2014 Conservation Round Up

Release date: 20 December 2014

Building on the massive growth of membership in 2013, 2014 has been another incredible year for the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA). Big strides have been made in what the European outdoor Industry has achieved in the name of conservation.
Image John Fleetwood
Image John Fleetwood

By the OutDoor show in July, OutDoor (Messe Friedrichshafen), Pertex, KEEN Footwear, Nikwax, ISPO (Messe München), Patagonia and the European Outdoor Group, which is also the Founder Member of the Association had pledged to become the first 7 Sustaining Members of EOCA, underlining their unwavering dedication to the protection of the environments the industry and its customers depend on. Their support of the background working of the Association will ensure that EOCA can build on its growth in a sustainable way, ensure that 100% of membership fees continue to go directly onto conservation projects and enable a second annual funding round to take place.

For the first time in the history of the Association, EOCA had enough money to stage a second funding round in September. This attracted a record number of applications, drew tens of thousands of votes from around the world for conservation projects, and brought the total number of consumers reached during both voting rounds this year to over 18 million, enabling a total of €280,885 to be spent on conservation projects.


Other notable achievements for the Association during 2014 include:
• 200,000 unique visits to the EOCA website in 2014
• 90,000 votes for projects on the website during the Spring and Autumn funding rounds
• Over 120 articles in trade and consumer press about EOCA over the year
• ‘EOCA Friends’ database quadrupled during March public vote
• 21 new members in 2014, including George Fisher, the first UK retailer
• 1 in 3 European Outdoor Summit attendees donated to EOCA, on top of their delegate fee
• First 3 EOCA films: one to attract new members, one to raise awareness amongst consumers and one about Sustaining Membership

And totals to date since the start of EOCA’s work:
• €1,540,664 spent on conservation since 2006
• 64 projects in 36 countries supported
• 468,946 trees planted
• over 220km of trails restored and maintained
• nearly 30,000 hectares of wilderness permanently protected
• over 100 tonnes of litter removed from mountains and waterways

Tanya Bascombe and Catherine Savidge, Joint General Managers of the Association are thrilled, “Things have continued to work really well for EOCA this year. It has been an absolute pleasure to be able to award more money to conservation this year. The awareness within the industry, and amongst consumers is most obviously increasing, and conservation organisations are spreading the word as well. The Association has continued to grow in size and we are thrilled that we already have an exciting new member announcement ready for the beginning of 2015!!”

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"Support from The North Face Explore Fund via EOCA has completely transformed our Project. We have hired two new staff members, expanded our volunteer programme, supported the regeneration of tens of thousands of native trees, hosted new primary schools and restored an upland peat bog. Over the past 12 months we have made impressive progress towards our long-term goal of restoring 630 hectares of wild native woodland in the Lake District National Park. Support from EOCA has raised our ambition. We now have our sights set on even larger scale restoration of native woodlands and other wildlife habitats. "

Dominick Spracklen and John Hodgson, Restoring Hardknott Forest, University of Leeds