Tributes to former Ramblers Scotland president Dr Rennie McOwan

We are saddened by the passing of Ramblers Scotland’s former president Dr Rennie McOwan; a great campaigner, broadcaster and lover of the outdoors.

Rennie was our president in 2003, the year that the Scottish Parliament safeguarded the nation’s world-class rights of public access.

As well as being an excellent campaigner, he was a respected journalist, poet and broadcaster – with much of his work focusing on the Scottish outdoors.

Our thoughts are with all his family and friends at this sad time.

Ramblers Scotland’s vice-president Cameron McNeish has paid tribute to Rennie’s legacy in a touching blog post.

Cameron writes: "In terms of campaigning for a freedom to roam and land reform, Rennie McOwan was a giant.

"On a personal note I have always been indebted to Rennie for so willingly and generously sharing his immense knowledge of Scottish mountaineering, history, folklore and culture.

"Rennie McOwan will be remembered as an excellent journalist, mountaineer, historian, environmental campaigner and a true son of Scotland."

Ramblers Scotland’s former director Dave Morris said: "Rennie was a huge influence on me as we made the case in the 1990s for access legislation.

"It was of enormous importance that Rennie was so supportive, so firm and coherent in his writings and speeches and so knowledgeable on Scottish traditions and culture. He was so helpful in providing advice, encouragement and information on a regular basis.

"His passing is a big loss to Scotland, but he leaves us with an impeccable legacy."

Rennie was born in the Hillfoots and lived for many years in Stirling.

He founded the Friends of the Ochils in 1992, and held an honorary doctorate from the University of Stirling.

Rennie won many awards during his life, including the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild’s Golden Eagle Award for his contribution to Scottish culture and access debates, the Provost of Stirling’s Civic Award for arts and culture and the FX Tourism Award for exceptional service to the tourism industry.