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Welcome to Country Innovation

“We provide the personal touch”

There are so many reasons to shop with Country Innovation. We have created some of the best outdoor clothing in the market, designed with outdoor pursuits in mind: bird watching, bush craft, photography and safari. Our unique Ventile jackets and trousers are outstanding in their field. Why not visit our store for professional advice, fitting and a warm, friendly service.

Discover the Country Innovation Store

Nestled in the historic and  bustling village of Congresbury in Somerset, Country Innovation provide a well-researched specialist garment to the wildlife and enthusiast market.  With some fantastic locations nearby to the store, many customers combine a visit to the store with a visit to Chew Valley Lake, The Somerset Levels and Avalon Marshes, The Mendips, The Quantocks, Cheddar Gorge etc. We are also situated 10 mins from the M5, so it’s an easy detour if you are en route south to Devon/Cornwall or north to the Midlands.


Learn about our products

Our products are made from a 100% cotton fabric developedduring the war to keep pilots alive if they had to ditch into the sea. The Roverjacket was developed by Maria Chilvers and remains so successful that over 20years later, the garment is still the best-selling product from Country Innovation.

Available online, in-store and even via mail order, Country Innovation offer a diverse range of clothing designed for the bird watching/wildlife enthusiast with a virtually 100% rustle free design. With customers worldwide and several celebrities and industry leaders sporting the weatherproof,windproof and breathable ventile garments, including Bill Oddie and Simon King, you can rest assured that the quality and longevity of the Country Innovation range of clothing is backed by professionals the world over.

Meet the Team

Maria Chilvers

My name is Maria Chilvers, and I am founder and owner of Country Innovation (for my sins!). I have spent my whole working career in the outdoor industry, and was lucky enough to have worked my way up from a lowly trainee buyer to Buying Director for a larger outdoor retailer, responsible for £85 million turnover, sourcing all forms of outdoor products: rucksacks, sleeping bags, tents, outdoor jackets, walking boots etc.

This experience and knowledge stood me in good stead for when I decided to wave goodbye to the monthly pay cheque and ‘go it alone’. I set up Country Innovation in 1996, having noticed that there was a gap in the market for good outdoor clothing for the bird/wildlife market. In those days there was plenty of bright blue and red rustly jackets around for the hillwalking brigade, but nobody was producing good quality, low rustle clothing with big pockets for the birdwatchers.

I started Country Innovation from a converted garage in Somerset with just one jacket, the Rover jacket, made from Ventile as this was definitely the right fabric to use for my target consumer. This jacket has changed very little in the last 20 odd years, and I am proud to receive all the extremely positive comments from our customers. The range has now grown from that one jacket to a whole spectrum of clothing, footwear and accessories, all targeted at birdwatchers, wildlife photographers and country enthusiasts.

We are still based in Somerset, and, as well as having our online shop, we have a retail outlet, which is open from 9am to 5pm Mon-Fri. We are always extremely pleased to see our customers, many of whom have made a special trip to visit us from the corners of the country/the world.

Outside of work (if there is such a thing!), I enjoy getting out on the hills. There really isn’t anything better than breathing in the fresh air and taking in all that the great British countryside has to offer! My son Ryan is also the same age as the company, so there have been plenty of challenges over the past 22 years….to say the least!

Ryan Chilvers

I am Ryan Chilvers and I am the prodigal son! I left school at 16 to enter the family business and have not looked back! Over the past 6 years, I have gained a whole wealth of experience and now manage the website/digital side of Country Innovation, as well as sales and marketing. Every day is a new challenge, and I am very lucky to have met some lovely customers.

In my spare time, I enjoy getting out on the golf course as much as possible. I am also a Manchester United football fan (but please don’t hold that against me!).

Helen Carter

I joined the Country Innovation team five years ago. My background has always been in retail and I have worked in various different roles over the years, including managing Clarks shop in Weston Super Mare. My main responsibility is overseeing the Country Innovation shop, as well as customer service, accounts and the day to day running of the business.

I also organize our outside shows such as the Birdfair, and this is probably one of my favourite parts of the job. I love getting out and meeting people, and it is always a pleasure to be able to put a face to the name when I meet customers, many whom I have spoken to over the phone throughout the year.

Outside of work I have three teenagers, who keep me on my toes, and I love spending weekends with them and my husband, Nick, walking our Westie, Elsie.

Carol Frost

I suppose you would regard me as the mature member of staff! Keeping it in the family continues, as Helen is my niece. I have been with the company for 5 years and my main duty is to look after the on-line orders, packing and despatching. I often serve in the shop and really enjoy working here and meeting so many lovely people.

I moved to the village of Congresbury 10 years ago from Manchester with my husband, although I am originally a local girl born in Weston-Super-Mare.

In my free time I play skittles for a local team and I enjoy spending time with my family and helping out with the Grandchildren (who keep me young!).

What to Expect

Our shop in Congresbury offers a full range of carefullydesigned and developed products for you to choose from. Not only that but weoffer a fantastic selection of products including footwear, fleeces,waistcoats, gloves and from big brands – Berghaus, Grisport, Tilley and manymore.

We offer a fitting service for our products as well as beingtrained to fit all the shoes and boots that we offer, with a warm, friendly and professional service.

Country Innovation © 2018