Peak District rangers and staff take on the elements in new ‘tested tough’ clothing

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Peak District rangers and staff will take on the elements in new ‘tested tough’ clothing, following the launch of a five-year partnership between Columbia Sportswear and the UK’s National Parks.I

In the first-of-its-kind partnership, Columbia will become the official outfitter of the 15 National Parks, providing high quality clothing to more than 2000 staff, including 300 rangers.

Rangers and staff are entrusted to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Parks for all who visit. Their efforts range from rebuilding mountain paths to repairing river moorings, and from leading guided walks to educating school children and community groups about the great outdoors. Columbia’s ‘tested tough’ clothing is designed to keep them warm, dry, cool and protected in Britain’s most challenging conditions.

“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,” said Andy Barker, general manager UK & IR Columbia Sportswear.

Sarah Fowler, the Peak District National Park’s chief executive, added: “This is a great opportunity for the Peak District National Park. Not only can we reinvest the money we spend on uniforms into valuable work to enhance its special qualities, we also get support for our awareness-raising activities. We want to make this pioneering partnership with Columbia a benchmark for future relationships, using it as a showcase for the value an international outdoor clothing brand from the commercial world can bring to task of nurturing the UK’s original national park.”

Containing some of Britain’s most important and beautiful landscapes, the UK’s 15 National Parks (10 in England, three in Wales and two in Scotland) are free to visit and host over 100 million visitors each year. In addition to outfitting rangers and staff and obtaining their feedback on the gear, Columbia will work alongside the National Parks on new initiatives to deepen the public’s understanding of their National Parks and encourage more people to enjoy the outdoors.

Jacquie Burgess, Chair of National Parks UK said: “Columbia Sportswear is showing a strong commitment to the UK’s National Parks with this partnership. Providing clothing for more than 2,000 staff 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.”

Steve Curl, Chair of National Parks Partnerships LLP, the organisation that facilitates corporate partnerships on behalf of the UK National Parks, added: “We applaud Columbia for this enlightened investment. This is a high-value partnership, enabling us to focus our resources towards looking after these special places for now and for future generations to enjoy. 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 will outfit National Park rangers and staff with several performance pieces, including the waterproof, breathable and sustainably manufactured OutDryTM Extreme ECO Jacket, made without PFCs (Perflourinated compounds).

For more information on Columbia, please visit: www.columbiasportswear.co.uk, and for more information on National Parks UK, please visit: www.nationalparks.gov.uk