Synopsis Dave Toft

It focuses on the 1932 Mass Trespass in Hayfield but places it in the context of the much longer campaign for access beginning in ‘modern’ times with 1896 Winter Hill and 1897 Hayfield Snake Path events, continuing in the 20th century on both sides of the pennines – and stressing that the campaign still continues. It touches on the whole question of land ownership, together with issues around access which have been highlighted during recent lockdowns. The underlying theme is that the whole question of access to our countryside should be seen not as a single issue but as an integral part of the wider struggle for a fairer and more equitable society.

David Toft was born and brought up in Salford and first walked on Kinder Scout aged 12 as part of a youth club outing. He went south to university and then worked for 12 years in the East End of London before moving back north. He eventually settled in Hayfield, where he is a local councillor and Chair of the Hayfield Kinder Trespass Group.

He has written extensively on the Trespass and the wider struggle for access, including for Red Pepper, Trail Magazine and Let’s Go Peak District. He was recently involved in a Channel 5 documentary on the Trespass and filmed as part of a Sky Arts programme about Jimmy Miller / Ewan MacColl. He has also given talks similar to this for the National Trust, Glossop Labour Club, Stockport Labour Club, Leicester University Geography Department and as part of the 2016 th anniversary event in Hayfield and the PNFS celebrations of Snake Path in 20127 – and many other groups.
He has had political poetry published in Tribune and New Statesman and recently published a political novel, ‘Stillpoint’.