I took a drive to the Peak District, walked a little, to commemorate the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass. 85 years ago today, 1932, people decided to challenge privileged land control which meant only wealthy aristocrats were free to walk the hills. It was an era of staggering wealth inequality at least comparable to anything we see today with the exception of a possible few such as Bill Gates, oil Princes, and similar. Industrial colonialists and others owned castle like mansions with huge tracts of land which were their back gardens and private hunting grounds. Meanwhile, millions lived in polluted cramped streets of the industrial north, Sheffield and Manchester in particular.

I walked Kinder three weeks ago but for this day stayed closer to Manchester. These trees can be seen from the road with a drive of around 35 minutes. It was a joyous spring day. I saw my first good patch of bluebells and the trees had bright, new, small green leaves.

The Peak District was the first British National Park so it’s a curious fact that it was, effectively, forced. Walkers who loved the hills after dreadful working weeks decided they’d had enough. If enough of us go there, they reasoned, they won’t be able to stop us. Protesters were beaten and taken to court but proved as morally correct. Perhaps land owners also realised they had no choice, and were overpowered by numbers.

I’ve got other shots which represent the Peak District more quintessentially – shapely hills, heather, boulders – but this day I liked new spring trees and a bright blue sky.


Kinder Scout Day: Peak District Trees

Monday April 24, 2017