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The heart of Rab has always been in Sheffield. It’s where the brand began over thirty years ago and as the official #OutdoorCity of the UK, it still inspires us to this day. Part of what makes Sheffield such an inspiring place to live and work is its proximity to the Peak District and generations of Rab employees have spent their evenings on the gritstone crags for which it is famous.

As Rab continues to move into the future with more modern gear and technologies, it’s important for us to remember where we found the original inspiration to do what we do. The gritstone edges aren’t the Patagonian towers that first fired the imagination of a young Rab Carrington, but they are where he made his home and where our company began. With this in mind, we have recently partnered with the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers to take part in a number of restoration projects within the Peak District National Park.

For us, this was a great way to keep our connection to our roots while, at the same time, giving back to such a great local resource. To encourage as many staff as possible to get involved, we gave everyone the opportunity to take part in the event as a work day, without having to book the days as holiday. We ran our first volunteer day in June this year and despite the rain, (and midges!), it was extremely well received.

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A drizzly morning found the Rab team huddled in the car park at Stanage Plantation, hoods pulled tight against the rain. After a short walk uphill, we arrived at our project for the day, a section of historic dry stone wall; an iconic feature of the Peak District and UK countryside in general. After a brief explanation of dry stone walling technique, and a warning about getting overenthusiastic with the tools from project leader Nick, the team got down to work; recovering fallen stones, setting levels and desperately trying to avoid the midges.

“I think most of us would describe our dry stone wall technique as extremely…erratic” – Paul Firth (Customer Returns)

We quickly discovered that while the principles of dry stone walling might be simple, actually putting together a sturdy section was anything but. Despite all being beginners, the team made good progress and with the weather improving throughout the day, spirits were high as everyone took turns putting the capping stones on our finished section of wall.

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Dry stone walling isn’t just an aesthetic feature of the British countryside. It’s also an active part of the landscape, providing a habitat for lots of the native wildlife like mice and voles. It is also a part of British heritage, much like the gritstone walls of the Peak District are part of our heritage here at Rab. As a company founded in Britain and with a deep duty of care to our parks and landscapes, this was a fantastic opportunity to give back and one that we will be continuing to take part in over the coming months and years.

“It was great to get out of the office and work to improve somewhere that I spend so much of my free time.” – Adam Butterworth (Marketing)

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