A-Z April 2012

U is for Unlawful Access

U is for Unlawful Access

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the mass trespass on Kinder Scout in Derbyshire. The event was staged by ramblers who were arguing for the right to access areas of open countryside and was attended by hundreds of people in support.

Previously, access to open countryside was fiercely controlled by (rich) landowners and anyone found unlawfully accessing areas such as Kinder Scout could be punished with jail sentences. The mass trespass on 24th April 1932 was the start of a campaign to overturn all that, and saw the start of the establishing of National Parks in England, Wales and Scotland. On the day, there were skirmishes between the peaceful ramblers and the not-so-peaceful gamekeepers who were hired to keep the public off the slopes of Kinder Scout.

Here is a song written by Ewan McColl and sung by The Spinners about that event:



2 thoughts on “U is for Unlawful Access”

    1. Thanks Maxi! I don’t think we give it much thought nowadays but within living memory, our open countryside was the preserve of the rich and the landed. Strange to think we can ramble all over the hills now and we won’t be arrested for trespassing.

      It’s a great song isn’t it? I love folk music and this one’s a bit close to home 🙂


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