2017 Wainwright Golden Beer Prize longlist announced

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Published : 01 Jun 2017 Last update : 02 Jun 2017

Britain's best nature writing of the last year has been revealed, as judges unveil the Wainwright Golden Beer Prize longlist.

Now in its fourth year, The Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize is awarded annually to the book which most successfully reflects the ethos of renowned nature writer Alfred Wainwright’s work, to inspire readers to explore the outdoors and to nurture a respect for the natural world.

The Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize celebrates the resurgent genre of nature writing. The 2017 longlist is proof that British nature and travel writing is in good health.

Wainwright Golden Beer Prize longlist
Wainwright Golden Beer Prize longlist
Wainwright Golden Beer Prize longlist

The 2017 longlist

The longlisted books cover studies of otters and of foxes, a celebration of birdwatching, a memoir set against a lifetime of fishing, an account of the relationship that First World War soldiers had with nature and a study in to the rewilding of Britain’s urban and rural areas.

Love of Country by Madeline Bunting (Granta)

The Otter’s Tale by Simon Cooper (HarperCollins)

The Nature of Autumn by Jim Crumley (Saraband)

Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain

by Lucy Jones (Elliott & Thompson)

The Running Hare by John Lewis-Stempel (Transworld)

Where Poppies Blow by John Lewis-Stempel (Orion)

A Sky Full of Birds by Matt Merritt (Ebury)

Wild Kingdom by Stephen Moss (Vintage)

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham (Ebury)

Love, Madness, Fishing by Dexter Petley (Little Toller Books)

The January Man by Christopher Somerville (Transworld)

The Wild Other by Clover Stroud (Hodder & Stoughton)

Expert panel

In charge of choosing a winner from the star-studded longlist is TV presenter Julia Bradbury, who chairs the expert judging panel. 

She says: 'I’m delighted to be chairing the judging panel for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize this year, it really is a thought-provoking prize.

'The books that my fellow judges and I have longlisted capture many different aspects of the natural world whilst displaying the strength and variety in nature writing in the UK today.'

Joining Julia on the judging panel are: fellow TV presenter Matt Baker; publisher of the National Trust Magazine, Sally Palmer; chair of both Gardener’s Question Time and the Wainwright Society, Eric Robson; Mail on Sunday journalist, Sarah Oliver; and former Chairman of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Peter Waine.


The prize shortlist will be announced on 27 June. The winner will be announced on 3 August at an event in the National Trust Arena at the BBC Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace.

Supported by Wainwright Golden Beer and the Wainwright estate and in partnership with the National Trust, the winner will receive a cheque for £5000.

Last year’s Wainwright Golden Beer prize was won by Amy Liptrot for The Outrun, her account of reconnecting with her native Orkney.