Ramblers back Kinder Mass Trespass visitor centre

Battle of Kinder Scout Hill, April 24th 1932 The Kinder Visitor Centre Group hopes to open a permanent base for the archive in Hayfield

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Ramblers are supporting a campaign for a permanent visitor centre to mark a famous mass trespass in the Peak District.

In 1932, hundreds of ramblers walked on to private land on Kinder Scout in Derbyshire to assert their right to walk freely across the countryside.

After what became known as the Kinder Mass Trespass, five men were arrested and imprisoned for "riotous assembly".

The centre would be created in Hayfield - where the trespass began.

Right to roam

  • On Sunday 24 April 1932, hundreds of ramblers walked on to private land on Kinder Scout in Derbyshire to assert their right to walk freely across the countryside, which they called their "right to roam"
  • They were lead by Benny Rothman, a communist mechanic from Manchester
  • Mr Rothman, who died aged 90 in 2002, was interviewed by the BBC in the 1980s
  • He said: "It was possibly a naive idea that if enough ramblers went on a ramble, no group of keepers could stop them because there would be more ramblers than keepers"
  • A poem written by David Toft from The Kinder Visitor Centre Group features the line: "Remember there are those who would have kept this from us - And those who even now would, if they could - Keep us from the silver stream and open moor - And windswept wood"

Kate Ashbrook, president of the Ramblers' Association, said: "This is a magnificent memorial to the brave Kinder trespassers who blazed the trail to freedom to roam.

"It is vital that future generations appreciate what the trespassers achieved for them, and the Hayfield centre is a fitting reminder to us all."

The scheme, organised by The Kinder Visitor Centre Group, is also backed by climber Sir Chris Bonington, and Roy Hattersley, former deputy leader of the Labour Party, and Peak District enthusiast.

John Harvey, chairman of the group, said: "This is a heritage topic of national and regional importance which merits being developed into a significant visitor attraction."

In 2012, the group was awarded £18,000 by the Peak District National Park's sustainable development fund to bring together copies of articles, official records and photographs.

Gathered material includes an account by Benny Rothman, who led the walkers up Kinder Scout - which in the 1930s was used to keep grouse for rich landowners.

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