A Perthshire charity has been voted Outdoor Campaigner of the Year for its work to protect wild land.
The Pitlochry-based John Muir Trust wild land charity has topped a poll of more than 10,000 voters, organised by the TGO magazine, to win the top prize in this year’s Great Outdoors Awards.
The victory was announced at a ceremony in Kendal in Cumbria. Around 100 people attended the event, including retailers, outdoor gear manufacturers, tourism businesses, writers and photographers.
Also there was Sir Chris Bonington, who won this year’s Outdoor Personality of the Year award.
TGO magazine’s acting editor, Daniel Nielson, presented the award to Jeremy Prall from the John Muir Trust’s fundraising team.
Mr Prall said: “With one or two high-profile campaigns also nominated, I wasn’t expecting the trust to pick up Outdoors Campaigner of the Year. So it was a pleasant surprise when Daniel said ‘… and the winner is… the John Muir Trust’.
“It’s a great tribute to a very busy and highly successful year of campaigning in the trust. The publication in June of the Wild Land Areas map of Scotland and its recognition in national planning policy by the Scottish Government was the obvious highlight.
“However, as John Muir said, ‘the battle for conservation will go on endlessly’, and we are now involved in a major legal challenge to stop the giant Stronelairg windfarm in the Monadhliath Mountains near Loch Ness.”
The John Muir Trust looks after several sites in Scotland, including Perthshire’s Schiehallion mountain, which sees 20,000 visitors each year and is home to more than 300 animal and plant species.
This year it called in Blairgowrie footpath specialists Upland Access, which will tackle some of the more complex repairs on footpaths on the site, after volunteers spent a decade maintaining them.
The £10, 000 programme of work was carried out because the poor state of the paths was leading to damage to other areas of the mountainside.
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