A leading national conservation campaigner and veteran of numerous rights of way campaigns has pledged her support to this year’s Winter Hill commemorations.

Kate Ashbrook, the general secretary of Britain’s oldest conservation society, The Open Spaces Society, plans to attend the 125th anniversary walk from Halliwell to Winter Hill on September 5 where she has been invited to speak.

Kate maintains that although rights of access have improved since 1896, there is still a need to be vigilant with issues of concern ranging from the loss of green spaces due to development through to government legislation, such as the government’s proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Kate said: "The Winter Hill trespass is one of the great milestones in the history of the movement for public access. 125 years later we have much greater freedom but not enough, and that freedom is constantly under threat ­— not only from the seizure of our green spaces for development, but also from a government intent on criminalising trespass."

Open Spaces is an organisation which campaigns to protect footpaths, village greens, commons and other open spaces for public use.

For more information, visit oss.org.uk.