Caught by the River

Wainwright Prize 2020 Shortlist

30th July 2020

The shortlist for this year’s Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing was announced this morning. Now in its seventh year, the prize is awarded annually to the book which most successfully inspires readers to explore the outdoors and to nurture a respect for the natural world.

This year’s prize has been extended to include a second category for books about global conservation and climate change, and the two shortlists reflect the breadth and range of contemporary nature writing both in the UK and around the world.

The shortlist for the 2020 Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing is:

Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty

The Frayed Atlantic Edge by David Gange

On the Red Hill by Mike Parker

Dark, Salt, Clear by Lamorna Ash

Native: Life in a Vanishing Landscape by Patrick Laurie

Dancing with Bees by Brigit Strawbridge Howard & John Walters

Wanderland by Jini Reddy

The 2020 Wainwright Prize for Writing on Global Conservation shortlist is: 

Irreplaceable by Julian Hoffman

Life Changing by Helen Pilcher

Rebirding by Benedict Macdonald

Sitopia by Carolyn Steel

What We Need to Do Now by Chris Goodall

Working with Nature by Jeremy Purseglove

This year’s Nature Writing judging panel is chaired by TV presenter Julia Bradbury, and her fellow judges are Geoff Duffield, Wildlife Trust volunteer and former publisher; Andrew Willan, Wealden Festival Director; Patrick Neale, Bookseller Jaffe & Neale; Jessica J Lee, Editor Willowherb Review; Celia Richardson, Director of Communications and Insight, National Trust.

The Chair of Judges for the new Global Conservation Prize is BBC Countryfile presenter Charlotte Smith. She is joined by Chris Packham, naturalist and TV presenter; John Lewis-Stempel, previous winning author; Adrian Phillips, conservationist; Rachel Woolliscroft, sustainability expert; and Craig Bennett, CEO UK Wildlife Trusts.

The winners’ announcement will be made on 9th September.    

The prize is supported by Frances Lincoln Publishers, publisher of the Wainwright Guides, the Wainwright Estate and in partnership with the National Trust. The £5,000 prize fund will be shared and presented to the authors of the winning books. Last year’s winner was Underland by Robert Macfarlane.