New beer takes walk on Wild Side

This is an archived press release

Monday 9 March 2015

Wild SideA new beer will celebrate 10 years of open access in the Peak District National Park and encourage visitors to walk on the Wild Side.

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act saw the public’s right of access grow from 240 sq km to more than 500 sq km, opening up a new world to be explored inside Britain’s first national park.

The freedom to roam brought large parts of the Peak District’s wilder landscape within reach of walkers, climbers, runners and wildlife enthusiasts, allowing visitors to wander at will without keeping to public paths.

To mark the anniversary, Bakewell-based Thornbridge Brewery, which also celebrates its 10th birthday this year, has created a new pale ale, called Wild Side.

It will be officially launched with tours of the Riverside Brewery on March 20. Ian Rotherham, professor of environmental geography at Sheffield Hallam University, will talk about the wilder side of nature in our wilder areas and guests will be able to sample the new brew. A minimum donation of £10 is requested and all proceeds from the tour will go into the Access Fund to further improve access in the national park. Tours are at 3pm and 5pm and anyone interested should email

Alex Buchanan, marketing manager at Thornbridge, said: “In 2005, when we started brewing in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall, little did we know that we would have grown to have a second brewery in Bakewell, have won over 350 awards, employ in excess of 40 staff  and export our beers to 33 countries!

“We now regularly get visitors from across the UK and the world and one of the delights is sharing with them the Peak District National Park and the great countryside that surrounds and inspires us.

“When we heard of the anniversary of open access we were keen to get involved and decided to brew a beer to celebrate.’’

Ian Rotherham said: “Access to the moors and bogs is all about nature on the wild side; the freedom of spirit and the freedom to roam.

“This is a precious heritage that has been hard won and should be savoured and celebrated. It must not be taken for granted but nurtured for future generations as a part of our birth-right.

“This is a fitting partnership because local food and drink are vital in triggering tourism and economic benefits and helping to spread the message of walking and enjoying the national park, from the dales to the gritstone edges.’’
Sue Smith, access and rights of way officer for the Peak District National Park Authority, said: Many people perhaps don’t realise that approximately a third of our national park is access land.  We hope that this anniversary beer will help inspire others to take a walk on the wild side on our hills, moors and dales. All proceeds from the brewery tours will go into the fund set up so that we can continue to improve access for the future for all to enjoy.’’

More information on the access fund can be found here, and more on the CROW legislation here.

This is an archived press release

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