When it comes to the outdoors in the UK, our 15 National Parks are undoubtedly the jewel in the country’s crown. From the misty mountains of the Lake District to the soaring peaks of Snowdonia, these are some of Britain’s best-loved landscapes, playgrounds for outdoor activities which attract over 75 million visitors every year.
In recent years however, several of the UK’s National Parks have suffered from cuts to their government funding as the Conservatives’ austerity policies have taken effect. Which is what makes yesterday’s big announcement by Columbia Sportswear doubly exciting.
“Columbia will outfit the country’s 300 park rangers and more than 2,000 staff in their latest gear.”
At a launch event in London’s Greenwich Maritime Museum, the American outdoor brand unveiled a five-year partnership deal with the UK’s National Parks worth £2.5 million, which will see them outfitting the country’s 300 park rangers and more than 2,000 staff in the latest Columbia gear.
For Columbia, the partnership offers a perfect way to get their gear tested in the toughest of conditions – something they’re known for. “What we really want to get from the rangers is the honest feedback on how the product works,” Robbert Hersman, Columbia’s European director of apparel marketing told Outdoors Magic. “That’s why the UK National Parks are so great for us because you need to have gear tested in the bad weather, the cold, the mud.” Park rangers will be outfitted in the new Columbia OutDry Extreme Eco jackets, made from recycled materials.