Expert judges also name winners of nine categories in national awards
An Edinburgh adventurer who promotes diversity in the outdoors has been named as the Overall Champion of the Scottish Walking Awards.
Joshua Adeyemi wowed judges with his work to improve representation within the walking community, particularly by sharing walking inspiration via his influential “@talesbyjosh” Instagram account.
Joshua scooped the Media/Online Walking Champion award as well as the Overall Champion title, beating many dozens of entries to the awards run by Paths for All, Ramblers Scotland and Living Streets Scotland.
Nominations included everything from businesses, councils and land managers to the journalists, staff and local volunteers who are inspiring others to step out.
Joshua, who works as a financial analyst, said: “Winning this award is a deep honour, and I hope that my achievements will inspire others to connect with and care for Scotland's natural spaces.
“As a first-generation immigrant in Scotland, I consider myself fortunate to have quickly become acquainted with the Land Reform (Scotland) Act and its provisions for accessing wild spaces.
“The ability to freely explore Scotland's natural spaces has been of immense benefit to my physical and mental wellbeing, and I am passionate about sharing this privilege with others.”
Joshua moved to Scotland about a decade ago from Nigeria and has been exploring the nation on foot ever since. Joshua is a co-founder of the popular Black Scottish Adventurers, a group that now has hundreds of members and thousands of social media followers.
Maree Todd, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport presented Joshua with his award during a walk in Holyrood Park and sent her congratulations to the eight other Scottish Walking Award category winners.
Ms Todd said: “It’s been wonderful to meet Joshua and hear his passion for raising awareness of the benefits of walking. That’s certainly a passion I share.
“We want more people to walk and wheel more often. It is vital to our aim of creating a healthier nation and people like Joshua who give so much time, commitment and enthusiasm to helping others are vital in making that happen.
“I would also like to extend my gratitude and warmest congratulations to all the other worthy winners who continue to champion walking in Scotland.”