EOCA’s Plastic Free: Mountain To Sea target Smashed!

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The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is delighted to announce that, following its latest funding round, it has surpassed its two year target to clear 3000km of habitat, trail and beach of plastic waste and pollution, clearing a total of 4,183km.

300 million tonnes of plastic are produced annually globally, 8 million tonnes of which enter the oceans each year.  80% of marine plastics originates from land sources and is found on mountains, in glaciers, around crags, along and in rivers and lakes, in forests and on coastlines. In all these locations, it impacts disastrously on wildlife and blighting every type of habitat and landscape enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts.   100,000 marine mammals and 1 million seabirds are killed every year through entanglement or by ingesting plastic litter. (more…)

EOCA’s Online Conservation Fundraiser for Green Friday is now live: Get your favourite outdoor gear AND make a difference!

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The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), together with 17 of its members are holding an online Green Friday Fundraiser and it is now live!

In advance of Christmas, the online fundraiser enables customers to purchase gifts for themselves and their loved ones, while at the same time, making a difference by raising funds for conservation work around the world.  The money raised will all go towards vital conservation projects supported by EOCA, including the six most recently selected, tackling plastic pollution in the environment and at source, in Spain, Italy, Brazil, Columbia, and the UK.

Eight members have chosen to raise money for the association through actions on their own websites: (more…)

Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust secures EOCA
funding for Plastic Free Woodlands project

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EOCA finally announced  the winner of the project funding we hosted on Mountainblog.

The IT manager has been checking and ouble-checking the votes and here is the news you have all been patiently waiting for! In the LAND category, there were a total of 7.111 votes and the number of votes for each project were:

  • Plastic Free Woodlands: 2665
  • Stop the ALPS becoming Plastic Mountains: 2150
  • Restoration of Climbing Areas: 1498
  • Clean Cyprus: 798.

Huge congratulations to Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and its Plastic Free Woodlands project.

The project will remove redundant tree guards, for reuse or recycling and plant 7,000 trees in 5 woodlands to trial alternatives to the plastic tree guard. Find out more about the project here.

A big thank you to everyone who voted, and a special thank you to all the other projects involved and their hard work throughout the vote. We wish them all the best of luck with their projects.



EOCA – 2020 Projects: Cast your vote for the environment!

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For the 6th year as a media partner of the European Outdoor Conservation Association EOCA, MountainBlog is very happy to host again the autumn EOCA vote for conservation! This will give our readers the chance to help choose which valuable conservation projects EOCA funds this year.

EOCA is a conservation charity which has 159 member companies that pay an annual membership fee which is spent on conservation work around the world.

During July, EOCA was open for applications for funding from organisations looking to implement valuable conservation projects around the world. They received several applications and e have spent their summer reading through all of these applications, assessing them against the EOCA strict guidelines and have produced a shortlist of the projects which best meet the criteria.

Now these projects need your help! From 00.01 (GMT / CET+1) on 8th October to 12.00 noon (GMT/CET+1) on 22nd October, MountainBlog Europe gives the possibility to read the details of the shortlisted 4 projects. Please, take a minute to read though them, choose your favourite and click to vote for it – it is that simple!

The project with the most votes will get funding to carry out their work so your vote really can make a difference.


Young people from six nations will benefit from new #itsgreatoutthere grants

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The It’s Great Out There Coalition has confirmed the 10 projects that will be supported in the latest round of #itsgreatoutthere grants. Local initiatives in six different countries that mainly involve young people, will each receive €1.000, to help them get new participants active in the outdoors, experiencing activities that include climbing, camping, trekking, adventure racing, orienteering, canyoning, skiing and snowboarding. As well as backing the projects financially, the It’s Great Out There Coalition will also help connect the grant recipients with outdoor organisations that can offer additional support through the provision of specialist kit and expertise.

Launched in 2017 by the It’s Great Out There Coalition, the #itsgreatoutthere grants programme supports community based projects, which take new participants into the outdoors, with a particular focus on younger and more diverse audiences. Any non-profit organisation can apply for an #itsgreatoutthere grant and since they were introduced, they have supported 19 projects, directly benefiting nearly 5,500 people. Following the impact of COVID-19 on the non-profit sector, the coalition, supported by the European Outdoor Group, adapted the scheme in order to support a greater number of smaller projects that would otherwise struggle to get underway.


Applications for the micro-grants were invited over the summer and the coalition received some strong submissions. After reviewing the proposals, 10 projects were awarded grants, in Germany, Spain, Sweden, France, Serbia and the UK. The initiatives will allow young people from many different backgrounds and some very challenging circumstances to experience outdoor activities for the first time. Full details of the successful projects can be found at this link (see below for a summary of each).


Margo de Lange, policy officer at the It’s Great Out There Coalition, comments:

“In July, we teamed up with the European Outdoor Group to launch an urgent call for projects to help get Europe active in the outdoors again after lockdown. This was on the back of our research* that clearly showed that citizens had gained a greater appreciation of the outdoors and an increased desire to explore the natural world once restrictions lifted. By adapting our grants programme, we were able to offer support to more projects that would otherwise struggle to go ahead in the current circumstances. The response has been brilliant. We received some amazing proposals from all over Europe and the micro-grants that we have awarded are going to have a profoundly positive impact for those mainly young people who will benefit, many of whom will be experiencing the hills and mountains for the first time.”


Following the award of the #itsgreatoutthere grants, the It’s Great Out There Coalition is now helping the successful projects to make connections with organisations and individuals in the outdoor industry who may be able to offer additional assistance, through funding or support in kind, such as the provision of kit or expertise. Many coalition members have provided help for grant recipients since the programme was launched in 2017, and have continued to work with the coalition to find suitable projects that meet the overarching objective of the #itsgreatoutthere campaign, to get Europe more active outdoors.

For more information about the #itsgreatoutthere grants programme, visit www.itsgreatoutthere.com/grants.

Click here to read about the 2020 #ITSGREATOUTTHERE Micro-Grants

EOCA Online Conservation Fundraiser Launches Next Week

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With the unfortunate cancellation of OutDoor by ISPO, Europe’s largest outdoor trade fair, at the end of this month, the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) will, for the first time, run their Conservation Fundraiser online.  An event which would ordinarily be hosted at the show, EOCA have taken the opportunity to launch their first ever online fundraiser on Saturday 27th June(more…)

EOCA Open for Summer Funding Applications!

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The new month has brought fresh hope for conservation with the opening of the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)’s latest funding round. Applications will be accepted until the 30th June and the association is looking specifically for projects involving plastic waste clean up.

In line with its two year Plastic Free: Mountain to Sea campaign, with a target set to clear 3000km of trail, coast, river and mountain from plastic waste, this summer’s funding round is appealing for organisations involved in cleaning habitats from the blight of rubbish to apply for up to €30,000 to help raise awareness of the issue, reduce single use plastic waste at source, and clean up the habitats where it is already causing damage, pollution and threatening wildlife. (more…)

COVID-19 – What does it mean for EOCA?

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COVID-19 is having a large effect on every aspect of our lives at the moment, and we are currently working out what that means for EOCA and what we can realistically hope to achieve this year.
See below for the impact which it is going to have on the first of our public votes.  We are also reviewing how many projects we will be able to fund this year, firstly because we are expecting a drop in our own funding, and secondly because the vast majority of our projects work within communities, with support of public events and volunteers to carry out essential work – which will necessarily be postponed for the immediate future.  As so much is impacted by this crisis, and so much is unknown, we will need to regularly  reassess the situation and alter what we do accordingly.

It is thought to be highly likely that this, and many other new viruses introduced to humans, are caused by the ever increasing proximity with which we are getting to wild animals, particularly due to the never-ending destruction of natural habitats. Far from EOCA being a ‘nice to do’, this crisis highlights that the work we fund and the organisations that carry it out are becoming more and more vital … for wildlife, for habitats and for the human race.

See HERE for a thought-provoking article.


EOCA at ISPO Munich 2020

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EOCA had a really successful ISPO edition and this is a good news also for the environment. Watch the video interview with Tanya Bascombe (EOCA General Manager) and support EOCA.


La Sportiva’s Black Friday Sales
Fund Conservation

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For the third year in a row, Italian technical footwear, clothing and accessories brand La Sportiva has used its sales during the ‘Black Friday’ weekend to support nature conservation. Generously donating 20% of the weekend’s income to the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), La Sportiva has been able to boost the funds available to the Association’s conservation projects.

EOCA was delighted when its member La Sportiva took the initiative to raise extra funds for the Association to spend on conservation during 2017 and then again in 2018 and 2019. In total, a donation of €4400 for the Association was raised through the fundraising activity in 2019, 100% of which the Association will put into the conservation projects it supports during 2020. The cheque was handed to EOCA at ISPO 2020 in Munich. The projects it will support will conserve threatened landscapes, habitats and species, and will also have a clear link to the outdoor enthusiast. (more…)