Launch of new Scottish Walking Awards 2021

walking awards - people walking on beach
New Scottish Walking Awards celebrates the people and groups that encourage others to walk (Image credit: Getty Images)

Three leading walking charities in Scotland have launched an inaugural “National Awards” that aims to celebrate the people, organisations and communities that support others to enjoy an active lifestyle.

The Scottish Walking Awards 2021 will showcase a range of inspiring walking projects, focusing on the businesses, councils, land managers, housing associations, journalists, staff and volunteers who inspire others to step out for a walk.

The Scottish Walking Awards has 10 categories: Public Sector Walking Champion; Community Walking Champion/Campaigner; Business Walking Champion; Walking Research/Innovation; Most Improved Walking Place; Land Manager Walking Champion; Walking Champion in Education; Healthcare Professional Walking Champion; Social Housing Association Walking Champion; and Media/Online Walking Champion.

There will also be an overall Champion of Champions.

The awards are a join initiative by Ramblers Scotland, Paths for All and Living Streets Scotland, in conjunction with the Scottish Government’s National Walking Strategy Delivery Forum. 

walking is good for health. walkers in a forest

Walkers enjoy the peace of a Scottish forest (Image credit: Getty Images)

woman walks in heather

Do you know anyone who has encouraged others to walk more? (Image credit: Getty Images)

Nominations open for Scottish Walking Awards

The on-line nominations for the Scottish Walking Awards are now open to all regions of Scotland and all sections of society, including projects supporting people who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids. 

Anyone can make a nomination using a simple online form before the deadline of March 31. The winners will be selected by an expert judging panel in April.

The Scottish Government’s Health and Sport Minister Mairi Gougeon praised the new awards and highlighted the importance of walking.

She said: “Over the past year we have seen how important walking and wheeling is to the people of Scotland. 

“With thanks to the many inspiring projects within our communities, people have rediscovered their local areas while keeping active during challenging times. 

“I’m pleased to support Ramblers Scotland, Paths for All and Living Streets Scotland with the first Scottish Walking Awards to celebrate the people and places that are helping us to keep walking and enjoy the benefits of being active.” 

Ramblers Scotland director Brendan Paddy added: “Walking has the power to help create a healthier and happier nation, particularly as we respond to the urgent Covid and climate crises. 

“There’s never been a better time to showcase the amazing communities and projects whose tireless work is opening the way for more people to enjoy the many benefits of walking.”

Fiona Russell
Outdoor writer

Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favorite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing (both downhill and backcountry). Aside from her own adventures, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy getting outside and exploring, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.