Ramblers set off on the 1932 mass trespass

Ramblers set off on the 1932 mass trespass

One of the pioneers of access to Britain’s uplands has had a blue plaque unveiled in his memory.

Benny Rothman, a Manchester Communist, led the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass in April 1932 that led to his jailing along with four fellow trespassers.

Ramblers attended today’s unveiling of the plaque, which will be placed at his former home in Crofton Avenue in Timperley where he lived for 58 years.

Mr Rothman, who died in 2002, was the impromptu leader of the group that walked on to the Peak District’s highest hill Kinder Scout and was met by agents of the landowner, the Duke of Devonshire.

Following scuffles, six participants were arrested and five charged with unlawful assembly and breach of the peace, including Benny Rothman.

The trespass became a defining moment in the long journey towards securing access rights for walkers, culminating in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act in 2000, which gave walkers the right to walk over open countryside in England and Wales.

The then Environment Secretary David Miliband at the Kinder Mass Trespass 75th anniversay, with Natural England boss, the late Sir Martin Doughty

The then Environment Secretary David Miliband at the Kinder Mass Trespass 75th anniversay, with Natural England boss, the late Sir Martin Doughty

Benedict Southworth, Ramblers chief executive, said: “Thanks to dedicated campaigners like Benny Rothman, we can now all enjoy a walk over mountain and moorland.

“It’s hard to picture a time when the countryside in England and Wales was out of bounds to most people, but that’s what it was like in the 1930s.

“80 years on from the original Kinder trespass it’s wonderful that such an inspirational figure in the access movement is being recognised and remembered in this way.”

There is also a display of the life and achievements of Benny Rothman at Timperley Library in Greater Manchester.