BILL BRYSON awarded Golden Eagle

Posted on: January 30th, 2012 by OWPGWordsmith

Best-selling author and environmental campaigner Bill Bryson was presented with the Outdoor Writers’ and Photographers’ Guild’s Golden Eagle Award at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge.

The prestigious annual award, voted on by OWPG members, is presented to someone who has rendered distinguished or meritorious service to the outdoors. Bryson’s award was made for his campaigning work to protect the British countryside.

Receiving the award, an original oil painting by Guild member David Bellamy, from Guild president Roly Smith, Bryson commented: “I really couldn’t be more thrilled or honoured to receive this award – it is really beautiful.”

Smith described Bryson as “the world’s No 1 Anglophile”, and paid tribute to his passion for walking and the British countryside, which was recognised by his election in 2007 as president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). “Among the many campaigns in which Bill has been involved is his ‘Stop the Drop’ anti-litter and fly-tipping campaign, which is supported by the Keep Britain Tidy and the Local Government Association,” said Smith.

“Bill’s love for the British countryside is second to none, and viagra online uk was perhaps best expressed during the successful CPRE campaign for the designation of the South Downs as Britain’s 15th and latest national park in 2010, when he said he said he often wondered why we don’t make the whole of England a national park.”

Hailing from Des Moines, Iowa, Bryson moved to Britain in 1973, and worked for various national newspapers and has lived here ever since – apart from an eight-year spell back in New Hampshire while his four children were at school. He lived for many years in Kirkby Malham in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, and now lives with his English wife Cynthia, in a Victorian rectory in rural Norfolk.

Bryson is best known as the best-selling author of books such as The Lost Continent, Notes from a Small Island, A Walk in the Woods, Notes from a Big Country, A Short History of Nearly Everything and his latest blockbuster At Home, in which describes the history of each room in his home. His 1995 travelogue Notes From a Small Island was voted as the book which best represented England in a 2003 poll for World Book Day.

After the presentation, members were taken on a tour of the recently-refurbished Polar Museum at the SPRI by Heather Lane, keeper of collections.


Notes for editors

  1. The attached photograph shows (L to R) Guild president Roly Smith; Bill Bryson, and artist David Bellamy with the Golden Eagle painting.
  2. For further information about this year’s Golden Eagle Award, contact Roly Smith on 01629 812034 or by email at
  3. The OWPG Golden Eagle Award has been presented annually since 1995. Previous

winners of the award have included naturalist Sir David Attenborough in 2004, mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington CBE in 2008, and prominent access campaigner Marion Shoard in 2009.

  1. The Outdoor Writers’ and Photographers’ Guild represents professional journalists, writers, photographers and others who specialise in covering sustainable outdoor activities and the environment in the British media. More information about the Guild can be found on its website:
  2. The Scott Polar Research Institute, part of the University of Cambridge, is a long-established centre for research into both polar regions. The Polar Museum, where the presentation took place, recently underwent a £1.75 million refurbishment, and holds a unique collection of artefacts, journals, paintings, photographs, clothing equipment, maps and other materials illustrating polar exploration, history and science. It has been shortlisted for the European Museum of the Year, 2012.

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