A graphic designer from Hartlepool is delighted after winning a national award for his blog on the great outdoors.
Stuart Hodgson, 35, who runs blog Stuarthodgson.blogspot.co.uk has won the Go Outdoors awards 2015, which celebrates the best outdoor blogs and brands from the last year.
The awards categories included independent outdoor blog of the year; commercial outdoor blog of the year and outdoor brand of the year, which are all voted for by Go Outdoors customers.
Other awards include camping product of the year; walking product of the year and cycling product of the year, which are voted for by a Go Outdoors panel.
Stuart, from Ashley Gardens, pictured right, who blogs about his interests in hiking, walking and photography, is delighted his hobby has won the award.
The blogger who works full-time as a graphic designer at marketing agency Zeta Interactive in Middlesborough, won £200 to spend at Go Outdoors after members of the public voted for him to win the award.
Stuart said: “Being shortlisted in the first place was great – but actually winning the award, with many other great blogs on the shortlist, was a truly fantastic surprise and a very proud moment for me.
“I’d just like to thank everyone who voted for me. While I don’t do the blog for financial reward, winning the £200 Go Outdoors voucher was a nice Christmas present.
“Consequences of the win mean I have now been invited to be a guest blogger for Go Outdoors, and I’m in discussions with some well-known outdoor brands to become a reviewer of some of their products.”
Now Stuart is setting up a monthly email newsletter for fans of his work, which members of the public can sign up for.
His plans for next year include expanding and growing the blog further, growing his social media presence and leading some hiking trips for others to join in.
He added: “I’m also open to any exciting opportunities that come along.”
Go Outdoors judges said of his win: “Stuart Hodgson claims the crown with fantastic support for his blog. Stuart’s blog is a personal blog to celebrate his love of walking and his love of landscape photography.
“His personable writing style, set with his stunning photographs of his walks will no doubt inspire many to start noting down their own travels.”
To check out Stuart’s blog, visit: http://stuarthodgson.blogspot.co.uk
His Facebook page is on https://www.facebook.com/stuarthodgsonphotography