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Milestones on the Road to Freedom

1865 Commons and Open Spaces Society formed

1876 Hayfield and Kinder Scout Ancient Footpaths Association formed

1884 Liberal MP James Bryce introduces first access to mountains bill

1893 Co-operative Holidays Association formed by TA Leonard for rambling holidays

1894 The Peak & Northern Footpaths Society formed in Manchester

1900 Sheffield Clarion Ramblers founded by GHB Ward - the first working class rambling club

1905 First Federation of Rambling Clubs formed in London

1932 Mass trespass on Kinder Scout; five ramblers imprisoned

1935 Ramblers' Association founded

1938 Access to mountains bill introduced by Arthur Creech-Jones, becoming the severely emasculated and largely unused Access to Mountains Act of 1939

1945 Rambler and architect John Dower produces his report on national parks

1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act passed, allowing access agreements with landowners

1951 Peak District becomes the first national park and negotiates access agreements to Kinder Scout the following year. Sixty per cent of access agreements are in the Peaks

1965 Tom Stephenson's Pennine Way long distance path opens, crossing Kinder Scout and Bleaklow

2000 Countryside and Rights of Way Act passed, enshrining the right of walkers to roam freely in open country

2001 First access forums set up


Extract from article by Roly Smith for the Guardian on 17 Apr 2002

Last Modified: 27 Feb 2007