Future of Kinder Scout discussed at packed talk

The speakers at the Kinder event (front row, L to R) Helen Ghosh, Vanessa Griffiths and Stuart Maconie; (back row) Sally Goldsmith, Jon Stewart, Rony Robinson, Stephen Trotter and Roly Smith.
The speakers at the Kinder event (front row, L to R) Helen Ghosh, Vanessa Griffiths and Stuart Maconie; (back row) Sally Goldsmith, Jon Stewart, Rony Robinson, Stephen Trotter and Roly Smith.

A national radio presenter and famed author gave a standing-room only talk to honour the plight of the Kinder trespassers 85 years on.

Stuart Maconie led the Spirit of Kinder event, which was about the transformation of the summit of Kinder Scout by the National Trust and Moors for the Future partnership, and how it is looking forward to current and future challenges.

He is the newly-elected president of The Ramblers and said: “I was in Castleton earlier today, and it was just great to see families from all walks of life, colour and creed out enjoying the glorious scenery of the Hope Valley.

“That’s who those brave trespassers of 85 years ago fought for, and that’s who I’ll be fighting for as president of The Ramblers.”

In April 1932 over 400 people participated in a mass trespass onto Kinder Scout and is widely credited with leading to legislation in 1949 to establish the National Parks and securing walkers’ rights over open country and common land.

Standing in the shadow of Kinder Scout Vanessa Griffiths, chief executive of The Ramblers, said: “I feel I am standing on the shoulders of giants.

“But we know that much more needs to be done through initiatives like our Pathwatch project, which involved 3,000 volunteers, we have found that 35 per cent of footpaths needed work, and an astonishing 10 per cent were impassable.”

Stephen Trotter, director of the Wildlife Trusts of England and formerly manager of the Trust’s High Peak Estate, showed photographs of the condition Kinder Scout was in when the Trust acquired it in 1982.

Jon Stewart, current general manager of the Trust in the Peak, described the extensive re-wetting and re-seeding work which the Trust and others have done on Kinder in the past few years, illustrated by vivid before-and-after examples.

Dame Helen Ghosh, director general of the five-million-member National Trust, added public access was an “incontrovertible” plank of the Trust’s 50-year Vision for the High Peak Moors.