THE outdoor industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, now one industry leader is turning the lockdowns into something positive.

Adventure centres rely on school visits and holidays for their income, all of which has disappeared over the last year due to the pandemic.

Industry leaders are worried for its future, but some people are finding ways of adapting their business.

Rob Atkinson has worked in residential camps since 2008, and last year he decided to start up his own adventure business.

He was setting up educational work with schools and then lockdown came, forcing him to adapt his business to survive.

Mr Atkinson said: “We are the only outdoor company finally getting work and actually growing during the last year.

“We have been looking at ways of going forward.

“I was in a school at the time and thought maybe we could do something to help the children during the lockdowns.

“On the first day of lockdown we started doing activities in our garden and recording them and putting them online.

"We did this for the next 70 days.

“We didn’t make a lot of money from it but we felt that we had a really positive impact on a lot of children in a really difficult time."

By April they had over one million people watching their videos, from all over the world, Canada, Australia, China, and America.

By Christmas they were fully booked up with activities for schools.

They decided to do more remote learning with more videos and worksheets sent to the schools.

However, they decided to open it to everyone. Since then the company has been inundated with messages from around the globe.

Mr Atkinson added: “My emails have been going crazy, recently I had someone from Alaska emailing me about how they enjoyed the artic survival guide we did.”

The videos were shot on the moors in and around Teesdale and filmed on an Iphone.

Unfortunately with the lockdown set to continue the company will not be opening their glamping camp in the summer but will continue to do their online work.

Mr Atkinson added: “There’s not a lot of optimism in the industry right now.

“The next six months will be really difficult.

“We expecting a ‘staycation’ boom so we are thinking about creating activities for families that are visiting Teesdale."