The lively crowd was made up of a broad cross-section of society and it was great to see how many mountain bikers had interrupted their ride to cycle over and show their support.
Tim Farron (Lib Dem, Westmorland and Lonsdale) and John Woodcock (Labour, Barrow and Furness) both promised their support before symbolically tearing up a copy of the Government’s Public Bodies Reform bill. I can only assume my own MP, Rory Stewart (Conservative, Penrith and the Borders) was busy cooking sunday dinner. I will be writing to let him know he was missed.
No campaign is complete without a celebrity spokesperson. Unfortunately our chosen man, tv-and-radio’s Stuart Maconie, was away – ironically, recording a show for radio 4 celebrating the British countryside. Nevertheless, as a well-known keen walker he sent a rousing letter of support and spoke of his fears of a loss of access to the land which would contradict the recent Countryside and Rights of Way Act. He finished with a quote from G. K. Chesterton’s ‘The Secret People’
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.
Let’s hope someone’s listening now we have spoken.