Janet Street-Porter addressing the gathering at Scar House in Nidderdale..

Saturday 28th May, on a fine windy day, about one hundred people including walkers, gamekeepers, public servants and representatives of the media assembled at Scar House Reservoir for a small celebration to mark the opening up of large parts of open moorland to public access. Rodney Waddilove welcomed all to the meeting and expressed his appreciation of the contributions made by thousands of people to bring about the improved situation. Janet Street-Porter, speaking as a resident in the village of Lofthouse spoke of the occasion as being 'one of the happiest days of her life' such was her joy of wandering the high hills of Yorkshire. Bob Baxter from Yorkshire Water, who hosted the event, spoke of the great beauty of Scar House and its environs and its importance as a water gathering ground. All walkers are aware of the great access improvements made to Yorkshire Water estates in recent years. Simon Bostock of The Moorland Association spoke of the need for co-operation between the interested groups involved in the countryside and urged the need to respect wildlife particularly during the nesting season. Paul Burgess of Nidderdale AONB also emphasised the international importance of the english moorlands as bird nesting areas. Keith Wadd, speaking on behalf of The Ramblers Association, pointed out that the new access arrangements had been in place in West Yorkshire, The Peak District and South Pennines areas for eight months with no reported problems. After the formal part of the proceedings the attendees were invited to participate in one of three led walks all using recognised paths in the locality. Chris Jones led a short, local walk viewing the remains of the old village, the dam and various interesting habitats. Bob Baxter led a party on the four-mile circuit of Scar House and Angram reservoirs and Mike Lowsley led a tough, eight-mile circular including Dead Man's Hill and Great Haw along the boundary between The Yorkshire Dales National Park and Nidderdale. We, the participants, are grateful to all who made the day such a memorable success.

The large crowd before the start of the three walks. It was very windy, and the sky looked threatening!