Kendal papermaker James Cropper has announced a three-year headline sponsorship of a prestigious nature writing prize.
The Wainwright Prize, launched in 2013 by publishers Frances Lincoln, is named after Alfred Wainwright, a Kendal local famous for his Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells.
The prize aims to reward outstanding literary titles inspired by the general outdoors, UK nature, travel and conservation.
Previous winners include The Seabird’s Cry by Adam Nicholson; Underland by Robert Macfarlane and Diary of A Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty.
Mark Cropper, James Cropper chairman said: “Throughout society, people are increasingly rediscovering a love of books and spending more time connecting with nature and green spaces. We are delighted to support the authors involved in this year’s Wainwright
“Prize who are telling their story with paper; writing such wonderful books, and inspiring book lovers of all generations, to connect with the natural world and share an intrinsic attitude towards global conservation.”
The shortlisted authors will be announced on August 4, with the longlist including authors David Attenborough, Helen Macdonald, James Rebanks and Dieter Helm.
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; Jessica J Lee, editor WillowHerb Review; Mark Funnell, communications and campaigns director, National Trust; Patrick Neale, Bookseller Jaffe & Neale and Andrew Willan, Wealden Festival director. They are joined this year by TV presenter and author Ray Mears. .
Jane King, step-daughter of Alfred Wainwright, said: “I am thrilled that James Cropper is sponsoring the Wainwright literary prizes this year.
“Growing up near the paper mill, I have always known the company, and their local knowledge and reputation for sustainability make them an ideal sponsor. I’m sure that Wainwright himself and my mother would have been delighted with the partnership.”