Mass trespass of Kinder Scout
The mass trespass of Kinder Scout was a notable act of wilful trespass by ramblers. It was undertaken at Kinder Scout, in the Peak District of Derbyshire, England, on 24 April 1932, to highlight that walkers in England and Wales were denied access to areas of open country. Political and conservation activist Benny Rothman was one of the leaders of the mass trespass.
Events in 1932
The 1932 trespass began at Bowden Bridge quarry near Hayfield. It proceeded via William Clough to the plateau of Kinder Scout, where there were violent scuffles with gamekeepers. The ramblers were able to reach their destination and meet with another group. On the return, five ramblers were arrested, with another detained earlier. Trespass was not, and still is not, a criminal offence in any part of Britain, but some would receive jail sentences of two to six months for offences relating to violence against the keepers.
The mass trespass marked the beginning of a media campaign by The Ramblers Association, culminating in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, which legislates rights to walk on mapped access land. The introduction of this Act was a key promise in the manifesto which brought New Labour to power in 1997.
Poet and folk singer Ewan MacColl (then known by his real name, Jimmie Miller) celebrated these events in his 1932 song "The Manchester Rambler"; he had organised the publicity for the trespass. The events form the subject of the song "You Can (Mass Trespass, 1932)" on Chumbawamba's 2005 album A Singsong and a Scrap.
Each year a combination of wardens and rangers from both The National Trust and the Peak District National Park Authority hold a walking event to mark the anniversary of the trespass. A commemorative plaque marks the start of the trespass at Bowden Bridge quarry near Hayfield, now a popular area for ramblers. It was unveiled in April 1982 by Benny Rothman (then aged 70) during a rally to mark the 50th anniversary.
- Harker, Ben (Spring 2005). "'The Manchester Rambler': Ewan MacColl and the 1932 Mass Trespass". History Workshop Journal (59): 219–228.
- Trespass Trail (pdf), Kinder trespass, retrieved 1 March 2012
- Rothman, Benny. (1982) 1932 Kinder Trespass: Personal View of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass. Willow Publishing. ISBN 0-9506043-7-2
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