Published: 08/02/2018 15:41 - Updated: 08/02/2018 15:45

Newtonmore man of the outdoors given mountain festival honour

 

Cameron McNeish (left) with Outlander star Sam Heughan on a recent hill walk
Cameron McNeish (left) with Outlander star Sam Heughan on a recent hill walk
 

 

There’s not much ground left in Scotland at least to cover for Newtonmore man of the outdoors Cameron McNeish but he is about to enter new territory.

The prolific hillwalker, author and TV broadcaster has been named as the recipient of the 2018 Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture.

He will be presented with his award at a special ceremony during the Fort William Mountain Festival 2018 which runs in and around the town and Lochaber, from February 21 to 25.

Cameron joins previous esteemed winners such as Dr Adam Watson, Jimmy Marshall, Myrtle Simpson and Ian Sykes.

The former Strathy columnist said: "I’m thrilled that there is now a national recognition of the direct link between our hills and wild places and the social history, folklore, traditional music and culture of Scotland.

"And I’m delighted to be joining a very special group of people who have, in many different ways, contributed so much to all these aspects of our national heritage. I’m genuinely humbled.’

A festival spokesperson said: "Cameron embodies the passion and the excitement that exploring the wild Scottish landscape entails, and the great desire to share this sense of adventurous wonder with others.

"Although Cameron has travelled extensively throughout the world and has led numerous treks to Nepal, India, Morocco, Turkey, Russia and Jordan, it is for his passion and enthusiasm for the mountains and wild land areas of Scotland that he is best known."

Through his highly successful television programmes, numerous books and magazine articles Cameron has become one of the most recognisable figures in the British outdoors scene.

For 25 years Cameron has been involved in making numerous television programmes for the BBC, ranging from mountaineering and rock climbing films to his own highly personal accounts of long backpacking trips through the Highlands and Islands – routes that include the Sutherland Trail, the Skye Trail and the Scottish National Trail.

A former Chairman of the Nevis Partnership, Cameron is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and is patron of Mountain Aid and Scottish Orienteering.

The award is sponsored by leading Highland employer, Liberty British Aluminium, whose smelter is located at the foot of Ben Nevis just outside Fort William.

Brian King, managing director of Liberty British Aluminium at Fort William, said: "As an employer whose home is at the foot of Scotland’s tallest mountain and right at the heart of the Highlands, we are very proud to be associated with an award which promotes the rich and distinctive culture we enjoy here.

"Cameron has done a huge amount over the years to highlight our unique environment and way of life and we applaud him for his work that richly deserves this special honour."

Richard Else, broadcaster and former winner of The Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture, said: "Cameron’s award is richly deserved.

"He’s been - and remains - a passionate campaigner for our all-important wild places and through his BBC television programmes has shared that love and concern with thousands of people."

Cameron was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by PPA (Periodical Publishers Association) Scotland in 2010 for his services to magazine publishing.

In 2015 he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Adventure Awards and the following year he was presented with the Oliver Brown Award by the Scots Independent newspaper for his work in showcasing Scotland.

To find out more about the full Fort William Mountain Festival programme for 2018 visit www.mountainfestival.co.uk .

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