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Celebrating rambling

  • by JW

“I love the fact people might think of the Ramblers as a very genteel organisation but it’s also a campaigning organisation and its roots are in that trespass of 1922.”

Exmouth’s first Active Travel Day – Saturday 30th April


An extraordinary event which had huge repercussions for access to the British countryside happened ninety years ago:

On 24 April, 1932, a group of young workers decided to stake their claim to the English countryside by staging a mass trespass. The result was arrests, prison sentences – and an outcry that is credited by many as shaping the rural access we enjoy today. BBC News looks back at the uprising on the uplands – and asks what the future holds for roaming rights…

copyright: WCML | Working Class Movement Library.

Broadcaster Stuart Maconie, who is the president of the Ramblers, the national walking charity, has chronicled the Kinder mass trespass in his book Hope and Glory and has previously called for it to be taught in schools. He said: “Walking is tied into the history of politics and dissent and this was a foundation event. I love the fact people might think of the Ramblers as a very genteel organisation but it’s also a campaigning organisation and its roots are in that trespass.”

Kinder Scout trespass: How mass action 90 years ago won ramblers roaming rights – BBC News

The event led to the movement to create Britain’s national parks – and this coming weekend there’ll be a celebration on Dartmoor:

The Dartmoor Way CIC supported by Devon Rambler’s are holding a three day walking festival over the early May Bank Holiday weekend from April 30 to May 2. The Dartmoor Way is a recently created 108 mile long waymarked walking trail that circles Dartmoor. Suitable for both dedicated walkers and families, it embraces open moorland, ancient wooded valleys with sparkling streams that tumble off the moor, deep drove roads that have been used for generations and visits pretty moorland towns and villages.

Three day rambling festival celebrates launch of Dartmoor Way – Devon Live

In July, another event will be celebrating fifty years of rambling in East Devon:

On Thursday, July 7, at the Oak Lodge, Budleigh Salterton, join the East Devon Ramblers for a cream tea afternoon. The group, as of 2020 has 450 members and meets every month to go on walks throughout East Devon and West Dorset or occasionally further afield to Dartmoor and Exmoor, as well as other parts of Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

East Devon Ramblers celebrate 50th birthday this June | Sidmouth Herald

And this Saturday, the Ramblers will be present at a big event in Exmouth:

Alternatives to car transport will be showcased in Exmouth in the town’s first Active Travel Day on Saturday, April 30. It is being organised by Active Travel Exmouth, Transition Exmouth and the town council, with the support of several other organisations, to promote walking, cycling and using public transport instead of driving. 

Active Travel day to promote alternatives to cars in Exmouth | Exmouth Journal

Finally, the Devon Ramblers share a video from last year from the Slow Ways folk:

Slow Ways Zoom Briefing – YouTube

Devon – Ramblers

With more here:

Slow Ways: help map a network of walking routes – Vision Group for Sidmouth