The Trig makes a point

THE world of cars has The Stig, a mysterious (until recently) character in a helmet.

The world of walking has The Trig.

A bobble hat will do for Peter Naldrett.

He's the bloke who's made something of a living writing books full of hikes between trig points, those concrete columns erected by the Ordnance Survey to help them map the country.

He has already published three books of walks in the Peak District and plans another in the Yorkshire Dales so that's around 130 trig points taken care of.

"But I'm no trig bagger," says The Trig, aged 36, who can see a trig point from his home in Stannington.

There are, it is estimated, some 6,500 trig points in the country but Peter, a geography teacher who also has a nice sideline in writing GCSE textbooks, has no intention of emulating the chap who has nearly done them all.

"I've had quite a lot of feedback from my books and there are two types of people who are interested in trig points," he says.

"There are the obsessive types.

"It's like a mission to tick them off and bag them, one by one."

And then there are the people who like a slightly grittier walk than is usually offered in the Peak District.

That's how his books started. He was looking for a book of walks such as you get in the Lake District which are a bit of a challenge in an Alfred Wainwright sort of way but found the Peak District shops full of pub walks and other gentle strolls.

So he decided to write his own.

His first, on the Dark Peak, came out in 2006 and has now been reissued and updated as the kitbag-sized Trigpoint Pocket walks: The Dark Peak (Mayfield Books, 5.99).

They include one of his favourites, on Howden Moor, which has a memorial next to it to a dog called Penny.

Another is to Stanedge Pole where the point has disappeared completely but The Trig reckons it's worth the walk just the same.

Trig points date from the Thirties and Forties.

Take a sighting from three different ones and you could locate a place accurately, long before satellite GPS.

But they have taken on an iconic life of their own.

One artist makes wax rubbings of the tops of triangulation pillars to turn into artworks.

For Peter bagging new trig points has slowed down a bit since the arrival of Triglets Toby, now four, and Willow, aged two.

But they both sound like chips off the old block.

"Toby climbed Snowdon in July for the first time on a charity walk and raised 250," says his father proudly.

But when you've got kids trig bagging sometimes has to take a back seat.

"Since we have had children Nicola and I have set set ourselves the goal of climbing the highest point in the Peak, Kinder Scout, again since we first did it in 2005.

"Each time the weather has made us turn back," he says.

The Trig, who has set up a Facebook page for fellow baggers, says they hold a certain fascination for all.

"Even people who don't know much about them get their photo taken with one or have their lunch beside it.

"They realise it is an achievement getting there."

www.trigpointwalks.co.uk

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