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 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
The trespass was controversial at the time, being seen as a working class struggle for the right to roam versus the rights of the wealthy to have exclusive use of moorlands for grouse shooting. It remains controversial today, both for those reasons and because some think its importance has been overstated. Our aim is to tell the story of the mass trespass, but to put it in the context of all the other contributions made to securing access rights to the moorlands, mountains and countryside of the UK.”