Ramblers set off from Bowden Bridge, Hayfield, for their 1932 mass trespass

Ramblers set off from Bowden Bridge, Hayfield, for their 1932 mass trespass

Ramblers in period gear will re-enact a moorland walk that led to the imprisonment of five activists 80 years ago.

The walk will commemorate the Kinder Scout mass trespass, which led to a confrontation between ramblers and the Duke of Devonshire’s gamekeepers on the Peak District hillside.

Five working-class walkers, including Manchester Communist Benny Rothman, were jailed following the incident, which was a key point in the fight for public access to the hills and moorlands of Britain.

The mass trespass was the spur for a wider campaign which culminated decades later in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act in England and Wales. Scotland would benefit from the much more generous Land Reform (Scotland) Act.

The movement also led to the setting up of Britain’s national parks, of which the Peak District was the first to be established.

A week of celebrations later this year, which includes almost 30 walks, will mark the 80th anniversary of the mass trespass.

Broadcaster and keen walker Stuart Maconie will kick off the celebrations which will also see talks from musician and broadcaster Mike Harding, Ramblers vice-president and Open Spaces Society general secretary Kate Ashbrook and Dame Fiona Reynolds, director-general of the National Trust, which now owns Kinder Scout, the highest point in the Peak District.

Kinder Scout is now open to walkers and climbers

Kinder Scout is now open to walkers and climbers

The Kinder 80 celebrations will include walks from Hayfield, starting point of the mass trespass, and Edale, with Ramblers from Manchester and Sheffield.

A sub-committee of the Kinder and High Peak Advisory Committee, representing the Peak District National Park Authority, Derbyshire County Council, the National Trust, the Ramblers, the British Mountaineering Council and the Sheffield Campaign for Access to Moorland, has organised the activities.

Chairman of the Kinder 80 committee Roly Smith said: “The trespass anniversary has become an important date in the outdoor calendar, and many people believe that the sacrifice made 80 years ago by these ramblers should never be forgotten.

“But we also want to look forward to what has been achieved on Kinder since then.”

The two Ramblers groups, including some in 1930s attire, will meet up for a celebration on the hill.

The week of events starts on 24 April and also includes an audio-visual show by photographer John Beatty, talks on the history of Kinder by Sheffield historian David and climbing on Kinder by the BMC’s Martin Kocsis.

Walks will include special ones linked to the High Peak Health Walks programme, a timeline walk, and others aimed at schoolchildren with a focus on fun, adventure and exploration.

A trespass-themed ceilidh featuring the Well Dressed Band and local singer-writer Sally Goldsmith will be held on Sunday 29 April and special exhibitions will be staged at the Moorland Visitor Centre, Edale, Castleton Visitor Centre, and the New Mills Heritage Centre.

A revised and updated version of leader Benny Rothman’s book on the trespass will also be launched at the event on 24 April.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Manchester Rambler rendition will launch week of Kinder Trespass events
  2. Children of jailed Kinder trespassers will help mark 80th anniversary
  3. Peak fund grant will help create Kinder Trespass archive
  4. Kinder Trespassers ‘would today be kettled and labelled extremists’
  5. Family group in six-hour rescue after getting into difficulties on Kinder Scout