‘Adventure’ is the key to National Parks Week

Peak District views, Curbar Edge
Peak District views, Curbar Edge

It’s National Parks week and this year it’s all about adventure.

The week, starting on July 25, will celebrate everything that is unique and wonderful about Britain’s countryside.

Peak District views, The iconic view at Monsal Head

Peak District views, The iconic view at Monsal Head

The Peak District National Park is joining in the fun with a range of events and activities, such as walking with a park ranger, learning to use a compass, abseiling and mountain biking.

Sarah Fowler, chief executive of the Peak District National Park, said: “Adventures come in different forms, so whether you’re a thrill-seeker or are looking for something a little less energetic, we’re encouraging people to get out and discover our incredible landscapes – there really is something for everyone to enjoy.”

Other events taking place include a seven mile walk with archaeologist John Barnatt, across the higher parts of the limestone plateau, and a nine mile expedition across high moorland to visit the iconic summit of Bleaklow.

There is also a chance to book a night in a camping pod or bring your own tent to experience nature’s peace and quiet at North Lees campsite near the famous Stanage Edge.

Peak District views, River Wye Monsal Dale

Peak District views, River Wye Monsal Dale

The Peak District was one of the first areas of the country to be designated a National Park in 1951.

Parliament passed the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act in 1949, paving the way for the 15 national parks we now have.

The Peak District National park covers 1,437 square kilometres, with the highest point being Kinder Scout at 636 meters.

Kinder Scout was at the centre of a mass trespass by 400 ramblers in April, 1932 to highlight the fact that walkers in England and Wales were being denied access to areas of open countryside.

The trespass began at Bowden Bridge quarry near Hayfield, through William Clough to the plateau of Kinder Scout, where there were violent scuffles with gamekeepers.

Even though trespass was not a criminal offence, some of the walkers received jail sentences of between two and six months for offences relating to violence against the keepers.

On the Kinder Trespass website, Mike Innerdale, assistant director for National Trust, North West said: “ The mass trespass at Kinder Scout was a key moment in the campaign for better access to the countryside. Its success paved the way for the creation of the National Parks.”

Nowadays, more than 10 million tourists a year visit the Peak District, contributing over £100 million to the local economy.

The main industries are tourism, quarrying, farming, and manufacturing, with nearly 90 per cent of the park being farmland.

There are many and varied attractions, apart from the spectacular landscapes, such as the world renowned Chatsworth, the Castleton caverns, the ‘plaque’ village of Eyam and the market town of Bakewell, famous for it’s tarts.

It has also been the setting for many film and TV productions, including The Duchess, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and The Other Boleyn Girl.

More information on what to do in the Peak District can be found at peakdistrict.gov.uk/visiting/events/npweek.