The 1932 trespassers were attempting to gain access to Kinder Scout

The 1932 trespassers were attempting to gain access to Kinder Scout

Campaigners gathering to celebrate a historic mass trespass on a Peak District hill will explore how to press for Scottish-style right-to-roam laws.

Organisers of the third annual Spirit of Kinder event have invited guests from north of the border to explain how the legislation works in Scotland.

The meeting will take place 12 days before the General Election as organisers, the Kinder & High Peak Advisory Committee pushes for a commitment to access rights similar to those enjoyed under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act.

British Mountaineering Council hillwalking ambassador Chris Townsend will be joined at the 25 April gathering by Dave Morris, former director of Ramblers Scotland.

The meeting, at Edale Village Hall in the shadow of Kinder Scout, the scene of the 1932 mass trespass that was pivotal in the battle for public access to British uplands, will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Pennine Way, which starts at Edale.

KHPAC chairman Terry Howard said: “Although we have achieved access to open country through the [Countryside and Rights of Way] Act, the legacy of the mass trespass remains at risk.

“We still haven’t yet achieved everything we want, so we must carry on with no let-up.

“That’s why we’ve invited two access campaigners from Scotland who will explain how the Scottish Land Reform Act works north of the Border. We believe that is the model we should be aiming for.”

Chris Sainty, chairman of the Pennine Way Association, will also be at the event to reflect on its 50th anniversary, and Ann Beedham, Sheffield author and illustrator, will give an illustrated talk on walking in the Peak in the 1920s.

Representatives of the Woodcraft Folk will then lead the traditional singing of the Manchester Rambler and finally, there will be an open forum on future access provision.

Writer, journalist and campaigner Chris Townsend will speak at the Edale event

Writer, journalist and campaigner Chris Townsend will speak at the Edale event

Among organisations expected to attend are the Ramblers; Sheffield Campaign for Access to Moorland; Peak & Northern Footpaths Society; British Mountaineering Council; the National Trust; Peak District National Park Authority; Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation; the Sheffield Moors Partnership and Friends of the Peak District.

Entry to the gathering, which starts at 2pm, is free but space in the hall is limited, so people are advised to arrive early. Organisers are encouraging people to use public transport. Trains run to Edale from Manchester, Stockport and Sheffield.

Complementary events celebrating the Pennine Way anniversary are being held on 25 April by the Peak District National Park Authority at the Moorland Centre, Edale, and there will also be ranger-led walks on Sunday, 26 April.

KHPAC was set up when the National Trust bought Kinder Scout in 1982. Its role is to ensure that access rights are maintained and access problems resolved. The group includes representatives of the Ramblers, British Mountaineering Council, Sheffield Campaign for Access to Moorland, Peak & Northern Footpaths Society, the National Trust and the Peak District National Park Authority.

More details of the April gathering are available on the Kinder Trespass website.

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