Tuesday 24th April is the 80th anniversary of the Kinder Scout Trespass which started the modern movement towards open access to the countryside upto and including the CROW Act 2000.
In Kingsley a small group of walkers will be marking this occasion with a "trespass" of our own. Footpath 20 which runs due east from Sickles Lane across land now owned by the former skydiver and entrepreneur Rory McCarthy has been fenced in for the last few months, separating it from the adjacent farm track, much to the dismay of local residents no longer able to exercise their dogs and in some cases themselves because of the barbed wire and jerry-built stiles. A few weeks ago the situation worsened when the gate at the Sickles Lane end was padlocked and notices erected at either end stating "FOOTPATH CLOSED due to vandalism and criminal damage". The claimed "vandalism and criminal damage" refers to the fact that several, randomly spaced, strands of barbed wire have been cut. On at least two occasions in the last fortnight footpath users have been warned off by people claiming to represent the landowner.
It is a criminal offence to obstruct a public highway and it is the landowner's responsibility to maintain public access and public safety. When this was brought to the attention of one of those doing the warning off, his response was that the landowner was "a multimillionaire who will just play with you".
Our group will leave Upper Green, Kingsley (SU789383) at 7pm, walk up Sickles Lane then down the entire length of footpath 20 before returning to the main road along footpath 27 and back to Upper Green, about 30-40 minutes. You are cordially invited to join us.