85 years on from the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass rangers battle to restore the rare Peak District bog

A Peak District hillside that became a battleground ramblers’ right to roam is now at the centre of a new fight – as rangers battle to save one of the world’s rarest nature habitats.

This weekend walkers, campaigners and rangers celebrated the 85th anniversary of the Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout.

On 24 April, 1932, hundreds of walkers descended on the Peak District moor to draw attention to their inability to roam in the countryside. They were met by gamekeepers determined to stop them.

The trespass saw six ramblers arrested – but sparked a campaign that would eventually see law passed to allow people to walk freely over land in places like national parks.

One of the gritstone boulders standing amongst smaller stones on the heath, part of the Kinder Scout Rock formation in the Peak District, Derbyshire

One of the gritstone boulders standing amongst smaller stones on the heath, part of the Kinder Scout Rock formation in the Peak District, Derbyshire. CREDIT: Joe Cornish/National Trust Images

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Peak District nestbox bung boost for rare pied flycatchers

More than 100 nestboxes have been ‘uncorked’ as Peak District rangers prepare for the return of a rare migrant bird.

Over 30 pairs of rare pied flycatchers arrive in the ancient oak woodlands at Padley Gorge, near Sheffield, from West Africa every spring.

To make sure there are enough nest boxes for the red-listed birds National Trust rangers stopper the entrance holes to 100 boxes in March to prevent blue tits and great tits from using the homes. Around 20 rangers and volunteers return in April to remove the bungs.

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National Trust ranger Mark Bull removes the cork bungs from pied flycatcher nest boxes in Padley Gorge, near Sheffield. CREDIT: David Bocking

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Formby celebrates 50 years in National Trust care

Rangers, volunteers and campaigners have celebrated 50 years of conservation at Formby.

The mile-long stretch of dunes and pinewoods on the Sefton coast was acquired by the National Trust in 1967, following a £20,000 fundraising appeal.

Father and children on the beach at Formby, Liverpool

Family on Formby beach. (c) Chris Lacey/National Trust Images

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Expert Matthew Oates picks his favourite spring wildlife as holly blue butterfly booms

Britain is enjoying a holly blue butterfly boom as warm temperatures cause spring wildlife to flourish.

National Trust gardeners report one of the best years in decades for the holly blue butterfly, but nature experts confess that the reasons for the butterfly explosion remain a mystery.

Holly blue male in Gloucestershire CREDIT Matthew Oates, National Trust Images.jpg

Holly blue butterfly (c) Matthew Oates/National Trust Images

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National Trust backs Forestry Commission’s Keep It Clean campaign

The Forestry Commission has called on visitors to woods and forests to help stop the spread of plant diseases.

The quango, which manages 900,000 hectares of woods and forests in England, has launched a new campaign, Keep It Clean. Bosses at the Commission are asking people to clean mud and leaves from boots, buggies and bikes before and after visiting woodlands.

Taking these small steps could help slash the risk of spreading damaging plant diseases like phytophthora ramorum, the Forestry Commission said.  Continue reading

National Trust response to State of the UK Birds report

A new report has shown that restoring nature habitats can benefit struggling bird species.

The RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust have today added 15 birds to their ‘red list’ of species currently under threat of extinction in the UK.

More than a quarter of UK birds face extinction or significant decline in their numbers. Puffins, nightingales and pied flycatchers have all been added to the red list, the charities’ State of the UK’s Birds report said.

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Statement in response to reports over Easter Egg Hunt events

A National Trust spokesperson said: “It’s nonsense to suggest the National Trust is downplaying the significance of Easter. Nothing could be further from the truth. We host a huge programme of events, activities and walks to bring families together to celebrate this very special time of year.
“A casual glance at our website will see dozens of references to Easter throughout.
“Our Easter events include our partnership with Cadbury, which has been running Easter Egg Hunts with us for 10 years. They’ve proved consistently popular with our members and visitors. As part of its wider marketing activity at Easter, Cadbury will always lead on the branding and wording for its campaigns.”

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