James Cropper Wainwright Prize 2022 longlists announced

Helen Musselwhite announced as official James Cropper Wainwright Prize paper artist for 2022

Independent publishers dominate as former winners Dara McAnulty, Amy Liptrot and Adam Nicolson are longlisted alongside 2022 Yoto Carnegie winner, Katya Balen, environmental activist, George Monbiot, and Scottish poet John Burnside.

Helen Musselwhite announced as official James Cropper Wainwright Prize paper artist for 2022.

Today, 23rd June, sees the announcement of the longlists for each of the three categories in 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. This year’s longlisted books reflect the astonishing range and depth of nature writing, with titles that confront difficult, yet vitally important issues around climate change and food supplies, celebrate the wonder of life in our back gardens, and illuminate the healing power of nature. As established authors vie with exciting up-and-coming writers in the genre, independent publishers dominate, with fourteen represented across the three longlists.

In the inaugural year for the Children’s Nature and Conservation Prize, the longlisted fiction and non-fiction titles range from a guide to the extraordinary contribution bugs make to our planet written by the Natural History Museum’s senior entomologist, to novels that variously place us in the shoes of an isolated girl living off-grid, a teenage climate change activist, and a bird-watching detective.

Award-winning teenage naturalist, Dara McAnulty, the winner of the 2020 Nature Writing Prize, is longlisted for the Children’s Prize for his multi-sensory guide to exploring the nature on your doorstep while Katya Balen is nominated for her 2022 Yoto Carnegie Award winner, October, October.


The 2022 James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing longlist is:

  • Otherlands: A World in the Making, Dr Thomas Halliday (Allen Lane)
  • 12 Birds to Save Your Life: Nature’s Lessons in Happiness, Charlie Corbett (Penguin)
  • Goshawk Summer: A New Forest Season Unlike Any Other, James Aldred (Elliott & Thompson)
  • Much Ado About Mothing: A year intoxicated by Britain’s rare and remarkable moths, James Lowen (Bloomsbury Wildlife)
  • On Gallows Down: Place, Protest and Belonging, Nicola Chester (Chelsea Green Publishing)
  • Shadowlands: A Journey Through Lost Britain, Matthew Green (Faber & Faber)
  • The Heeding, Rob Cowen, illustrated by Nick Hayes (Elliott & Thompson)
  • The Instant, Amy Liptrot (Canongate)
  • The Sea Is Not Made of Water: Life Between the Tides, Adam Nicolson (William Collins)
  • The Trespasser’s Companion, Nick Hayes (Bloomsbury)
  • Time on Rock: A Climber’s Route into the Mountains, Anna Fleming (Canongate)
  • Wild Green Wonders: A Life in Nature, Patrick Barkham (Guardian Faber Publishing)


The 2022 James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Writing on Conservation is:

  • Abundance: Nature in Recovery, Karen Lloyd (Bloomsbury Wildlife)
  • Aurochs and Auks, John Burnside (Little Toller Books)
  • Climate Change is Racist, Jeremy Williams and Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (Icon Books)
  • Divide: The relationship crisis between town and country, Anna Jones (Kyle Books)
  • Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them, Dan Saladino (Jonathan Cape)
  • Our Biggest Experiment: A History of the Climate Crisis, Alice Bell (Bloomsbury Sigma)
  • Regenesis: Feeding the World Without Devouring the Planet, George Monbiot (Allen Lane)
  • Silent Earth: Averting the Insect Apocalypse, Dave Goulson (Vintage)
  • Soundings: Journeys in the Company of Whales, Doreen Cunningham (Virago)
  • The Insect Crisis: The Fall of the Tiny Empires that Run the World, Oliver Milman (Atlantic Books)
  • The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth, Ben Rawlence (Jonathan Cape)
  • The Women Who Saved the English Countryside, Matthew Kelly (Yale University Press)
  • Wild Fell: Fighting for nature on a Lake District hill farm, Lee Schofield (Doubleday)


The 2022 James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Children’s Writing on Nature and Conservation longlist is:

  • A Bug’s World, Dr Erica McAlister, illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman (Wren & Rook)
  • Around the World in 80 Trees, Ben Lerwill, illustrated by Kaja Kajfež (Welbeck)
  • By Rowan and Yew, Melissa Harrison (Chicken House)
  • Julia and the Shark, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, illustrated by Tom de Freston (Orion Children’s Books)
  • Nests, Susan Ogilvy (Particular Books)
  • October, October, Katya Balen, illustrated by Angela Harding (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
  • One World: 24 Hours on Planet Earth, Nicola Davies, illustrated by Jenni Desmond (Walker Books)
  • Spark, Mitch Johnson (Orion Children’s Books)
  • The Biggest Footprint: Eight billion humans. One clumsy giant, Rob Sears, illustrated by Tom Sears (Canongate)
  • The Summer We Turned Green, William Sutcliffe (Bloomsbury YA)
  • Twitch, G. Leonard (Walker Books)
  • Wild Child: A Journey Through Nature, Dara McAnulty, illustrated by Barry Falls (Macmillan Children’s Books)


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


2022 James Cropper Wainwright Prize Children’s Judging Chair and TV Presenter Gemma Hunt said:

“I am so excited to be involved in the judging process this year, especially at a time when people are turning to nature and conservation writing more than ever – particularly our future generation. The James Cropper Wainwright Prize is going from strength to strength and I am delighted to be involved in the first ever Children’s Wainwright Prize category, what an honour to be selecting a winner from such a strong longlist and a beautiful collection of children’s books.”


The prize shortlists will be announced on 28th July and the winners’ announcement will be made live on 7th September at The London Wetland Centre.


This year’s visual campaign for the Prize will be produced in partnership with the talented paper artist, Helen Musselwhite, who lives in Manchester and whose work is inspired by the British countryside. Helen’s love of art sustained her through school, and led her to study graphic design and illustration, working with decorative furniture, jewellery, and painting, before discovering her perfect medium – paper.


Helen Musselwhite comments:

I’m delighted to be part of the 2022 James Cropper Wainwright Prize. It’s a dream project, working in an area I love from both a visual and a literary point of view. I’m very inspired by the natural world and often listen to audio books about it whilst working and walking in the countryside around my studio. I’m also really hoping some of the books I’ve enjoyed  and have been inspired by this year will be selected or maybe even win!”


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.


  • The Prize shortlists will be announced on 28th July at Foyles, London.
  • The Prize winners will be announced live on 7th September at the London Wetlands Centre.