Kinder Scout, The People's Mountain
'An exceptional book.' Robert Macfarlane, author of The Lost Words, Landmarks and Mountains of the Mind
'We made Kinder Scout, not just metaphorically, or metaphysically, not just with our stories and our battles, but literally changed its shape, from the peat washing off its summit, to the drystone walls that turn the hillside into a harmonious grid, the trees that are and more often aren t there, to the creatures that we've allowed to remain and those we've done away with. It's our mountain.'
In 1951 the Peak District was designated the UK's first national park: a commitment to protect and preserve our countryside and wild places. Sandwiched between Manchester and Sheffield, and sitting at the base of the Pennines, it is home to Kinder Scout, Britain's most popular 'mountain', a beautiful yet featureless and disorientating plateau which barely scrapes the 600-metre contour, whose lower slopes bore witness in 1932 to a movement of feet, a pedestrian rebellion, which helped shape modern access legislation: the Kinder Mass Trespass.
But Kinder Scout's story is about much more than the working class taking on the elite. Marked by the passage of millions of feet and centuries of farming, a graveyard for lost souls and doomed aircraft, this much-loved mountain is a sacred canvas on which mankind has scratched and scraped its likeness for millennia. It is a record of our social and political history, of conflict and community.
Writer Ed Douglas and photographer John Beatty are close friends and have a shared history with Kinder going back decades. In this unique collaboration they reveal the social, political, cultural and ecological developments that have shaped the physical and human landscape of this enigmatic and treasured hill.
Kinder Scout: The People's Mountain is a celebration of a northern English mountain and our role in its creation.
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