Publishers Frances Lincoln, in association with the National Trust, are delighted to announce that the inaugural winning title of the 2014 Thwaites Wainwright Prize for UK Nature and Travel Writing, worth £5,000, is THE GREEN ROAD INTO THE TREES: A WALK THROUGH ENGLAND by HUGH THOMSON,published by Windmill, Random House.
Dame Fiona Reynolds, Chair, The Thwaites Wainwright Prize said: “The long list was impressive, the shortlist inspiring and we agonised about our final choice. All the finalists have added richly to this rapidly growing genre, and we hope this prize will inspire many others to write about the places and stories they love. In the end, the winner that emerged captured for us the best mix of contemporary nature and travel writing: a narrative journey spiced with humour and anecdote, gritty reality and evocation of place and history.”
Winner Hugh Thomson said:“After years of travelling in exotic places like Peru, Mexico and the Indian Himalaya, this book gave me the chance to explore perhaps the strangest of them all – my own.”
The 2014 shortlisted titles, in alphabetical order, were Badgerlands by Patrick Barkham (Granta); Field Notes from a Hidden City: An Urban Nature Diary by Esther Woolfson (Granta); The Green Road into the Trees: A Walk through Englandby Hugh Thomson (Windmill, Random House);The Old Ways byRobert Macfarlane (Penguin Books); Under Another Sky by Charlotte Higgins (Jonathan Cape)and Walking Home by Simon Armitage (Faber).
The Chair of the panel of judges for this year’s prize was Dame Fiona Reynolds, Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge and former Director-General of the National Trust. The judging panel was comprised of Sally Palmer, National Trust Magazine; David Johnson, The Wainwright Society; Nigel Roby, The Bookseller; Fergus Collins, BBC Countryfile and Tony Maher, Stanfords.
The Thwaites Wainwright Prize was established in memory of celebrated fell-walker and travel writer, Alfred Wainwright (1907-1991), and is sponsored by iconic Lancastrian Craft-Brewers Thwaites and their multi-award winning, bestselling golden beer called ‘Wainwright Ale.’ Stanfords and The National Trust are official campaign partners. The National Trust looks after many of the fells and iconic Lake District landscapes described in Wainwright’s guides.