OWPG Awards for Excellence

Each year the guild makes literary and photographic awards to its members in recognition of their work during the previous twelve months

  • OWPG Golden Eagle Award

    awarded for outstanding services to the outdoors

    Richard Fox (Operational Manager, Fix the Fells)

    Nominated by: OWPG Committee.
    Awarded by: a vote of the OWPG membership.
     
    Richard Fox is responsible for the day-to-day repair and maintenance of the Lake District upland paths through Fix the Fells. Over the last 15 years he has directed the repair of over 250 paths. This includes sourcing stone from as close to the work sites as possible, arranging helicopter lifts, working on the specifications and landscaping requirements, and being responsible for quality assurance. In this context Richard manages one of the most successful volunteer programmes in the Lake District.
     
    The 'Lengthsmen' scheme undertakes the vast majority of the maintenance work – nearly 2000 volunteer hours each year – freeing the National Trust and National Park rangers to focus on larger project work. His expertise has been utilised by the government's Environment Committee to pull together its code of practice for the repair of mountain paths, and he has shared his knowledge with path workers in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and beyond.
     
    Without Richard, the massively popular paths of the Lake District would be in a much worse state of repair and the fells would be scarred with human erosion. His work also helps improve the water quality of the streams, becks, tarns and lakes by reducing the soil washing into water network.
  • Richard Fox receives the 2017 Golden Eagle Award and painting from Peter Gillman (OWPG Chairman)

  • Derryck Draper Award

    Outdoor Design Logistics

    For their unique condensation-beating X-tex breathable material for single skin tents.
     
    Award judge Chris Townsend said: “Having now used the s20 Sigma on three nights, two of them windy with heavy rain, one calm with light rain, I'm really impressed. The fabric stayed dry.”
     
    The judges also praised the incorporation of the material into the well-designed S20 tent.  X-tex uses activated carbon within the tent fabric, which allows condensation in the liquid phase (water droplets) to be carried out through the fabric. Existing breathable fabrics can only transport water vapour, not liquid droplets.
     
    Carol McDermott, originator and director of the company, accepted the award.
  • Carol McDermott receives the 2017 OWPG Derryck Draper Award from one of the judges, Chris Townsend.

  • Outdoor Book

    David Bellamy for Arctic Light

    published by Search Press
    The judges commented: “In a market-place seemingly full of 'personal accounts' of some journey or another, this book is singularly different, bringing a fascinating insight into the creative artistic process, and providing a readable, informative account of exploring one of the world's wildest places.”

    Highly Commended

    Andrew McCloy for the Pennine Way, published by Cicerone Press
     
    Category currently sponsored by the OWPG.
     
    Judges: Mark Whitley, the senior editor at Dalesman Publications and Chris Bagshaw, editor, writer and former OWPG member
  • David Bellamy won the OWPG Outdoor Book Award 2017 with Arctic Light

  • Guidebook

    Kingsley Jones for Trail and Fell Running in the Chamonix & Mont Blanc Region

    Published by Cicerone Press
    The judges commented: “Genuinely innovative in its choice of subject, and well written, passionate and authoritative.”

    highly commended

    Adrian Hendroff for Family Walks Around Dublin, published by Collins Press.
     
    Category sponsored by Aquapac International
     
    Judges: Mark Whitley, the senior editor at Dalesman Publications and Chris Bagshaw, editor, writer and former OWPG member
  • Kingsley Jones won the OWPG Guidebook Book Award 2017 with Trail and Fell Running in the Chamonix and Mont Blanc region

  • Photography

    Chris Howes for portfolio The Abode of the Clouds

    The judges said: “Once again this photographer has shown himself to be at the forefront of his specialization, using his technical mastery of lighting for visual impact and scene-setting to enhance a strong sense of composition and human drama in a very challenging environment. He is also able to edit and select strong images that form a cohesive whole, to tell the story with variety, strong use of colour, texture, shape and pattern.”
     
    Highly Commended: David Forster for his portfolio Weather: light on landscape.
    The judges commented: “Landscape photographers are always going to have their work cut out producing images that stand head and shoulders above others because this genre is a very crowded place to be. There are a number of really strong, atmospheric and individual images in this portfolio that point towards a more conceptual approach to landscape photography. A more concentrated, cohesive and thematically committed portfolio would vie for the award. As it is, the work is highly commendable.”
     
    This category is sponsored by Conway (Bloomsbury Publishing)
     
    Judges: Ashley Cooper (GlobalWarmingImages) and Dave Willis (Mountain SportPhotography)
  • Chris Howes won the OWPG Photography Award 2017 with images from Krem Sakwa, Meghalaya, India

  • Digital Production

    Thomas Smallwood for the Armchair Mountaineer website

    The judges commented:Through the Armchair Mountaineer website, Thomas Smallwood offers a vast amount of outdoor adventure-related content presented in a clear and attractive format, written in an accessible, inspirational way and illustrated with great photography. This website incorporates a regularly-updated and entertaining blog (including one-off articles, a lifestyle column about the benefits of the outdoors and reports of the author’s outdoor adventures on foot, by bike and by kayak) and is optimised for easy discovery on the internet with lots of internal links between sections of the site and external links to outdoor gear shops, magazines, podcasts and, most importantly for internet visibility, to relevant books available on Amazon. With tips for adventure holiday destinations and a huge amount of information under the ‘mountain info’ tab about mountain ranges and summits on every continent, it’s also a joy to dip into. Bookmark it for a little instant sunshine on grey November days.”

    highly commended

    John and Anne Nuttall for their website www.nuttalls.com
    The judges commented "We commend this website/database for the dedication that has clearly gone into compiling this comprehensive set of genuinely useful data, including valuable links to other dependable sources of information useful to peak-baggers. For its target users, the simple design and largely static nature of the content are not an impediment, if unlikely to find and draw new people into enjoyment of the outdoors."
    This category is sponsored by Cordee
     
    Judged by Craig Wareham (founder of Viewranger) and Lois Sparling (formerly of Cicerone Press)
  • Thomas Smallwood won the OWPG Digital Production Award 2017 with the Armchair Mountaineer website

  • Outdoor/Travel Feature

    John Metcalfe for Bikepacking Broadens the Mind (published in Cranked Magazine)

    Highly Commended

    James Forrest for Isolation (in Sidetracked) and John Metcalfe for Lost in Translation (in National Geographic  Traveller/APL)
     
    (The judges comments applied to both this award and the Technical Feature award).
     
    Elizabeth Multon (Bloomsbury Publishing) commented “Amongst a good number of well-written travel pieces (which gave me a dangerous number of ideas for holidays and challenges), articles that stood out for me were of course those that were especially well written, but also ones that gave us insight into the writer's mindset, and that made me think again about how I relate to the outdoors.”
     
    Carlton Reid commented “As per usual the stand-out articles stand out; evocative writing, great intros and, mostly, the accompanying photographs whet the appetite nicely. Could be just me but editing seems a bit sharper this year, especially for the best pieces, but lower down the ranks there are some howlers that show that writers need to put their pieces through Grammarly or similar (cos editors clearly ain’t gonna do it). Digital presentation for some of the pieces is also showing a strong improvement, which can only be good.”   
     
    This category is sponsored by OS/Pathfinder
     
    Judges: Carlton Reid (founder of On Your Bike magazine/former OWPG member) and Elizabeth Multon (Commissioning Editor of Adlard Coles Nautical, Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • John Metcalfe won the OWPG Outdoor/Travel Feature Award 2017 with Bikepacking Broadens the Mind

  • Technical Feature

    Chris Townsend for A Lightweight Approach to Big Hills

    Published in The Great Outdoors magazine

    Highly Commended

    Stephen Neale for Where to Wild Swim in Essex (on wildessex.com) and
    Kingsley Jones for Trail Running in the Alps (in Trek & Mountain magazine)
    (The judges comments applied to both this award and the Technical Feature award).
     
    Elizabeth Multon (Bloomsbury Publishing) commented “Amongst a good number of well-written travel pieces (which gave me a dangerous number of ideas for holidays and challenges), articles that stood out for me were of course those that were especially well written, but also ones that gave us insight into the writer's mindset, and that made me think again about how I relate to the outdoors.”
     
    Carlton Reid commented “As per usual the stand-out articles stand out; evocative writing, great intros and, mostly, the accompanying photographs whet the appetite nicely. Could be just me but editing seems a bit sharper this year, especially for the best pieces, but lower down the ranks there are some howlers that show that writers need to put their pieces through Grammarly or similar (cos editors clearly ain’t gonna do it). Digital presentation for some of the pieces is also showing a strong improvement, which can only be good.”
     
    This category is sponsored by Cicerone Press
     
    Judges: Carlton Reid (founder of On Your Bike magazine/former OWPG member) and Elizabeth Multon (Commissioning Editor of Adlard Coles Nautical, Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Chris Townsend won the OWPG Technical Feature Award 2017 with A Lightweight Approach to Big Hills

  • Awards 2018

    The award rules and entry form can be found here from March each year.

    Closing date for 2017 was 26th June 2017. It is not expected the date for 2018 will change the pattern.
     
    Previous years Rules: Download Awards-Rules2017
    Previous year's Entry Form: Download Entry-Form2017
     
    Entries may be submitted by Publishers or Editors of books, features, and digital media: however this must be with the consent of the author in every case.
  • Previous Award Winners

    The full list of previous winners of the Golden Eagle, Lifetime Achievement and Derryck Draper Awards is here; that of past winners of the six Awards for Excellence to Members can be found here. Winners in various categories no longer awarded are listed here.

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