Dr Adam Watson, who has devoted his life to the study and protection of the magnificent Cairngorm mountain range in Scotland, has been named by the Outdoor Writers & Photographers Guild as the recipient of the 2012 Golden Eagle Award.
The award is made annually to a person deemed to have “rendered distinguished or meritorious service to the outdoors generally”.
It was announced on Saturday (October 13), at the OWPG’s annual awards dinner held at the Dodo Restaurant at the Durrell Wildlife Trust on Jersey in the Channel Islands. At the same time, the Guild’s Derryck Draper Award for technical innovation went to BioLite for its CampStove (news story here), and the Guild presented its annual awards for excellence to members’ work in writing and photography (more here).
Adam Watson was born in 1930 and has devoted his life to the study and protection of the Cairngorms. A biologist, ecologist and mountaineer, his contribution to the understanding of the flora and fauna of his native Scotland is probably unparalleled.
However, he is perhaps most widely recognised as the pre-eminent authority on the Cairngorm range. His vast academic and written output includes 23 books (including the definitive mountaineering guide published by the Scottish Mountaineering Trust, The Cairngorms), almost 300 scientific papers and nearly 200 technical reports.
Adam was an advisor to the John Muir Trust and has served on both the Countryside Commission for Scotland and the Cairngorms Partnership, and has campaigned tirelessly for the conservation of the Cairngorm range.
He was editor of the Scottish Naturalist from 1956 to 1964 and has served on various editorial boards. His many awards and honours include the John Muir Trust’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Medal of the RSPB, and he is an honorary member of WWF UK in recognition of a lifetime’s work in protecting the Cairngorms.
The award takes the form of a painting by OWPG member and landscape artist David Bellamy.
Dr Watson will receive his award at a special presentation in Scotland later this year.
Previous winners of the Golden Eagle Award include writer and broadcaster Bill Bryson, naturalist Sir David Attenborough, mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington CBE and prominent access campaigner Marion Shoard.