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Kinder Trespass veteran praises right to roam

Posted 26 April 2012
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Kinder Trespass veteran praises right to roam
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The importance of being able to go walking in places like Kinder Scout has been emphasised by possibly the last living veteran of the famous 1932 trespass.

Joining in the celebrations of the 80th anniversary of the event, 96-year-old George Haigh told the BBC Today Programme he joined in because he had experienced the personal frustration of trying to climb the mountain, only to be regularly turned back by gamekeepers.

Mr Haigh, who lived nearby in Stockport at the time and worked in a bleaching and dying factory, said: "To get out in the countryside at [the] weekend was an absolute must."

And he argued that the historical impact of the event was to make a huge difference to the cause of access, stating: "Without that I don't think we'd be able to wander the way that we are can today."

Peak District National Park chief ranger Sean Prendergast told the same programme it was "no accident" that the Peak District was the first national park to be declared in Britain and noted that its first annual board meeting in 1951 discussed as one of its "prime objectives" how to increase access.

Before the Countryside and Rights of Way Act of 2000, 60 per cent of access land in England was in the national park.

Other people present at the commemorations this week included 94-year-old John Bunting from Sheffield, who had ridden to Derbyshire to view the trespass taking place.

Walkers making the most of the chance to roam on Kinder Scout may note particular features of the mountain, such as the Kinder Downfall, the waterfall from which the mountain is thought to take its name. In windy weather the water is blown back up the mountain, so waterproofs are advisable when following the paths round the edges.

Those keen on reaching the 2,088 ft summit may also be fooled by the nearby trig point at Kinder Low, which is actually 11 ft lower. The top is marked only by a small cairn reached by crossing a virtually pathless area of plateau.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801349822-ADNFCR