Jarvis Cocker commemorates Kinder Scout mass trespass with his ‘BE KINDER’ art trail
A new art trail in the Peak District created by Jarvis Cocker follows in the footsteps of some of those who took part in the mass trespass onto Kinder Scout in 1932.
With the aim of getting people to think about how to protect the landscape, the walk was created by Jarvis Cocker in collaboration with the National Trust, which looks after Kinder Scout, as well as Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller and other artists.
Under the name BE KINDER, the art trail is inspired by the mass trespass on 24 April 1932 when three groups set out to trespass onto the moorland of Kinder Scout, the highest point of the Peak District, approaching from different directions. It was part of a campaign that is credited with forging the way to open access to the countryside and the creation of the UK’s national parks – of which the Peak District was the first in April 1951.
Musician, radio presenter and artist, Jarvis Cocker, the former front man with Pulp, has created a walk from Edale railway station to the foot of Kinder Scout plateau. Along the way walkers will discover surprising and secret artworks in places where guest artists have been inspired by the landscape and the trespass to reignite a passion in them for the nature.
Getting people involved and passionate about the countryside is something Jarvis feels strongly about. He said: “My first encounter with Kinder Scout was an orienteering weekend organised by my school in Sheffield. It was the ‘treasure hunt’ aspect of this, taking us from one place to the next, that got me hooked. I made a connection.
“The battle back in 1932 was about access – but in 2019 it is also about preservation.
We hope that the art trail that Jeremy and I have created will encourage people who wouldn’t normally go into the countryside – it is about trying to get city people to understand the natural world and reconnect with that part of themselves.
“This is very important because if you feel part of something then you will respect and want to preserve it, you will love it.
“This is about reinforcing the original trespassers’ message that the landscape belongs to everyone – whilst making the point that the preservation of that landscape has now become everyone’s responsibility.”
The project, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and with additional support from Art Fund, is part of the National Trust’s People’s Landscapes programme. It invites people to look again at the nation’s landscapes, to see beyond the ‘green and pleasant’ and to find the dramatic, sometimes hidden, histories that lie beneath our feet.
The theme was chosen to mark 200 years since the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester when cavalry charged protesters leaving 700 people injured and approximately 18 dead, including men, women and one child.
The BE KINDER walk starts at the Edale railway station with those visiting urged to use public transport to ease pressure on the car parking and narrow lanes of the Peak District.
In the Penny Pot café next to the station, walkers can hear artist Ruth Ewan’s juke box which plays songs inspired by passion and protest. The songs include ‘The Manchester Rambler’ by singer songwriter Ewan MacColl, which was inspired by his participation in the 1932 trespass.
The BE KINDER trail includes an intervention by writer Jon McGregor, whose novel ‘Reservoir 13’ was written in and inspired by the area; art duo INSTAR, who have been working with schools and groups in the region to design limited edition backpack patches inspired by a love of the countryside and a Cinebarn with a show reel of film clips, selected by Jarvis.
The walk takes three hours but hardy walkers prepared for a six-hour walk – and armed with a suitable map and equipment – can continue on over the moor.
Today the National Trust looks after Kinder Scout, having acquired the moorland in 1982. As well as continuing to provide access to the moorland, the Trust’s 50-year vision includes encouraging wildlife by developing habitats for them to live, more trees and shrubs in the valleys nearby and restoring peat bogs, which play an important role in capturing and locking away carbon, as well as being an important place for wildlife.
The BE KINDER trail, will run from 6 July until 15 September. Walkers are encouraged to use the train to get to Edale by way of the Sheffield-Manchester train, and explore the trail on foot.
Partners who have supported the project include the Peak District National Park, Moors for the Future, Network Rail, Ramblers Association, local landowners and farmers and the Edale community.
Photography Credits: Rod Kirkpatrick | Lucy Jones | David Bocking | Keith Warrender
– BE KINDER –
Wesley Chambers our Photography Ambassador met Jarvis Cocker whilst walking the BE KINDER route, see if you can spot him. Credit: Wesley Kristopher Photography aka #peopleofthepeak
Credit: Wesley Kristopher Photography aka #peopleofthepeak
About the National Trust
The National Trust is a conservation charity founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our nation’s heritage and open spaces and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. More than 120 years later, these values are still at the heart of everything the charity does.
Entirely independent of Government, the National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 778 miles of coastline and hundreds of special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
More than 24 million people visit every year, and together with 5 million members and over 65,000 volunteers, they help to support the charity in its work to care for special places for ever, for everyone.
For more information and ideas for great seasonal days out go to: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Inspired by the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, People’s Landscapes is a programme of events and activities across the country which will explore the historic landscapes where people have gathered to seek dramatic social change.
Five National Trust places will explore their themes through contemporary art: Dunham Massey and Quarry Bank in Cheshire, with their links to the Peterloo Massacre; the story of the Tolpuddle martyrs in Dorset; the mining heritage of the Durham coast, and the mass trespass at Kinder Scout in the Peak District.
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