Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Lets Get Outside


Well they would say that, wouldn’t they

Here is a nice view, taken in the Peak District National Park (in which I don’t live, but I’m close enough to see over the border)

farm and view-1

It may be that I’m feeling a little jaded this week (and getting outside might be a suitable pick me up, it usually is)

But when I read the blog of the chief executive of the Peak District National Park, it made me feel just a little more jaded

One of the most exciting developments for the family of national parks this year has been an association with Merrell, the huge Global footwear manufacturer.  Merrell kindly hosted our meetings in their swish offices close to Kings Cross


maybe it is the words huge and global, Jim tells us more

Our association with Merrell is one across all 15 UK national parks and was launched earlier this year.  Details are at http://www.merrell.com/UK/en/Nationalparks.  The basis of the partnership is the philosophical and marketing approach summed up in Merrell’s ‘Let’s Get Outside’ slogan – a great message for national parks.  The promotional material in all of Merrell’s 600UK stores and on their website promotes the presence of national parks and our strong sustainability ethos

Merrell would say that Jim, they sell shoes. Are the Peak Park Rangers kitted out in Merrell footwear? Maybe the next thing will be little ‘Merrell markers’ on footpath signs? (Just a thought from the creative department of Uphilldowndale enterprises, not huge and not global) but any road up, whilst you are out and about, be careful you don’t trip over the thin end of the wedge.

Have a look at the National Parks website (beautiful images) maybe the clue to what has needled me, is in the address http://www.nationalparks.gov.uk/  it is a government body, not a commercial one.


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

11 thoughts on “Lets Get Outside

  1. I wonder how much was spent transporting people to/from those ‘swish’ offices? Haven’t they heard of the telephone? Or webcams? Or am I just showing my working class chippy-ness and disdain for those who feel quite free to spend money that doesn’t belong to them?

    Our national parks (right across the UK) belong to the people of the UK, and let’s face it, the private sector doesn’t do anything that isn’t going to look good on the balance sheets. I share your unease.

    • I had to spend a day down in London recently working with a national charity, the cost of getting us all down there ( by train) for an early meeting was so prohibitive, that we shuffled the whole days event back by a couple of hours and saved several hundred pounds.

  2. I perhaps should have explained that the benefits are coming to all of the national parks across the UK, most of whom have small PR budgets. Merrell, at their cost, are promoting national parks. It seems quite compatible to me for national parks (whose statutory purposes including promoting access to the countryside) to work with a business that supplies a core commodity that anyone would need to enjoy a stroll in a national park – boots.

    Thanks for your Blog though


    • Thanks for taking the time to stop by Jim (I should perhaps explain dears readers, Jim is a busy man, he is the chief executive of the Peak National Park.)
      I think what puzzles me about such arrangements is how you select and police them, how is it equitable? Are such opportunities open to all who apply? I’m thinking of the likes of Thornbridge Brewery (as featured on your post about beers) or Bradwells ice cream Beer, and ice cream, I’m very fond of both…
      One of the roles of the Peak District National Park Authority is of course planning applications, which can be very contentious issues (especially commercial applications) how can you be seen to keep clear of any conflicts of interest when you start to mix government bodies with commerce?

  3. That’s you told. Hm, but I know how you feel.

  4. Interesting post, and comments. I see that I’m not the only one with a touch of the summertime blues!
    I have to admit that I’ve never heard of Merrell before! xx

  5. ‘Merrell, at their cost, are promoting national parks’

    National Parks exist. They are physically there. They don’t need ‘promoting’. Education about what National Parks have to offer is provided by schools, organisations like the Scouts and by BBC TV shows like Countryfile.

    This is typical nulabour public sector commercial-ethos management. Jim probably has ‘targets’ and ‘milestones’ to meet.

    They will sell the sea next. And then the air. Maybe someone could sponsor a mountain.

  6. Well, this is first I’ve heard of it. And I work in one of “Merrell’s 600 UK stores”.

    So, not really promoting very hard then…

  7. I’ve got a great pair of Merrell’s on my feet, but I know what you mean about what we call Corporate America here and soon to be privatization of former government services. Last time I was in London, there was a section (unnamed) that could have been any place in the world with only global chain stores everywhere. Hopefully it will be only a promotional advantage.

  8. Certainly the part-time Rangers weren’t kitted out with boots during my 37 year’s service. We provided ALL our own kit, but latterly the paid Patrol and Assistant Rangers were issued with waterproofs, latest type of red WestWinds Ventile, and very good kit it was too.
    As to boots, when in the USA I bought a pair of Bates Intermediate Cold/Wet Goretex with Vibram soles and Goretex boottee for winter work (USMC issue). Gr8 kit. The part-time rangers are now called “volunteers” and don’t get paid a penny for their dedication and commitment, so I retired, and now enjoy life and weekends with my family 🙂
    As part

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