An intrepid St Albans dog walker has challenged a national supermarket chain's 'gender discriminatory' approach to outdoor clothing.

Mary McIntyre walks regularly through fields and parks to make sure her dogs have fun as well as exercise, and her choice of outfit needs to be able to cope with inclement weather conditions, especially given the British climate.

When the animal lover heard about the Stormwear waterproof denim trousers that her male friend had bought from Marks & Spencer she was keen to pick some up from her local St Peter's Street store, but was left high and dry by the available options for women.

The trousers she was after were only offered for men, something Mary considers to be discriminating against women walkers seeking an all-weather option.

Mary, who lives in Jersey Farm, said: “Oh M&S how could you! I was so excited to see your water resistant trousers - but just for men?! Women everywhere look to you as a shining beacon of all things wonderful - you have let us down!"

She added: "If you prick me do I not bleed? If my dogs shake themselves after a dip in the river do my legs not get wet?
"Come on St Michael, be the patron saint of wet-legged women everywhere!”

A spokesperson for Marks & Spencer said: "A great alternative in our womenswear range is our Goodmove Tapered Walking Trousers which are made with a breathable fabric that is wind and water-resistant to help protect against the elements. We also offer a wide range of women’s coats and jackets featuring our Stormwear technology."

Mary added: "Great - hopefully this will soon be available in all branches!"