Kinder's spirit lives on in the Peak District


The National Trust is proud to look after landscapes where people have come together to shape the history of our nation. This year, 200 years after the massacre of peaceful protesters at Peterloo in Manchester, we’ll be uncovering stories of passion and protest hidden just beneath the surface at National Trust places, during our People’s Landscapes programme.

As part of People’s Landscapes, five National Trust places will be the focus of a national contemporary art project, collaborating with internationally renowned artist, Jeremy Deller. One such place is our very own Peak District, with the fight for access deeply embedded in its landscape through the story of the 1932 Kinder Mass Trespass. Jeremy Deller has introduced musician Jarvis Cocker to the Dark Peak team, to develop a unique creative programme inspired by the story of the trespass, and his own childhood memories of visiting the Peak District by train from Sheffield. 

These commissions have been supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and with additional support from Art Fund. 

Jarvis Cocker and Jemery Deller in the Peak District
Jarvis Cocker and Jeremy Deller in the Peak District
Jarvis Cocker and Jemery Deller in the Peak District

The Kinder Scout Mass Trespass is remembered today as a crucial milestone in the fight for ordinary people to enjoy the countryside. Along with further trespasses and the extraordinary gathering of 10,000 ramblers in Winnats Pass a few weeks later, it is believed to have forged the way for open access to the countryside and the creation of the UK’s National Parks. The first National Park in the UK was the Peak District in1951, of which the National Trust looks after 15.000 hectares (37,066 acres) today, including the historic trespass sites of Kinder Scout, Winnats Pass and Bleaklow.

Trespassers take to the hills
Black and white image of Kinder mass trespass
Trespassers take to the hills

Jarvis Cocker’s ideas are continuing to develop and will be revealed during the People’s Landscapes launch at the Spirit of Kinder rally. Held this year on the 27th April in Winnats Pass, Castleton, the annual rally is organised by members of the Peak District’s rambling community. In addition to the live music and speakers, a following of young people from local communities will be attending, ready to take on the baton and become the next generation of guardians of the trespass story. The young people will have been working with INSTAR (artists Trish Evans and Nick Humphreys), who are delivering LoudsPEAKer, a People’s Landscape project, engaging young people from rural Peak District and urban Sheffield communities, to build deeper connections and responses to the Dark Peak’s landscape and emotive history.

Everyone is welcome at the Spirit of Kinder rally on 27th April, 2 – 4pm in Winnats Pass, Castleton, Derbyshire. Keep an eye out for our website and social media updates, as plans for the rally and People's Landscapes projects evolve!