November 9, 2010
Guidebook publishers Jonathan and Lesley Williams, of Cicerone Press, have won the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild’s prestigious Golden Eagle award.
The Golden Eagle, sponsored by Hawkshead Brewery, is the Guild’s top award and is presented for distinguished contribution to the outdoors world. Previous recipients have included Sir Chris Bonington CBE, Sir David Attenborough, Doug Scott CBE and the late Chris Brasher CBE.
Presenting the award at the Guild’s annual dinner in Lancaster on Saturday, November 6, Guild President Roly Smith said: “When Jonathan and Lesley Williams took over Cicerone Press from Walt Unsworth and Brian Evans in 1999, there were more than a few raised eyebrows.
“The story swiftly went round the small community which is the outdoor world that Jonathan was a City accountant – so what would he know or care about the outdoors?
“It didn’t take long for Jonathan and Lesley to prove both the sceptics wrong and their credentials as active and knowledgeable outdoor lovers. The string of new and re-designed guides they produced – and they keep coming at the rate of about 30 a year – quickly confirmed Cicerone’s position as the leading footpath guide publisher in Britain.
“An unqualified love of the outdoors has seen Cicerone commit a four-figure sum each year to the Fix the Fells footpath restoration project in the Lake District, and sponsor mountain safety leaflets.
“It was this generous spirit of wanting to ‘give something back’ which, I am sure, was behind Jonathan and Lesley’s nomination for this year’s Golden Eagle.”
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Jonathan Williams said that he and Lesley were interpreting the award as being for “Cicerone as a whole”.
Terra Nova’s Laser Photon, said to be the world’s lightest double-wall tent, won the Guild’s Derryck Draper award for innovation in the outdoors.
Accepting the award, Terra Nova’s managing director Andy Utting said: “As a business we always feel humbled to receive awards, and are especially grateful to be recognised by such a prestigious and knowledgeable organisation as the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.
“Our philosophy at Terra Nova Equipment is to design ‘best-in-class’ products and this award demonstrates that the thought, research and hard work that goes into each of our products is working and we are achieving what we set out to do.”
The winners of the Guild’s awards for excellence, given to members in recognition of their work during the previous 12 months, were:
Guidebook, sponsored by Aquapac International – The Lake District by Vivienne Crow, published by Cadogan
Outdoor book, sponsored by Dalesman Publishing – Granite and Grit by Ronald Turnbull, published by Frances Lincoln
Outdoor feature, sponsored by Crimson Publishing – Vivienne Crow for Special Report – Skiddaw House, published in Lakeland Walker
Travel feature – Judy Armstrong for The Journey Home, published in France
Words and pictures, sponsored by Cicerone Press – Ed Ewing for Brazil’s Best Carnival, published in the Guardian Online
Photography, sponsored by Páramo Directional Clothing Systems – Andy Latham for Reserved Landscapes