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The James Cropper Wainwright Prize

Shortlisted books lined up for the 2021 Wainwright Prize, with illustration by Dorien Brouwers
Wainwright Prize 2021 shortlist | © Illustration by Dorien Brouwers

The Wainwright Prize is awarded annually to the book which most successfully reflects the work and ethos of renowned nature writer Alfred Wainwright. To this day the prize seeks to inspire readers to explore the outdoors and nurture a respect for the natural world. Find out more about the past winners and how this year's awards are shaping up.

Celebrating nature and global conservation

We've supported the Wainwright Prize since it was first launched in 2014 to celebrate the year's best writing on the outdoors, nature, the environment and UK travel. This year the competition has been split into three categories, with prizes awarded for Nature Writing, Writing on Conservation and Children's writing on Nature and Conservation.

Headline sponsors, papermaker James Cropper have made a multi-year commitment to the Prize, having made fine papers for publishing since 1845.

The prizes

A £5,000 prize fund is shared and presented to the authors of the winning books. Run in partnership with the National Trust, the prize is sponsored by James Cropper Paper and supported by Frances Lincoln Publishers, publisher of the Wainwright Guides, and the Wainwright Estate.

Past Wainwright Prizes


The Wainwright Prize 2022 winners

The winners’ ceremony took place on 7 September 2022 at the London Wetland Centre in Barnes run by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) – the UK’s leading wetland conservation charity.

Drawn from three strong shortlists which reflect the breadth and range of contemporary nature writing, the winning books exemplify the core aim of the James Cropper Wainwright Prize: inspiring readers to explore the outdoors and to nurture a respect for the natural world. 

Nature Writing Prize winner: Goshawk Summer: The Diary of an Extraordinary Season in the Forest by James Aldred.

  • Highly commendedOtherlands: A World in the Making by Dr Thomas Halliday
  • On Gallows Down: Place, Protest and Belonging by Nicola Chester.

Writing on Conservation Prize winner: Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them by Dan Saladino.

  • Highly commended: Wild Fell: Fighting for Nature on a Lake District Hill Farm by Lee Schofield. 

Children's Writing on Nature and Conservation Prize winner: The Biggest Footprint: Eight Billion Humans. One Clumsy Giant by Rob and Tom Sears. 

  • Highly commended: 2022 Yoto Carnegie Medal winner, October, October by Katya Balen, Illustrated by Angela Harding (Bloomsbury).
An image of three books stood against a green leafy background. These are the three Wainwrights prize winners for 2022
The three James Cropper Wainwrights Prize winners for 2022 | © N/A
Konik ponies on Bakers Fen at Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire

Nature conservation

From ancient trees to bees and butterflies, our places are full of life. We're working hard to safeguard nature for years to come.

Our partners

Wainwright Prize

A literary prize awarded annually for the best work of general outdoors, nature and UK-based travel writing.

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