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Peak District National Park

Ilam Park, Ashbourne

Exploring our relationship to the landscape on the eve of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass

On 23 April, the eve of the 90th anniversary of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass, approximately 400 people gathered in the Peak District National Park to celebrate our landscape in the beautiful setting of the National Trust’s Ilam Park.

Sing Owt! and Wild Chorus choirs from West Cumbria led by Dave Camlin joined Val Regan and her Sheffield community choir to sing a new composition at the bridge over the River Manifold. The wind certainly provided plenty of energy for Dan Fox’s Aeolian wind instruments.

Salford’s Albion Academy Cadets performed flag waving in the courtyard of Ilam Hall, with flags specially designed by Wendy Meadley. Alongside the river, performers from Company Chameleon, University of Salford, Dance Discovery, Afrocats and Ad Hoc dance created movement sequences inspired by the landscape and the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass, led by Movement Director Ruth Jones and her dance captains.


Here is the first in our series of short films, we hope you enjoy it.

Event Notebook

Music and Soundscapes

Music Director Pete Moser recorded four tracks for this event setting Sophie Sparham’s poems to music.


Local ‘pet’, Sophie Sparham brings you into the Peak District with sounds from the Green Space Dark Skies Collective.

A group of lumenators practicing in the meadow ad dusk

The Lumenators gathered to take a journey with their geolights along the riverside to the target meadow, encountering spoken word performances by Anna Sharpe-Jones and Trevor Wright along the way.

Such a special experience – so thrilled to have been part of this


Hold It

How do you want to relate to the land… reach out your hand and Hold It.

Once they arrived in the meadow as dusk fell, listening to instructions in their In-Ear Monitors, the Lumenators created patterns evoking two streams meeting to create a river. In between instructions, Lumenators could hear a soundscape created by Pete Moser and the GSDS Collective.

As the lights turned to red and darkness fell, Lumenators were treated to Sophie Sparham reading her newly commissioned poem Right to Roam through their In-Ear Monitors.

Young black woman lit by an orange Geolight at dusk

The experiences you have provided for the people we work with has been varied and amazing. I was surprised how much the older women thoroughly enjoyed this experience.

Magdalen Bartlett

Right to Roam

Songwriter Pete Moser sings his setting of Sophie’s reflection on trespass and the rights of us all.

You can download the score here

Thanks so much for the experience on Saturday, the young people were absolutely buzzing, if not exhausted on the way home! It was really brilliant to be a part of it and I can’t wait to see the finished piece.

Amber Callard
Company Chameleon
A group of lumenators bathed in blue light cast by the geolights they are carrying

Watery Cycle

The River Manifold is at the bottom of this beautiful valley, and the water cycle featured in our thinking around Green Space Dark Skies here at Ilam.

On their way back to Ilam Hall in the darkness guided by their geolights, Lumenators were able to enjoy the choirs singing again and watch the performers recreating their movement sequences surrounded by the green, red, white and blue light of the geolights.

Family stood in a meadow enjoying time at North Lees. The mother and father are stood around their 4 children looking at a dandelion.

About The Peak District National Park

In 1934, Sir Robert McDougall donated Ilam Hall to the National Trust for the purpose of encouraging more young people to access the countryside. It is leased to the Youth Hostel Association and has become a popular hostel for families and school groups. If you want to find out more about the fascinating history of Ilam Park and its surroundings, read more here. And for more information about the Peak District National Park, have a look here.

The UK’s original National Park, formed in 1951, the Peak District stretches to over 555 square miles across five counties in the heart of England. Uniquely characterised by the brooding, heather-clad uplands of the ‘Dark Peak’ and the rolling, dry stone-walled fields, valleys and rivers of the ‘White Peak’, the Peak District has more than 20 million people within an hour’s journey of its varied landscapes.

Sheffield, Manchester and Derby are just a few of the many towns and cities that are a stone’s throw from the National Park; where visitors come to enjoy everything from adrenaline-fuelled rock climbing, to local produce and quiet solace with rare wildlife like mountain hares.

Within the Park’s boundaries are some of the country’s most notable stately homes and estates, along with iconic and much-photographed landscapes worthy of any postcard. Rich history is present in quiet corners for those ready to seek it out – from literary inspiration for the Brontës, to wartime heroism with the Dambusters and moments of cultural change that date back thousands of years. Miles of some of the most accessible routes and tracks for all abilities in the country make the Peak District a place ready to welcome everyone.

Held at Ilam Park, looked after by National Trust

We’d like to thank all the groups who participated in this event:

  • Action for Conservation
  • Ad Hoc Dance
  • Afrocats
  • Albion Academy Cadets
  • Buile Hill Mansion Association
  • Company Chameleon
  • Creative Embassies
  • Dance Discovery
  • Dosti Friendship Group
  • Green Grosvenor Park
  • Herstory
  • Little Hulton Big Local
  • Marple Movers
  • Rerooting
  • University of Salford

Thanks to our stakeholders:

  • The National Trust’s White Peak Estate in the Peak District includes Ilam Park, Dovedale, and the Manifold and Hamps Valleys
  • Peak District National Park
  • Natural England

Photography: Frit Tam, Passion Fruit Pictures and Garry Cook