Sunday 15th October 2017 - For immediate release 
Many of Britain's top outdoor writers and photographers gathered for the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild (OWPG) Annual Awards ceremony which took place (yesterday) on Saturday 14th October at Newlands Adventure Centre, Cumbria.
The Awards celebrate the very best in British and European outdoor and adventure writing and photography and are judged by a range of panellists from across the outdoor industry.
Award winners
Derryck Draper Award for Outstanding Innovation in Outdoor Equipment.  
This prestigious award is presented in the name of one of the Guild’s founder members, Derryck Draper.  The 2017 award goes to Outdoor Design Logistics for their unique condensation-beating X-tex breathable material for single skin tents, as used in their S10 Sigma and Lightwave and S20 Sigma 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.
‘Golden Eagle’ Lifetime Achievement Award
for outstanding services to the outdoors
Awarded to 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.
Best Outdoor Book Award
Winner: Arctic Light  by David Bellamy
The judges said: “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:  The Pennine Way by Andrew McCloy

Guide Book Award, sponsored by Aquapac International

Winner:  Trail and Fell Running in the Chamonix & Mont Blanc Region by Kingsley Jones
The judges said: “Genuinely innovative in its choice of subject, and well written, passionate and authoritative.”
Highly Commended: Family Walks Around Dublin by Adrian Hendroff.

Outdoor Travel Feature, sponsored by OS Pathfinder Guides
Winner:  Bikepacking Broadens the Mind by John Metcalfe.
Highly Commended: Isolation by James Forrest, and Lost in Translation by John Metcalfe.

Technical Feature Award, sponsored by Cicerone Press
Winner:  A Lightweight Approach to Big Hills by Chris Townsend.
Highly Commended:  Where to Wild Swim in Essex by Stephen Neale, and Trail Running in the Alps by Kingsley Jones.
The judges of the two feature awards (Technical, and Outdoor Travel), made these comments:
Elizabeth Multon (Bloomsbury Publishing): “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:  “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.”   

Award for Digital Production, sponsored by Cordee
Winner: Thomas Smallwood for Armchair Mountaineer
The judges commented:   “We feel that this website ticks all the boxes, is by far the most interesting, good looking and wide-ranging and promotes the outdoors with passion.”
Highly Commended: John and Anne Nuttall for their website

Photography Award, sponsored by Conway (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Winner: Chris Howes for The Abode of the Clouds.
Of Chris’s work 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.”

The OWPG would like to acknowledge and thank the award judges, an independent panel of experts, overseen by our Awards Administrator, David Ramshaw.
This year's judges were:
For the two book categories: Mark Whitely of Dalesman Publications and former OWPG member Chris Bagshaw.
For the two feature awards: Carlton Reid Executive Editor of
and Elizabeth Multon of Bloomsbury Publishing. 
For the digital projects: Lois Sparling, Freelance website writer/designer and Craig Wareham of ViewRanger.
And finally, the judges for the photographic portfolios were photographers Dave Willis Ashley Cooper.
About the Guild
The Outdoors Writers and Photographers Guild is a not-for-profit association comprising writers, journalists, photographers, illustrators, broadcasters, film-makers, artists, web designers, publishers and editors. Our members share the common bond of a passionate interest in the great outdoors. For more information, please visit
The Guild is entirely funded by its members and the kind support of ViewRanger, Aquapac International, OS Pathfinder Guides, Cicerone Publishing, Cordee, Conway (Bloomsbury Publishing).

For further information, including a full list of please contact Andrew Galloway on 07570101204 or at


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