Event in Hayfield will mark 90 years since Kinder Mass Trespass

Ninety years after hundreds of people marched up Kinder Scout calling for more access to the countryside, their pioneering actions will be commemorated in a High Peak village this weekend.

Friday, 22nd April 2022, 4:16 pm

This Saturday, a series of events will take place in Hayfield, remembering the work of those involved in the 1932 Kinder Mass Trespass, which led to the creation of the UK’s national parks and established the right to roam.

There will be talks, stalls and a marquee at the Royal Hotel as people from all over the country come to remember and celebrate just how far the country has come in allowing people more access to the countryside.

David Toft, chair of Hayfield Kinder Trespass Group, said: “The 1932 Kinder Mass Trespass was only one incident in a long campaign for access waged on both sides of the Pennines but it is by far the most well known.

Sign up to our daily Buxton Advertiser Today newsletter

Early morning mist below Kinder Scout

“The arrests of five young leaders, their trial by a jury of landowners and ex-army officers, and their sentencing to hard labour instantly captured national attention and went viral, in modern terms.

“Its high-profile and almost mythological, status inspired future generations of campaigners and it has become an enduring rallying point in the continuing struggle for access to our countryside.”

Read More

Read More
A5004 between Buxton and Whaley Bridge to close on Monday for five months

Following the First World War, a generation of young factory workers began visiting Hayfield and the Pennines by train in large numbers, to escape the smoke-filled cities and their hard industrial lives.

David said: “By the 1930s, the railway company reported an average of 6,000 day-trippers every weekend in Hayfield, with 13,000 there on Easter weekendin 1930.”

These wild, open areas had once been common land but were now the preserve of grouse shooting aristocratic landowners.

As a result, access was extremely limited. Out of the 84,000 acres of the High Peak of the Pennines, just 764 were publicly accessible and there were just 12 short and congested footpaths over the entire 215 square miles of the Peak District.

At Easter 1932, a group of political activists were camping near Rowarth.

On a walk they were stopped and turned back by gamekeepers. They decided enough was enough and began organising a mass trespass.

On April 24, 1932, hundreds of people gathered in Hayfield and marched out to William Clough and up onto Kinder, despite police efforts to stop them.

Their actions caused people to address the access problems in the county.

In 1949, the Government passed an Act of Parliament to establish national parks with the Peak District becoming the first area designated as a national park two years later in 1951.

The actual anniversary of the mass trespass is Sunday but the village is anticipating a lot of people coming to walk Kinder Scout then so have moved the celebrations to the day before.

John Harvey, secretary for the Hayfield Kinder Trespass Group, said: “The mass trespass was not properly celebrated until 1982 on the 50th anniversary.

“For us it is important to keep remembering the mass trespass because it has done so much for the country and even today is still inspiring us and teaching us things.

“The biggest active hobby in the UK is walking and without the right to roam people wouldn’t feel comfortable going out and walking.

“Where would we have been during the first lockdown if we couldn’t have gone for walks?

“Those men who were arrested were pioneers and carved a new path for people to follow and changed history as they did it.”

Young and old have all been involved with getting the village ready for the 90th celebrations.

Pupils from Hayfield Primary School have been creating work which will be on display on Saturday and students from Loughborough University School of Architecture will also be in attendance with an exhibition of prospective designs for a new trespass centre in the village hall,

Guest speakers will include Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open spaces Society and vice president of the Ramblers’ Association as well as Stuart Maconie, journalist, broadcaster and president of the Ramblers’ Association.

Yvonne Witter, from Mosaic, a collective representing BME communities and a member of the Peak District National Park authority, and Craig Best, the new National Trust manager for the Peak District will be giving talks while Keith Warrender, author of the seminal Battle for Kinder, will be launching his new book Forbidden Kinder on the day as well.

All events start at 2pm and continue throughout the day culminating in a gig by the band Recover.

John added: “This is the first time we have hired a marquee for the celebrations so it’s definitely going to be bigger and better than previous years which is good.

“There is still lots to do going forward.

“We know we need more car parking and we would like to see a visitor’s centre created in Hayfield to give people advice and tips for going out walking and of course tell the story of the mass trespass to more people.”

Find out more about the Kinder Mass Trespass on the Hayfield Kinder Trespass Group’s website at https://kindertrespass.org.uk/.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. – Louise Cooper, editor.