Mass trespass

Generic photo of a moorland view.

On 24th April 1931, 500 ramblers climbed over a wall and walked up Kinder Scout, a hill in the Derbyshire peak district. That mass trespass was onto countryside that was exclusively used for hunting and shooting. For those people it was the start of a fight to allow the right to roam.

The trespass led eventually to the first National park in the Derbyshire peak district which was opened on 17th April 1951 almost twenty years later.

There are many more National parks in Britain now, and people have many more freedoms than they had in the past, but there are still restrictions on what you can do. A recent court ruling stopped wild camping on Dartmoor. Worryingly people are using portable barbecues which have set fire to grassland and heathland in recent years. The right to roam has also caused erosion of pathways and peat bogs in places like Kinder Scout and the pathways up the hill had to be restored and widened.

The situation needs to be managed, to allow us to move about more freely, but to also protect the environment. However a large proportion of the land in Britain is owned by the military and or the royal family, so some places like parts of Salisbury plain will continue to be out of bounds.

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