Benedict Southworth: 80 years on and we’ve so much to be proud of
Today marks the 80th anniversary of the Kinder Trespass, the iconic act of defiance that provides an emotional core to much of the work of outdoor movement. The trespass was a pivotal moment in a movement that has given us National Parks, secured our ancient rights in Scotland and most recently the All Wales Coast Path.
To celebrate the Ramblers is joining the Peak District National Park Authority, Derbyshire County Council, the National Trust, the British Mountaineering Council and the Sheffield Campaign for Access to Moorland at the Kinder 80 Festival in the Peak District. I’m delighted to be able to play a small part in the celebrations joining local walkers and representatives from other organisations on a celebratory walk up Kinder Scout. For those in the south, the Ramblers is holding a celebratory walk to Westminster, to hear Caroline Lucas MP give her thoughts on the trespass, and doff bobble hats in honour of those determined ramblers.
One of the many discussions at the Ramblers General Council this weekend was the enormous amount of work carried out by our volunteers and how we can make sure it’s visible to the millions who go walking each year. So it was great that Nicky Philpott, Ramblers Director of Campaigns, and I were both able to appear on BBC Breakfast on Saturday. I had done some filming on the day before. After the cameraman got a puncture, we were rescued by the National Trust Rangers who got us all to White Peak for the filming – many thanks to them for getting us there! I hope they enjoyed standing round in the pouring rain watching us film. Nicky got to stay dry but had to be up early to sit on the sofa at 6:25. You can watch the results of our efforts here - all I can say about my appearance is… drowned rat!
There is a lot for us and our volunteers to be proud about.
Every day our volunteers are out doing an amazing range of tasks. They are the backbone of a system that guards, protects and maintains the footpath network. Backed up by a team of professional staff (and a healthy legal fund just in case!) they help keep the countryside open for walking and other outdoor activities.
Our volunteer campaigners work as hard to increase access to the countryside as they do to maintain it. Ramblers Cymru President, Jane Davidson and Huw Iranca-Davies MP spoke to General Council about securing the Welsh Coastal Path and the need for campaigners to continue to work hard to make the English Coast Path a reality.
And, not least, the result of this hard work is the fun, friendship and health benefits that come from walking. Every day our volunteers put on hundreds of walks, making us the biggest provider of led walks in Great Britain. They are also sharing their walking routes so that those of us who choose to walk alone can find routes to suit every occasion.
Find out more:
- Read more about the Trespass here on walk
- Celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass
- The work of our volunteers and how to join them
- The Big Welsh Coastal Walk
- One Coast for All Campaign for an English Coastal Path
- Find a led walk
- Find Ramblers on Facebook
- Follow Ramblers on Twitter