Peak and Northern Footpaths Society
The Peak and Northern Footpaths Society was set up in 1894 to preserve and extend public footpaths. Its first campaign was to secure a right of way around Kinder Scout from Hayfield to the Snake Inn (which does not go onto the summit plateau itself). It succeeded with this mission only two years later, and this path remains a very important access route to this day. It was used by the Mass Trespassers from Hayfield in 1932 to reach the places where they wanted to stage their excursion into the forbidden areas of Kinder Scout.
Extract from Peak and Northern website: peakandnorthern.org.uk
On the 29th July 1894, an anonymous letter appeared in the Manchester Guardian pointing out that Kinder was only part of a larger problem. The public was being excluded from more and more stretches of moorland, and there was no authority whose special business it was to see that old-established rights of way were respected. A meeting was held in the Piccadilly Restaurant, Manchester, on the 3rd August and the first minute book of the Society records:
"At a meeting held at the above restaurant on this date convened by Mr. W H Chadwick of Church Lane, Gorton, to consider the best means of securing the public rights of way over Kinderscout from Hayfield to the Snake Inn, it was resolved – "That Mr C T Tallent Bateman take the chair." After discussing the best method of securing the public right, it was resolved - "That a society be formed to preserve public rights of way within 50 miles of Manchester and such society be called The Manchester and District Footpaths Preservation Society". It was moved by Mr. Abel Heywood and seconded by Mr. J B Cooper – "That the Society first deal with the public right of way over Kinderscout from Hayfield to the Snake Inn". Resolved –"'That Mr L Caradoc Evans of Didsbury be appointed secretary pro tem". A meeting was held the following day (4th August) at Hayfield when some gentlemen from Derby and elsewhere attended and it was resolved to send to the proposed Society a recommendation that it be called The Peak District Footpaths Preservation Society, and 'those present pledged themselves to join it". The Society was formed officially at a meeting held at 7pm on Thursday 16th August 1894 in the Young Men's Christian Association Hall, Peter Street, Manchester.
24th September 1896 the Manchester Guardian reported "The Peak District and Northern Counties Footpaths Preservation Society has happily succeeded in its first enterprise. The favourite route over Kinder Scout, from Hayfield to the Snake Inn, has been secured for ever to the public. All that remains to be done is to form a path, erect signposts, and build a small bridge over the Lady Brook near the Snake Inn. Everyone will then be able to take this delightful walk through some of the finest and wildest scenery in the Peak District without let or hindrance. This peaceful victory over the landowners, who threatened for a time to close the path, although within the memory of man the public had always enjoyed the right of way, speaks volumes for the energy and tact displayed by the officials of the Society. The appeal the Society now makes for £500 to pay the legal and other costs incurred in securing the footpath, will gain a ready response). Mr Benjamin Armitage of Chomlea has already contributed about £184 which, it is interesting to know, is the balance of a Fund raised by an old Manchester footpaths preservation society, founded in 1826 and existing as late as 1863. The remainder will no doubt be found by private subscribers. the Society that has rendered such a great public service should not remain a moment in doubt whether its labours are appreciated for it has much work to do in the future"
For more information about the Society, see their website:
Mount Street / Peter Street, Manchester