This weekend (April 24) marks the 90th anniversary of the Kinder Scout mass trespass in 1932 which saw a group of around 400 protest the fact that walkers in England and Wales were denied access to areas of open country. Now, almost a century later, the debate is as strong and as relevant as ever.
Last year, the Treasury commissioned a review into access to nature, asking for ‘radical, joined up thinking’ to achieve a ‘quantum shift in how our society supports people to access and engage with the outdoors’. Now, amid anger from campaigners that the law of trespass stops people from walking freely around the country, the government has shelved the review. Leader of the House of Commons, Mark Spencer, said the English countryside is a ‘place of business’ and already has ‘hundreds of thousands of miles of public footpaths’.