In his latest column, High Peak MP Robert Largan writes about conserving the Peak District countryside - on the back of the 90th anniversary of the Kinder Trespass.
Last Sunday marked the 90th anniversary of the Kinder Trespass. On 23 April 1932, a group called the Manchester Ramblers gathered at Bowden Bridge near Hayfield, walked along William Clough to the summit of Kinder Scout and then on to Ashop Head.
The mass trespass paved the way for the creation of the National Parks – with the Peak District becoming the first recognised national park in 1951. In 2000, the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, further enshrined the important ‘right to roam’ in law.
To commemorate this historic event, hundreds took part in a celebratory walk, including Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.
It has been interesting to watch the Green Party grow in recent years, with many former Labour members joining them, dissatisfied with the direction of Labour. Of course, they are a very left-wing party, and I disagree with them on a number of issues. But I share their concerns about the environment and the need to conserve our beautiful countryside.
We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world. Now that Spring has finally arrived, it’s been wonderful seeing the daffodils appear and the fields fill with lambs.
This is also a fantastic time to get out and experience the great outdoors. I love walking locally, enjoying the fresh air and the stunning scenery. At this time of year you are often greeted by newborn lambs, which always helps lift the spirit.
In Parliament, I have always taken an independent-minded approach as your Member of Parliament and sought to conserve the High Peak for future generations.
In my very first question in Parliament after being elected, I called for the Government to strengthen our environmental protections. I have actively campaigned for the restoration of our local peat moors and I’m proud to have secured a significant increase in funding for this.
In addition, I established and chair the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Peak District, bringing together MPs and conservationists to champion our area.
I also rebelled on an amendment to the Agriculture Bill, to send a clear message to the Government that we must not compromise on our animal welfare, food standards and environmental protections. As a result of this, the Government agreed to create the Trade & Agriculture Commission, to protect our agriculture standards.
Most recently, I helped secured a change in the law to put a public duty on water companies to prevent raw sewage from being discharged into rivers and waterways. This is a big win for protecting our local environment from pollution.
Whatever else may be happening nationally, I remain determined to continue to protect the High Peak.