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The Oliver Brown Award

Receiving the awards from Grant Thoms, editor of the Scots Independent newspaper

I was delighted to be presented with the Oliver Brown Award from the Scots Independent newspaper today, an annual award that is given to the person that the newspaper thinks has done most in the past year to showcase Scotland.

Previous recipients of the Award include the former First Minister Alex Salmond, Sir Sean Connery, Phil Cunningham, Jimmy Reid, Winnie Ewing and Norman McCaig.

In my acceptance speech I touched on the influence the late Tom Weir had on my life. Tom won the very first Oliver Brown Award in 1982.

“Tommy was a good friend and there have very few writers who have managed to showcase this wee country of ours in the way that Tommy did. During the sixties I think I was the only teenager in Scotland who bought the Scots Magazine every month – solely for Tom Weir’s column.

“Like Tom Weir, my lifelong journey has taken me from a young and hugely enthusiastic mountaineer to someone who has broadened his reach and understanding of the country he lives in, a country he is passionate about.”

The award was made in Perth and in presenting it to Cameron the editor of the Scots Independent, Grant Thoms said: “Through his many television programmes and other activities Cameron has showcased the great Scottish outdoors to a huge audience following on from the legendary Tom Weir, who was the very first winner of the Oliver Brown Award.”

I'll put this new award, a lovely crystal whisky decanter, alongside the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the National Adventure Awards last year and the Lifetime Achievement Award from PPA Scotland, the magazine publishers’ association that I was given when I retired from editing The Great Outdoors magazine in 2010.

It's a fantastic feeling to be recognised in this way, especially by those who care as much about Scotland as I do.

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