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The Wainwright Prize

Named after nature writer Alfred Wainwright, the prizes are awarded to the work which best reflects Wainwright’s core values and include a celebration of nature and our natural environment or a warning of the dangers to it across the globe.

The Wainwright Prize for UK nature writing is awarded to a book related to nature, the outdoors or travel writing (not guidebooks) covering Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Launched in 2020, The Wainwright Prize for writing on global conservation is awarded to a book that reflects efforts in or, studies relating to conservation or climate change and its effects on nature and the outdoors.

Find out more about The Wainwright Prize.

The Winner of the 2021 UK Nature Writing Prize

Chair of the Judges for the Nature Writing Prize, Julia Bradbury

James Rebanks adores his home and job and that’s reflected in his writing. His message of respect for the old ways and understanding of the complexities of farming for the future make this a really important book. And it’s all couched in beautiful prose. The writing is accessible, heartfelt, and poignant and it conveys a message of achievable change. Rebanks’ passion will carry any towny through the joy and hardship of Fell farming. It’s seminal work which will still be celebrated in 50 years.

English Pastoral : An Inheritance - The Sunday Times bestseller from the author of The Shepherd's Life - James Rebanks

As a boy, James Rebanks's grandfather taught him to work the land the old way.

Their family farm in the Lake District hills was part of an ancient agricultural landscape: a patchwork of crops and meadows, of pastures grazed with livestock, and hedgerows teeming with wildlife. And yet, by the time James inherited the farm, it was barely recognisable.

The men and women had vanished from the fields; the old stone barns had crumbled; the skies had emptied of birds and their wind-blown song. English Pastoral is the story of an inheritance: one that affects us all.

It tells of how rural landscapes around the world were brought close to collapse, and the age-old rhythms of work, weather, community and wild things were lost. And yet this elegy from the northern fells is also a song of hope: of how, guided by the past, one farmer began to salvage a tiny corner of England that was now his, doing his best to restore the life that had vanished and to leave a legacy for the future.

This is a book about what it means to have love and pride in a place, and how, against all the odds, it may still be possible to build a new pastoral: not a utopia, but somewhere decent for us all.



The Winner of the 2021 Global Conservation and Climate Change Prize

Chair of Judges for the Global Conservation Prize, Charlotte Smith

It blew us away. Astonishing to find a book which after reading, forced us to think about our world view of conservation every day. It contains extraordinary descriptions of how extraordinary nature is, and the implications around soil carbon and fungi as a plastic replacement are huge. Beautifully polished, it is a very important piece of work. Fungi can provide an awful lot of solutions to the problems the world faces.

Entangled Life : The phenomenal Sunday Times bestseller exploring how fungi make our worlds, change our minds and shape our futures - Merlin Sheldrake

The smash-hit Sunday Times bestseller that will transform your understanding of our planet and life itself.

The more we learn about fungi, the less makes sense without them.

They can change our minds, heal our bodies and even help us avoid environmental disaster; they are metabolic masters, earth-makers and key players in most of nature's processes.

In Entangled Life, Merlin Sheldrake takes us on a mind-altering journey into their spectacular world, and reveals how these extraordinary organisms transform our understanding of our planet and life itself.



2021 Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing Shortlist

2021 Wainwright Prize for Writing on Global Conservation Shortlist

2021 Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing Longlist

2021 Wainwright Prize for Writing on Global Conservation Longlist