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Girls on Hills wins major UK award

TGO readers vote Scottish trail running company as best for widening participation and encouraging diversity in the mountains

Written by Fiona

February 09 2024

Girls on Hills, which provides guiding for female trail runners, has scooped a prestigious UK award. The Scottish trail running company won the Open Outdoors category in The Great Outdoor Awards.

In second place was The Scout Association and third place was taken by Every Body Outdoors. Other groups and people short-listed were Adventure Singles, Anita Kerwin-Nye, AKA CIC, The British, Exploring Society, Haroon Mota, Heather Dunnell of the Scottish Women’s Walking Group and Siobhan Daniels.

Keri Wallace, who is one of the founders of Girls on Hills, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this award and especially in the Open Outdoors category, which means so much to us.”

She added: “Inclusivity is central to everything we do at Girls on Hills. We aim to empower women through hillwalking and mountain running, as we strive for equity in the great outdoors.”

What are the TGO Reader Awards?

The TGO Reader awards have established a reputation as the UK’s biggest democratic celebration of the people, places and businesses that “make our outdoor lives better”. Some 44,000 people voted as part of the 2024 awards.

Open Outdoors accolade recognises “individuals or groups who have inspired people to head into the outdoors, widened participation, improved outdoor education, or encouraged diversity.” 

What is Girls on Hills?

Girls on Hills was founded by Keri and Nancy Kennedy in 2018 and has welcomed significant growth in recent years. As directors, the pair juggle parent and grandparent responsibilities to provide a “safe space” for women to explore and enjoy the mountains.

Their mission statement is to”‘empower women with the skills and confidence necessary to become independent in the mountain environment”. 

Keri said: “We would like to thank all our followers for joining in, lifting each other up and supporting the advocacy work we do.”

In 2023, Girls on Hills delivered 98 events across the UK, with both in-person and online courses on the programme.

The company recently set-up a crowdfunding appeal (Access Fund) that will support a new series of fully-funded Hit the Trail events across the UK.

These events are aimed at helping women who face additional barriers to accessing the outdoors, such as mental health issues, underrepresentation or financial difficulties (see full list of criteria here). 

Other Scottish winners in TGO awards

The Clachaig Inn in Glencoe won walkers’ pub of the year; The Real Food Cafe at Tyndrum won walkers’ cafe or restaurant of the year; Loch Ossian Youth Hostel, Corrour, scooped hostel or bunkhouse of the year; The Red Squirrel Campsite, also Glencoe, won campsite of the year; and Murray Wilkie, of Scotland’s Mountains, took top prize in the outdoor film or filmmaker of the year category.

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