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Drowning Prevention Week, a new green space in Manchester and discrimination against afro swim caps

1st July 2021

Welcome to the first Insights to the Outdoors newsletter. These emails will be sent out every two weeks and will include updates about the podcast, as well as links to interesting outdoor news from across the UK, brought to the table by our panel. We've got a lot to share this time!

Black Trail Runners completed the Charlie Ramsey Round

Sabrina Pace-Humphreys, Nethliee La Croix, Leroy Valentine, Deo Kato, Simbarashe Mugomba, and Mzukisi Tanadathu ran for 3 days, 15 Munro summits, 58 miles and broke a huge amount of boundaries along the way. Keri Wallace from Girls On Hills donated her time to support Black Trail Runners on this multi-day challenge. This was shared and celebrated by so many people, and it made me so happy 🙌🙌🙌


Soul Cap swimming caps for natural hair will not be allowed at the Olympics

A story from both Oge and Eden: Soul Caps, which are specifically designed to fit over a wider range of hair types, or as the brand says 'for the volume blessed' have not be approved for use in the Olympics. This might not seem strictly 'outdoors' news, but it is a great example of things that permeate outdoors culture - Eden pointed out that this ruling will cover outdoor marathon and triathlon races as well. There is a very complicated history surrounding Black people and swimming that is worth looking into yourselves. This decision comes just days after Alice Dearing made it onto the team representing GB in the Olympics.


Drowning Prevention Week

Following on the swimming news, Soraya brought this one to the table. The 19th-26th June was Drowning Prevention Week. Drowning is the cause of more than 400 deaths in the UK every year, and with the increase in recreation in and around water in the summer, water safety is so important. Yet, 80% of Black children and 95% of Black adults don't swim. Meanwhile, 85% of young people from affluent families are comfortable swimming 25m. As swimmer Omie Dale said on Instagram, the statistics speak for themselves.


National Trust plans New York Highline-style project in Manchester.

I thought this article in Positive News was interesting. The National Trust plans to turn a Victorian viaduct in Manchester into public, free-to-access green space. With the huge inequalities in access to green spaces, having a space like this should be a really good move. Interestingly, photos of the viaduct as it currently unmanaged state show that 'rewilding' is already happening, so I'll be interested to see how much the project tames the weeds... - Fran


Pride is over :( but Pride is NEVER over!

Over the month of June, companies and individuals have been showing their support for LGBQT+ for Pride month. Some companies have done fantastically with Pride beyond waving the flag (Eden says hats off to North Face in particular). But Pride and support for LGBQT+ should not be confined to a month. Frit is still rollerblading and cycling down England from Newcastle to Brighton. Eden is running Instagram takeovers every weekend in July. People are living their authentic LGBQT+ selves 🏳️‍🌈

And in other news:

  • This week was The Outdoor Trade Show. The OTS is the UK’s only national show for the outdoor industry, with a particular focus of retail. This was one of the first big indoor events post-COVID. We were not there. Dirtbags Climbing were, and you can read their take on Insta >>

  • Last week, the Backbone Changing Landscapes symposium brought together 98 community and sector representatives to talk about and action change for diversifying the outdoors.

  • Debbie North, who is well known for campaigning for wheelchair accessible trails, is raising money in memory of her husband Andy, who died earlier this week. The money raised will go towards a all terrain wheelchair for children to use in the Yorkshire Dales. Read more >>

  • Soraya says "all the adventurers are launching books"! I have to agree there has definitely been some creative outpouring whilst people haven't been able to actually do adventures.

  • Christina Efthimiou is a disabled swimmer going to court over the fees at Hampstead ponds. The ponds used to be open to all but the prices have climbed, pricing some swimmers out of access. Read more on The Guardian >>

I have missed so much I'm sure, and I can't wait to start recording episodes so we can delve deeper into these types of stories. Do you have some outdoors news? Reply to this email to let us know about it!

Support Crew

Our support crew are the companies and individuals who support us financially via Patreon. BECOME SUPPORT CREW


These are grassroots projects nominated by individuals who support us via Patreon.

Thank you for reading! I hope you forgive any typos or broken links - it's late at night 😅

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