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Passionate about the wilderness . . . Geraldine resident Jan Finlayson will be recognised as a 2022 outdoor access champion. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Shelley Inon

Geraldine resident Jan Finlayson is one of five women across New Zealand who will be recognised later this year as a 2022 outdoor access champion.

New Zealand Walking Access Commission board member Celia Wade-Brown said the organisation was proud to recognise the women, all five of whom had made a significant contribution to accessing the New Zealand outdoors.

She said Ms Finlayson had been a leader in the outdoor community for years.

“Jan is an amazing and passionate advocate for access to unspoilt wilderness.”

Ms Finlayson has had many roles within the outdoor sector, and at present is Federated Mountain Clubs president.

Through her roles, she fiercely defended the public’s right to access conservation land, Ms Wade-Brown said.

Ms Finlayson’s “proactive approach” was applauded along with the fact that she worked directly with the Department of Conservation’s director-general and other Doc staff, government ministers and “kindred environmental NGOs”.

She had helped generate more opportunities for people to enjoy nature.

Ms Finlayson said it was “nice to be given the award, but it’s for the Federated Mountain Clubs team, really”.

The commission said it wanted to thank everyone who had taken the time to make nominations.

“It’s great to see so much community support for our female outdoor access champions.”