surrounding Kinder Scout.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Ramblers call for legal rethink after bull kills walker
  2. Forget Tweets and get back to basics, says Ramblers vice-president
  3. Vanessa Griffiths appointed Ramblers’ chief executive
  4. Ramblers’ citizen geographers find 49,000 miles of ‘lost paths’
  5. English footpaths face dead-end future, warn Ramblers