Happy 70th Birthday to the Peak District National Park

As the Peak District National Park celebrates its 70th birthday this week, the value of this protected landscape has arguably never been greater nor more appreciated.

Lockdown has instilled in us the necessity of outdoor space for the nations wellbeing and taught us some hard lessons about sharing that space with others in a courteous and safe way. With the public having access to only 8% of England’s countryside, our forthcoming event ‘The English Countryside and the Long Battle for Public Access’ will explore this complex story with two strident voices of the Land Reform debate- Nick Hayes, author of The Book of Trespass and Guy Shrubsole author of Who Owns England?: How We Lost Our Green and Pleasant Land, and How to Take It Back. With Chairmanship by naturalist Mark Cocker, author of Our Place: Can We Save Britain’s Wildlife Before It Is Too Late? this looks set to be a provocative and heartfelt debate.

Mary Colwell’s new book Beak Tooth and Claw: Living with Predators in Britain looks at all the clashing voices in Britain’s countryside not least in our national parks. Mary is the author of Curlew Moon and previously worked for the BBC Natural History Unit. She will be sharing these conflicting views with festival-goers on Thursday, 15 July.

Bestselling author James Rebanks will be at BIF 2021 to talk about his new book English Pastoral: An Inheritance. As with his astonishing and much admired The Shepherd’s Life, James’s book is an astonishing mix of both fierce polemic and gentle elegy to a lost way of life, yet he poses real ideas for change in our rural landscapes. James will be in conversation with Julian Glover, Chair of the Governments Review into our national parks.

As always our expert speakers look set to challenge, provoke and inform at Buxton. Happy Birthday Peak District National Park! Your beautiful dales and paths continue to inspire us.