Tom Stephenson (1893-1987) not only campaigned for 30 years to create the Pennine Way – Britain’s first official long distance path – he spent his whole career dedicated to improving access for all to the great outdoors. Journalist and secretary of the Ramblers Association he helped shape the groundbreaking legislation of the post-1945 Attlee government that created our national parks, AONB’s, moorland access agreements and protected our public rights of way network. Brought up in Whalley in the Ribble Valley his inspiration for the long green trail along the Pennine backbone of England was inspired by his teenage wanderings on Pendle Hill. He also fought for improved access to the grouse moors of Bowland and the Peak District.
Tom Stephenson’s legacy remains so relevant today. After over a decade of austerity and further cuts to the public sector planned, the maintenance and protection of our public rights of way network
is severely under threat. Meanwhile recent developments in the Dartmoor and Lake District National Parks – restrictions on wild moorland camping and intrusive development plans – could turn the clock back on everything Tom Stephenson fought for.
This is a good time to remember Tom and his achievements, So why not join us on a walk celebrating him on Saturday 9th July as we walk part of our new ‘Two Toms Trail’ from Whalley to the Clarion House at Roughlee. Return transport will be provided back to the start. Book a free place on Eventbrite.
Saturday 9th July.
Meet 10:00 am at Vale Gardens, Whalley, for 10:30 am walk start.
Walk Distance: 9 miles (approx. 4-5 hours)
Route: Whalley-Spring Wood-Nick of Pendle-Spence Moor-Newchurch-Clarion House
Packed Lunch required.
Refreshments at the Clarion at the end of the walk. Return transport to Whalley.
There are plenty of transport options to Whalley and the walk starts right next to the bus station.
Remembering the important part Lancashire played in the campaign for countryside access and the opportunity for working class people to enjoy the great outdoors.