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Commemorating the Kinder Trespass

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tomorrow is the 80th anniversary of the Kinder Trespass of 1932 when a large number of ramblers trespassed on Kinder Scout to make the point that the countryside should be free for all to enjoy. 

On Sunday 24th April 1932 about 400 ramblers from Yorkshire and Lancashire set off to walk to the Kinder plateau. They had one demand: landowners should open a public path through Kinder Scout, allowing local walkers to ramble through when the land was not in use.

Meg commented:

“The mass trespass on Kinder needs to be remembered by all of us who enjoy walking in the countryside. Their action had a far-reaching impact, eventually leading to legislation in 1949 to establish the National Parks, and then to the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

These early pioneers helped to establish the right to roam that we enjoy today.”

Kinder Scout is a moorland plateau in the Dark Peak of the Derbyshire Peak District, with part of it being 636 metres (2,087 ft) above sea level - the highest point in the Peak District. It is no good for farming and was used for grouse shooting by local landlords. The land was only worked around 12 days a year and the rest of the time it was deserted and walkers were not allowed.

At the plateau they came across the Duke of Devonshire’s gamekeepers and in the ensuing scuffle, one keeper was slightly hurt. As the walkers returned five of them were arrested, with another detained earlier. Trespass was not a criminal offence but some received jail sentences of two to six months for offences relating to violence against the keepers. These sentences produced much public outrage and a few weeks later around 10,000 ramblers held a mass rally in support near Castleton, with a further mass trespass on the Bradfield Moors in South Yorkshire in September 1932.


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