Once again, the Outdoor Writers' Guild Awards for Excellence attracted a record number of entries. Members and their guests gathered for the presentations at the Guild's Annual Dinner in the opulent surroundings of Hampton Court at Hope-under-Dinmore in Herefordshire.

In the Outdoor Book category, the winner was Richard Sale for To the Ends of the Earth published by Harper Collins. The judges described it as 'magisterial' and 'An important book ... very readable.'

Highly commended in this category was The Magic of the Scottish Islands, words by Terry Marsh, photography by Jon Sparks, published by David & Charles

Winner of the Guidebook category was Exploring Blaenavon Industrial Landscape World Heritage Site by Chris Barber, published by Blorenge Books. The judges praised the 'Firm, sharp, authoritative writing.'and 'Good use of old and modern photography.'

Highly commended in this category was The Lands' End to John O' Groats Walk by Andrew McCloy, published by Cordee Books

In the category for One-off Features, the winner was Marion Shoard, for her essay Edgelands in Remaking the Landscape, published by Profile Books. This was praised as 'Eloquent. Passionate and excellently researched' and 'Eye-opening and thought-provoking.'

In the Regular Features category the judges declared joint winners. Martin Varley's Lakeland Issues series for Lakeland Walker magazine was commended for its 'Useful accounts of difficult countryside management areas' and 'Issues of variety and interest.'

Kevin Borman's Walking World column in High Mountain Sports magazine was described as 'Very good hillwalking writing.' and 'Lucid about topography.'

Moving to the Photography award, the winner for the second time in three years was Jeremy Moore for his portfolio, 'Heart of the Country'. The judges commented, 'It is a pleasure to study each of these superb images. Not only are they technically perfect but they are interesting while powerfully conveying place and emotion... Jeremy is a consummate professional.'

Highly Commended was Karen Frenkel for her folio 'Peakland Landscapes'.

For further information and photographs:

Photographs of the presentations are available in digital form from
Jon Sparks,
Chairman of the Guild:
6 Abbeystead Drive,
Lancashire LA1 4QU;
Telephone 01524 381077;
Fax 0870 134 6413;


From 1990 until 1999, the Guild ran a series of awards in conjunction with the Camping and Outdoor Leisure Association. In 2000 and 2001, the awards were sponsored by internet retailers

The awards are open only to paid-up full members of the Guild, who are invited to submit examples of their work in six categories: guidebook; outdoor book; one-off feature; regular feature series, and photography. Entries are assessed by an independent panel of judges, three for all award categories, plus three professional photographers for the final category.

Previous recipients of these awards, which carry a prize of £250 each, have been:

1991: Leigh Hatts
1992: Don Philpott
1993: John and Anne Nuttall
1994: Terry Marsh
1995: Richard Gilbert
1996: John and Anne Nuttall
(John Macadam Highly Commended)
1997: Brian Evans
1998: John Spencer and Ann Beedham
1999: Ronald Turnbull
(Leigh Hatts Highly Commended)
2000: Terry Marsh
2001: Ian R Mitchell
(Terry Marsh Highly Commended)
2002: Chris Craggs
(Roger Thomas Highly Commended)

Outdoor Book
1990: Stephen Venables
1991: -
1992: Stephen Venables
1993: Chris Townsend
1994: Peter Gillman
1995: Gordon Stainforth
1996: David Bellamy
1997: Alf Alderson
1998: Ed Douglas
1999: Ian R Mitchell
(John Macadam Highly Commended)
2000: Marion Shoard
2001: John Gillham and Ronald Turnbull
2002: Ronald Turnbull

Photography (from 2000)/Photojournalism
1992: Clive Tully 1993: Jim Perrin
1994: Steve Ashton
1995: Mike Banks
1996: Mike Gerrard
1997: Chris Townsend
1998: Steve Ashton
1999: Mike Banks
2000: Tom Hutton
2001: Jeremy Moore
2002*: David Chapman
(Jon Sparks Highly Commended)
*In 2002, the photography award was sponsored by JESSOPS

Feature (One-off feature from 2000)
1990: Catherine Moore
1991: Nick Crane
1992: Steve Ashton
(Roly Smith Highly Commended)
1993: Roly Smith
1994: Ed Douglas
1995: Alistair Macdonald
1996: Leni and Peter Gillman
1997: Judy Armstrong
1998: Peter Gillman
1999: Stephen Goodwin
2000: Mike Gerrard
2001: Stephen Goodwin
2002: Stephen Goodwin

Feature (regular: series of four+)
2000: Judy Armstrong
2001: Tom Waghorn
2002: David Chapman

1991: Nigel Winser
1992: Peter Gillman
1993: Stan Abbott
1994: Stephen Venables

1991: Mike Harding

1990: Hazel Constance
1991: Hazel Constance
1992: Pat Constance
1993: Pat Constance
1994: Alec and Val Scaresbrook
1995: Peter and Leni Gillman
1996: Chris Townsend
1997: John Manning
1998: John Manning

OWG Award for
Photographic Excellence
During 1997 and 1998, the Guild introduced a new award specifically for professional photographers. The award was sponsored by Fuji Professional, and the winners were:

1997: 1st Rob Howard;
2nd Jeremy Moore; 3rd Bill Birkett
1998: 1st Chris Howes;
2nd Ray Wood; 3rd John Beatty

In 2000 this award was replaced by the 'Photography' award above.

External awards
Each year the Guild makes two awards externally: the OWG Golden Eagle Award and the OWG Crystal Award (formerly the Golden Boot Award).

Golden Eagle Award
First introduced in 1995, the Golden Eagle Award is presented by the Guild to any person, whether or not a member of the Guild, who has rendered distinguished or meritorious service to the outdoors generally. Past recipients were:
1995: Ken Wilson
1996: Walt Unsworth
1997: Dr Rennie McOwan
1998: Alan Mattingly
1999: Chris Brasher CBE
2000: Irvine Butterfield
2001: Tom Weir
2002: John Cleare

OWG Crystal/Golden Boot Award
The former Golden Boot Award was presented annually to the personality or company exhibiting at the COLA Show in Harrogate, voted by the Guild to have made an outstanding contribution to the outdoors.

The OWG Crystal award, first introduced in 1999, is awarded by the Guild in recognition of innovation in the outdoor world introduced in the UK each year. The innovation may be of any nature, whether of fabrication, manufacture, concept, etc., and the award is decided upon by a panel of equipment experts who make their recommendation to the Guild’s AGM each year.
Past recipients of the awards were:

1982: Phoenix Mountaineering
1983: Berghaus
1984: Carrington Performance Fabrics
1985: Robert Saunders
1986: Buffalo
1987: Conway Trailers Ltd
1988: Nick Brown (Nikwax)
1989: Captain Harrison
1990: Chris Brasher (Brasher Boot Company)
1991: Mike Parson (Karrimor)
1992: Gordon Conyers
1993: Gordon Davison/Peter Lockey
1994: Ben Lyon
1995: Harveys Maps
1996: Nick Brown (Paramo)
1997: Bill Wilkins
1998: -
1999: Perseverance Mills (Pertex)
2000: Brasher Boot Company
2001: Nextec (Encapsulated fabrics)
2002: GoLite

Outdoor Writers' Guild