By: Blonde Two
Have you noticed how, when you open up a mapping program of the UK, it always centres in on the South East? This happened to me the other day and I was doing my usual, rather inefficient, dragging across the map to find Devon when something struck me (not literally you understand, Mr B2 hadn’t just thrown his slippers at me). No, it struck me that moving West across the UK, you went past road after road after road until you reached Dartmoor where there was this blissful expanse of green. Everywhere else, the roads were matted together, you couldn’t escape them.
We are so very lucky to have our very own National Park. When I looked them up, I was surprised to see that there are 15 in total, Dartmoor is the most Southerly and they stretch right up to the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland. We are doubly lucky in Devon because we have the Exmoor National Park as well. Dartmoor was one of the first National Parks to be established in 1951. The National Parks website is well worth a look at http://www.nationalparks.gov.uk.
Particularly fascinating and appealing to anyone who is a bit of a rebel, has to be the story of the mass trespass on Kinder Scout in the Peak District. On 24th April 1932, two separate groups of ramblers from Manchester and Sheffield gathered and walked through scuffles with gamekeepers in a protest for the right to roam for all people. Five of them were arrested but the Right to Roam movement had a huge boost and we are the modern day benefactors. We tend to take our access to open spaces and footpaths across farm land for granted but we are lucky to have them, many countries don’t and it is thanks to a whole range of people that they exist today.
On a less reverent note – do you remember Chumbawamba? More famous for their song “I Knocked Down but I get Up Again” (a suitable anthem for last weekend), they also wrote “You Can” as a tribute to those who took part in the mass trespass – this comes with a health warning, it is not the most beautiful piece of music ever but I like the sentiment – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knzUMCZX8-w.