Press Release – Outdoor Excellence Rewarded

Posted on: November 4th, 2011 by OWPGWordsmith

Press release For immediate use


The cream of Britain’s outdoor journalism was recognised at the awards dinner of the Outdoor Writers’ and Photographers’ Guild, held at the National Mountain Centre at Plas y Brenin in the heart of Snowdonia over the weekend of October 28-30.

More than a dozen outdoor writers and photographers received awards for the excellence of their work over the past year, in a record-breaking entry of over 60.

Winner of the 2011 Derryck Draper Award for innovation in the outdoor trade was the American fabric manufacturer Polartec for its revolutionary NeoShell breathable fabric, soon to be seen in the shops in a variety of outdoor clothing.

Judge Chris Townsend commented: “It’s the most breathable membrane I’ve ever tried,” and Ben Whalley, Polartec’s UK Sales Manager, accepting the award from Guild president Roly Smith, said it was really special to have their work recognised by a panel of independent reviewers.

The winner of the Guidebook category, sponsored by Aquapac International, was Kev Reynolds, contributing editor of Trekking in The Alps: 20 Classic Routes, published by Cicerone Press. Judge Christina Hardyman commented: “This is a book that will make you plan the next 20 years of Alpine holidays straight away.”

Highly commended in this section were Chris Craggs for France: Côte d’Azur, published by Rockfax; Keith Fergus for Ayrshire and Arran Coastal Paths, published by Cicerone, and Carl Rogers for Classic Fell Walks in the Lake District, published by Mara Books.

The Outdoor Book Award sponsored by Country Publications went to Adrian Hendroff for From High Places – A Journey through Ireland’s Great Mountains, published by the History Press, which the judges described as “an eye-opener of a book.” Highly commended were

Alf Alderson for Ultimate Surfing Adventures, published by Wiley Nautical and

Karen Frenkel for Peak Landscape and Light: A Photographer’s Guide, published by Frances Lincoln.

In the features categories, Jon Sparks won the Outdoor Feature award, which was sponsored by Crimson Publishing, for his article On the Beaten Track, which appeared in Cycle magazine. The Travel Feature award went to Judy Armstrong for Rivers Deep, Mountain High, which appeared in France magazine.

There was a double success for TGO magazine in the Words and Pictures category, which was sponsored by Cicerone Press. The winner was Ian Battersby for Winter comes to Yorkshire, and highly commended was Adrian Hendroff for Mountains of a Lonely Land, which also appeared in TGO.

The Photography Award sponsored by Páramo Directional Clothing Systems was won by David Taylor for Northumberland in Mono, and highly commended were Jon Sparks for his Nikon DSLR guides, published by Ammonite Press, and Dave Willis for Isle of Wight Cowes Week, published by Halsgrove.

The top award of the OWPG’s Golden Eagle for outstanding service to the outdoors went to travel writer and CPRE president Bill Bryson, who was unfortunately unable to attend the dinner. He will be presented with his award, which takes the form of an original watercolour painting by David Bellamy, in the New Year.


For more information, contact: John Gillham (01254 773097); Dennis Kelsall (01257 793062), or Roly Smith (01629 812034).

Notes for Editors

  1. Founded in 1980, the OWPG is the only UK-based association of media professionals working largely or entirely in the outdoors. All members are actively and professionally involved in sustainable activities, providing words and pictures on the outdoors for a variety of media. Visit our website at:
  2. The links to download the following photos are shown beneath the following captions.

Roly Smith, President of the OWPG, presents the OWPG Outdoor Feature Award for Excellence to Jon Sparks for On the Beaten Track, which appeared in Cycle

Roly Smith, President of the OWPG, presents the Derryck Draper award to Ben Whalley, the UK Sales Manager of Polartec

Roly Smith, President of the OWPG, presents Martin Chester, the Senior instructor and mountain guide at Plas y Brenin with his book A Camera in the Hills in gratitude for hosting an extremely successful AGM weekend

Jonathan Williams of Cicerone presents the OWPG Words and Pictures Feature Award for Excellence to Ian Battersby for Winter comes to Yorkshire.

John Kelly of Aquapac presents a ‘highly commended’ ward in the Guidebook category to Carl Rogers for Classic Fell Walks in the Lake District, published by Mara Books.

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