Littlehouse Media

Rob Cochrane wins 2019 Scottish Youth Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture

Rob Cochrane, a volunteer ranger, a volunteer Cub and Scout group leader and a Duke of Edinburgh leader, from Inverlochy, Fort William, has won the prestigious Scottish Youth Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture in 2019, as part of the Fort William Mountain Festival.

Robert is a very keen Scout Leader and has done much to expand the organisation’s activities in Fort William.

Having moved to the area from Aberfeldy to study Adventure Tourism Management at West Highland College, Rob got involved in the local Cub and Scout group. Starting out in a volunteer role he has now taken over as leader and has grown the group as a whole in all areas of Scouting. He often spends his spare time fixing and upgrading the local hall in Kilmallie.

Rob is a regular Duke of Edinburgh leader and has worked as a Trainee Volunteer Ranger with Nevis Landscape Partnership

Rob Cochrane recently graduated from West Highland College with a 1st in Adventure Performance and Coaching.

Rob Cochrane said: “It means an awful lot to receive this award. I really love these mountains; I love living and working in them and sharing them with others. It is truly humbling to have been given this award, and I would like to thank my friends and family who have helped me become who I am. I would also like to thank the Festival committee for their hard work behind the scenes.”

Rod Pashley, Chairman of The Highland Mountain Culture Association, which runs the Fort William Mountain Festival, said: “Rob is such an excellent example of a young person getting involved and inspiring younger generations in not only Scouting activities but the broader aspects of mountain life. We’re delighted to be able to recognise Rob’s achievements so far and look forward to all that is to come”.

Marc Wilson, Marketing Manager at Gael Force Boat Building, said: “Gael Force Boat Building in Corpach wishes to express its sincere congratulations to Robert Cochrane on his Award win, which is thoroughly deserved given his incredible dedication to local outdoor activities as a volunteer and through Duke of Edinburgh Leadership.”

Rachel Bradley said: “I nominated Rob for this award as he has dedicated much of his time to both looking after and teaching others about the amazing landscapes we’re lucky enough to call home. His many years volunteering as a Scout leader and his constant encouragement to others to get outside and appreciating wild places is commendable. With his love of bush craft and practical mind he is the next Ray Mears in the making!”

The Scottish Youth Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture, sponsored jointly by Gael Force Group and the Nevis Landscape Partnership / Heritage Lottery Fund, will be presented to Rob Cochrane at a special ceremony on 23 February 2019 during the Fort William Mountain Festival 2019 which runs in and around Fort William and Lochaber, The Outdoor Capital of the UK, from 20 to 24 February 2019.


The Award is sponsored by the Gael Force Group, a trusted Scottish supplier and manufacturer of marine equipment. The Gael force Group acquired Corpach Boat Building Company in October 2018, which is soon to be renamed Gael Force Boat Building. Established in 1992, the dedicated team of skilled craftsmen at Corpach have been serving commercial and pleasure boat users alike, specialising in the construction, repair and modification of workboats at their popular boatyard.


It was announced recently that Noel Williams, Inspirational High School teacher, author of respected mountain guides, a founding member of the Lochaber Geopark, a retired member of Lochaber Mountain Rescue and accomplished hill runner, has won the prestigious Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture in 2019.  Noel will also receive his award on 23 February 2019.


To find out more about the Fort William Mountain Festival programme 2019


Facebook –

The Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture –




Media Contacts:

Paddy Cuthbert | Littlehouse Media | E: [email protected]

M: +44 (0)7913 951717

Heather Negus, Fort William Mountain Festival | e: [email protected] | m: 07900 224068


For downloadable images of Rob Cochrane, go to


If you are keen to attend the Fort William Mountain Festival for a commissioned travel feature or adventure/activity feature please contact Paddy Cuthbert to discuss a funded press trip to The Outdoor Capital of the UK.


Notes to Editors:

The Fort William Mountain Festival 2019 is presented in association with The Heritage Lottery Fund, Nevis Landscape Partnership, The Outdoor Capital and the Highland Council and runs in and around Fort William in Lochaber, The Outdoor Capital of the UK, from Wednesday 20 to Sunday 24 February 2019.  The Festival attracts approaching 1500 people over the 5 days and takes place each February in and around the town of Fort William.



The Fort William Mountain Festival 2019 is sponsored by Rare Breed Production, Ellis Brigham, Gael Force (previously Corpach Boat Builders), Strathmore Hotels, Abacus Mountain Guides, Liberty, Nevis Range, the John Muir Trust, Thistle Access Ltd, the Outdoor Capital of the UK, Print Smith and Lamont Design.


The Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture

This prestigious annual award recognises and celebrates the achievements and accomplishments of one inspiring individual and their outstanding contributions to Scotland’s mountains, encompassing sport, theatre, art, photography, film and literature.


The award was set up in 2008 by the Highland Mountain Culture Association Ltd, organisers of the Fort William Mountain Festival.  The 2019 Award is sponsored by Liberty British Aluminium. The Youth Award is sponsored jointly by Gael Force Group and the Nevis Landscape Partnership / Heritage Lottery Fund.


Previous Recipients of The Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture are:

2018 – Cameron McNeish

2017 – Dr Hamish Brown MBE

2016 – Mick Tighe

2015 – Robin Campbell

2014 – Andy Nisbet

2013 – Myrtle Simpson

2012 – Dr Adam Watson

2011 – Ian Sykes

2010 – Jimmy Marshall

2009 – Richard Else

2008 – Dr Hamish MacInnes


Previous Recipients of The Scottish Youth Ambassador Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture are:

2018 – Shauna Coxsy

2017 – Robert Mackenzie

2016 – Natalie Berry

2015 – Zeki Basan


Festival organisers – The Highland Mountain Culture Association Limited – is a not-for-profit organisation, whose aim is to promote the understanding and appreciation of the world’s mountain places and people, by creating opportunities for people of all ages to share their mountain experiences, ideas and visions. To showcase these ideas, it stages annually a programme of events within the Lochaber area, called The Fort William Mountain Festival.


The Outdoor Capital of the UK is Lochaber Chamber of Commerce’s tourism brand, promoting adventure for all!  The Chamber publicises, sponsors and promotes Fort William and Lochaber as the best place in the UK for everyone to experience the outdoors; with a view to developing local jobs and wealth and encouraging sustainable economic growth.


The Outdoor Capital of the UK is Lochaber Chamber of Commerce’s tourism brand, promoting adventure for all!  The Chamber publicises, sponsors and promotes Fort William and Lochaber as the best place in the UK for everyone to experience the outdoors; with a view to developing local jobs and wealth and encouraging sustainable economic growth. This is done through a range of collaborative marketing initiatives and activities.  The organisation currently has a wide range of member businesses ranging from accommodation, food and drink and activity providers to non-tourism focused businesses who support the aims of the Lochaber Chamber of Commerce and acknowledge that tourism is crucial to the local economy. Many of these businesses are SMEs and by pulling resources and working as a team the Lochaber Chamber of Commerce achieves the positive results that individually the members couldn’t otherwise reach. The Chamber also produces the Outdoor Capital of the UK website, the go to site for local events, outdoor activities and visitor accommodation in the area. /


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