Leader of the Year Awards

Our annual Leader Awards recognise and celebrate inspiring Leaders – from stand-out beginners to the highly experienced. Recipients are nominated and shortlisted by fellow Leaders and members of the British Exploring Society team, with the final Awards being made by a judging panel who look to honour spirit and skills.


Watson Emerging Leader of the Year Award in memory of Jean Sinclair is designed to recognise and reward emerging talent, or to identify new, additional or more senior leadership actions on the part of a Leader who may have worked with us for some time.

The Les Morgan Leader of the Year Award is to identify and celebrate consistent excellence in any area of Leadership, or to recognise an individual who has supported and helped develop their fellow Leaders, providing guidance and direction for them as well as for Explorers in preparation for and throughout their expedition experiences.

We also have The Les Morgan Memorial Award, which is presented annually to a Young Explorer who has shown exceptional initiative or leadership in adverse circumstances on expedition.


Find out our Young Explorer of the Year here

Introducing the nominees for 2022

The Watson Emerging Leader Award

In memory of Jean Sinclair. The six inspiring Leaders nominated from our 2022 expedition season are...

And the winner is...

The Les morgan leader of the year award

The seven exemplary Leaders nominated from our 2022 expedition season are...

And the winner is...

Our External Judging Panel for 2022

Our winners will be announced at our annual Celebration Evening. This will be decided with the help of our two external judges:


Mike Blakey is Quality Director for Outcomes First Group overseeing fostering, schools and residential services. He’s held various roles in his career including Head of Children and Young People’s services at Brathay, national strategic lead for youth services for one the UK’s biggest children’s charities, and he served for several years as an Ofsted inspector. Mike is a former trustee for British Exploring Society and board advisor. Mike holds a private helicopter pilot’s license and loves flying and for the past 25 years he’s been a member of Patterdale mountain rescue team.

Andy Charlton set up Adventure Expeditions in 2016 with his partner Cat, providing outdoor adventures for young people and adults ranging from bronze duke of Edinburgh to ambitious overseas adventures and skills courses. He is Adventure Expeditions’ Technical Adviser and a Winter Climbing & Mountaineering Instructor and International Mountain Leader. Before that Andy was an outdoors instructor in the Lake District and Peak district and he acted as Mountain Technical Advisor for British Exploring Society from 2013 – 2022.