2022 James Cropper Wainwright Prize Judges revealed as new children’s award launches!

The Prize has been rebranded the James Cropper Wainwright Prize and a new logo has been created following a multi-year commitment from the papermaker.

TV presenters Ray Mears, Charlotte Smith and Gemma Hunt announced as Chair of Judges for prize panels that include former winner, Raynor Winn; environmental blogger, Lizzie Carr and ethical clothes manufacturer, Charlotte Morley.

The Prize rebranded the James Cropper Wainwright Prize and new logo created following a multi-year commitment from the papermaker

Longlists to be announced on 23rd June.

Today, Friday 17th June, sees the announcement of the JUDGING PANELS for each of the three categories of the 2022 JAMES CROPPER WAINWRIGHT PRIZE including the all-new children’s prize.

Named after much-loved nature writer Alfred Wainwright, the aim of the Prize is to inspire everyone to connect with nature and embrace the outdoors. The prize now includes a third category for books on nature, conservation and climate change specifically written for children, who are very much on the front line of the climate change debate.

Mark Cropper from headline sponsor James Cropper commented:

“Young people are more aware than ever before of the impact which everyday things have on the planet. That’s why we are thrilled at the introduction of a children’s book prize to the James Cropper Wainwright Prize this year. Inspiring young book lovers to connect with the natural world and share an intrinsic attitude towards global conservation is extremely valuable at time when that natural world is under increasing threat.”

In the aftermath of a global pandemic, coupled with the ongoing climate crisis, and the huge surge in publishing around nature, the James Cropper Wainwright Prize feels timelier than ever before, as we all recognise the restorative role that nature plays, and the urgency with which we need to protect it.

Now in its ninth year, the UK Nature Writing Prize judging panel will be chaired by TV presenter Ray Mears. BBC Countryfile presenter; Charlotte Smith is the Chair of Judges for the Global Conservation Prize and former CBeebies TV presenter, Gemma Hunt chairs the new Children’s Prize.

The various expert judges on the three panels include:

UK Nature Writing Prize:
Ray Mears – Chair and TV presenter
Hugh Thomson – Previous winning author
Raynor Winn – Twice-shortlisted author
Craig Bennett – CEO UK Wildlife Trusts
Caroline Morris – Bookseller
Sanjida O’Connell – TV Presenter and author

Global Conservation Prize:
Charlotte Smith – Chair and TV presenter
Mark Cropper – Chairman of James Cropper, – Sustainable Paper Manufacturer
Anita Longley – Chair of ICRS
Lizzie Carr – Children’s ECO blogger
Sir John Lawton – Leading environmentalist
Harry Skeggs – Wildlife photographer and blogger

Children’s Prize:
Gemma Hunt – Chair and TV presenter
John McClay – Children’s Literary Festival Director
Mark Funnell – Communication and Campaign Director, National Trust
Tamara Macfarlane – Bookseller
Sarah Davis – Librarian
Charlotte Morley – Ethical children’s clothing manufacturer

This year the Prize has been rebranded the James Cropper Wainwright Prize following a multi-year commitment from the papermaker as the headline sponsor. Having made fine papers for publishing, premium print, art and luxury packaging since 1845 in the very town where Alfred Wainwright lived and worked, the partnership underpins the shared history and purpose of the two organisations.

The rebrand news comes as James Cropper continues to create solutions for the publishing sector which leave little to no trace on the planet through its FibreBlend Upcycled Technology. Using its game changing CupCycling facility, the papermaker recently gave new life to 10.5 million paper cups used in McDonald’s restaurants for drinks and soft ice creams, transforming them into children’s books on nature and conservation to replace toys in the chain’s Happy Meals. By extracting the valuable paper fibre from the cups, the partnership created a circular story which converts something which has a single use, into something to treasure, educate and pass on.

The Prize logo and artwork has been rebranded for 2022 with the aim of reflecting the history of the prize, the beauty of nature and the connection between the written word and the natural world.


Longlists for all three categories of the 2022 James Cropper Wainwright Prize will be revealed on Thursday 23rd June, when the official 2022 prize artist will also be announced.

The Prize shortlists will be announced on 28th July

The Prize winners will be announced live on 7th September, venue tbc.

The prize was founded and is still supported by, both the Alfred Wainwright Estate & Frances Lincoln, publisher of the Wainwright Guides. The £7,500 prize fund will be shared and presented to the authors of the three winning books.

Recent winners include Dara McAnulty, James Rebanks, Merlin Sheldrake, Adam Nicholson and Robert MacFarlane.