With the aim to encourage more people to enjoy the outdoors, Columbia Sportswear and the UK’s National Parks have come together to form a five-year partnership that is the first of its kind. They will work alongside each other to create new initiatives, which will deepen the public’s understanding of their National Parks.
By forming this relationship, Columbia will now also be the official outfitter of the National Parks’ rangers and staff – the people who protect and promote some of Britain’s best-loved landscapes. They have designed high quality clothing that will keep them protected in Britain’s toughest conditions, all year round.
Andy Barker is the General Manager of Columbia Sportswear. He says: “At Columbia, our mission is to help people enjoy the outdoors longer. That’s why we consider it our responsibility to be conscientious stewards of our shared environment. Becoming a partner of the UK’s National Parks is an unrivalled opportunity to highlight the amazing work conducted by rangers and staff.”
Rangers and staff play an important part in conserving the natural beauty of the National Parks, so that it can be enjoyed by all who visit. Their role consists of rebuilding mountain paths and leading guided walks, as well as educating school children and community groups about the great outdoors. So they can maintain this work in some of the wettest, most challenging weather in the world, Columbia has committed to outfitting upwards of 2,000 National Park staff for five years, including 300 rangers.
Jacquie Burgess, Chair of National Parks UK says, “Columbia Sportswear is showing a strong commitment to the UK’s National Parks with this partnership. Providing clothing is a very significant contribution, supporting the very heart of our work. Columbia will take a leading role in helping to increase public understanding of our wonderful National Parks by sharing the stories of our people and our Parks over the coming five years.”
The UK's 15 National Parks are free to visit and provide some of Britain's most beautiful landscapes for trail running. Through this relationship, Columbia and National Parks can focus on looking after these special places for everyone to enjoy now and in the future.
"We applaud Columbia for this enlightened investment in the UK’s National Parks," says Steve Curl, Chair of National Parks Partnerships LLP. "We have been hugely impressed by Columbia’s environmental and ethical commitments as well as their genuine enthusiasm for the UK’s National Parks and their plan for support over the next five years."
Columbia Sportswear are renowned for their ethical clothing. As part of the performance pieces for National Park rangers and staff, they have included the OutDry Extreme ECO Jacket. This jacket is pioneering in environmentally friendly clothing. It is sustainably manufactured without PFCs (Perflourinated compounds) and is made from recycled and dye-free fabric. It is also waterproof and breathable, to handle extreme conditions, which means its perfect for National Park rangers.