Trespass Trail walk, Hayfield.

Follow in the footsteps of the Kinder Mass Trespassers.

This historic event in 1932 is widely credited with leading to:

  • legislation in 1949 to establish the National Parks.
  • contributing to the development of the Pennine Way and many other long distance footpath.
  • securing walkers’ rights over open country and common land in the C.R.O.W. Act of 2000.

In April 1932 over 400 people participated in a mass trespass onto Kinder Scout, a bleak moorland plateau, the highest terrain in the Peak District.

The event was organised by the Manchester branch of the British Workers Sports Federation. They chose to notify the local press in advance, and as a result, Derbyshire Constabulary turned out in force. A smaller group of ramblers from Sheffield set off from Edale and met up with the main party on the Kinder edge path.

Five men from Manchester, including the leader, Benny Rothman, were subsequently jailed.

75 years later the trespass was described as: “the most successful direct action in British history”   (Lord Roy Hattersley, 2007).

The Trespass Trail walk begins at the bus station car park, Hayfield.

  • Here there is a large information board about the Trespass, which also explains the importance of the railway in attracting hikers to Hayfield in the 1930s. There is a sketch map which shows the way to the pharmacy in the village centre, where there is a window display and notice board with more information about the trespass.
  • From the pharmacy it is only 100 metres to the Royal Hotel car park, from where further details about the route on to the moors is given, below.
  • There is a Trespass Trails booklet with more details about the walk, on sale at the Village Store, Church Street, price £2.50.
  • Ideally walkers should also have an O.S. 1:25,000 map of the area, and a compass.
Mass Trespass Trail information board, Hayfield.
Mass Trespass Trail information board, Hayfield.

5 miles, half on rough moorland paths.

  1. By the Royal Hotel car park entrance, turn left up the cobbled path to reach Kinder Road.
  2. Turn right onto Kinder Road, and head East out of the village.
  3. After 300 yards, reach the Snake Path on the left. Note the Kinder Trespass plaque, and the Peak and Northern footpaths sign, dated 1897.
  4. Follow the path, and climb to Twenty Trees. Continue 1 mile on the Snake Path to the white Shooting Cabin.
  • Bear right, on footpath signed Snake Inn and Edale.
  • Contour along on path high above the reservoir, with great views of Kinder.
  • After another half mile, a steep path drops down to the small footbridge at the bottom of William Clough. Descend this, or take the gentler route by continuing another quarter mile until joining the valley path, which to the right leads back to the bridge.
  • Note the National Trust sign which describes the importance of the 1932 Trespass.
  • Follow the reservoir path Westward, with the reservoir on your left.
  • At the bottom of the cobbled path, reach the tarmac reservoir approach road.
  • Continue Westward and go through the reservoir road gates, to join Kinder Road.
  • Kinder Road leads you back to Hayfield, a further one and a half miles.
  • A mile before the village, note the Bowden Bridge car park. This used to be a quarry, where the Trespassers were addressed by their leader, Benny Rothman, before setting out on their venture. Here there is an interpretation board about Kinder Scout, mentioning the Trespass. And on the quarry wall, there is a commemorative plaque, put up in 1982 when the 50th anniversary of the event was celebrated at a mass rally in Hayfield.

The walk has been organised by Hayfield Kinder Trespass Group.