Wainwright X James Cropper 2021 Partnership Announcement

Wainwright Prize for writing on Nature and Conservation secures new 3-year sponsorship with James Cropper Paper

The Wainwright Prize for UK Nature and Conservation Writing, is delighted to announce the agreement of a 3-year deal for headline sponsorship with James Cropper, a prestige paper innovator, based in the English Lake District, with an operational reach in over 50 countries.

Named after much-loved nature writer Alfred Wainwright, for the second year, the prize includes a second category for books on global conservation and climate change. In the midst of a pandemic, coupled with the ongoing climate crisis, the prize feels timelier than ever before, as we are all recognising the restorative role that nature plays, and the urgency with which we need to protect it.

James Cropper papers have long been the choice of leading designers, conservationists, artists, writers and poets. They have been making fine papers for publishing and premium packaging since 1845 in the very town where Alfred Wainwright lived and worked.

In 2005, James Cropper produced a custom-made paper, matching the paper from the first editions, for the 50th Anniversary Wainwright pictorial guides that were once again printed in Kendal. The business is renowned globally for its award-winning commitment to the highest standards of sustainability. Whilst the location and the natural medium of James Cropper paper connect them to Wainwright’s wonderful legacy, it is that mutual respect and celebration of nature and conservation that sit at the heart of the sponsorship of the Wainwright Prize.

To cement the partnership, all Wainwright Prize point-of-sale materials will be printed on James Cropper paper. The Wainwright Prize brochure will be printed on paper made using fibre from James Cropper’s CupCycling® facility in the English Lake District, closing the loop on what was once a significant waste stream. In fact, James Cropper have rescued 4 disposable coffee cups in the production of each copy of the brochure, giving them a valuable second life as beautiful paper.

Mark Cropper, James Cropper Plc, 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’. 

Richard Green, Group Publisher Frances Lincoln, part of the Quarto Group:

‘James Cropper’s long association with Kendal and their strong commitment to innovation in the fields of conservation and sustainability make them the perfect partners for the Wainwright Prize. We look forward this opportunity to celebrate the very best in writing about nature and the environment this year.’   

Jane King, Step-Daughter of Alfred Wainwright:

‘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’.

The new sponsorship was negotiated by Mike Mackenzie from publishing marketing agency; AGILE, who also project manage the prize, whilst, AGILE founder; Alastair Giles remains as Prize Director.

This is the eighth year of this special prize, and the restorative effects of natural capital are reflected keenly in this year’s entries. The Wainwright Prize is about celebrating the wonder and awe of green spaces and natures creatures through the prism of our authors lives.

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.

The Chair of Judges for the new Global Conservation Prize is BBC Countryfile presenter, Charlotte Smith. She is joined by Adrian Phillips, Environmental Professional; Dr. Craig Bennett, CEO UK Wildlife Trust; Rachel Woolliscroft, sustainability expert; Anita Longely, Chair, Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability and Nigel Roby, Community Energy Enthusiast and Strategic Advisor.

All shortlisted books for the Wainwright Prize will be announced 4th August 2021.

The 2021 Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing longlist is:

Vesper FlightsHelen Macdonald, Vintage

The Stubborn Lights of Things: A Nature DiaryMelissa Harrison, Faber

Seed to DustMarc Hamer, Vintage

The Screaming SkyCharles Foster, Little Toller Books

English Pastoral: An InheritanceJames Rebanks, Penguin Press

Into The Tangled BankLev Parikian, Elliot & Thompson

Thin PlacesKerri ni Dochartaigh, Canongate Books

Birdsong in A Time of Silence, Steven Lovatt, Penguin Press

I Belong HereAnita Sethi, Bloomsbury

FeatherhoodCharlie Gilmour, Orion Publishing Group

The Circling SkyNeil Ansell, Headline

The Wild Silence, Raynor Winn, Michael Joseph

Skylarks with RoiseStephen Moss, Saraband


The 2021 Wainwright Prize for Writing on Global Conservation longlist is:

Entangled Life, Merlin Sheldrake, Vintage

A Life on Our Planet, David Attenborough, Penguin Random House

Islands of Abandonment, Cal Flyn, HarperCollins

What If We Stopped Pretending, Jonathan Franzen, Fourth Estate

Net Zero: How we Stop Causing Climate Change, Dieter Helm, HarperCollins

Under A White Sky, Elizabeth Kolbert, Vintage

A World on the Wing, Scott Weidensaul, Pan Macmillan

Riders on the Storm, Alastair McIntosh, Birlinn Ltd

Fathoms, Rebecca Giggs, Scribe

The Reindeer Chronicles, Judith D. Schwarts, Chelsea Green Publishing

Ice Rivers, Jemma Wadham, Penguin Press

The New Climate War, Michael E. Mann, Scribe

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.

For more information please contact:

Amy Cousins at AGILE
Email: amy@agile-ideas.com

Ruth Cairns at Featherstone Cairns
Tel: 07960 870 867 Email: ruth@featherstonecairns.com

Carie Barkhuizen at Seymour PR (representing James Cropper Paper)
Tel: 0784 308 2084  Email: carie@seymourpr.co.uk

Key Dates

4th August 2021 – The Wainwright Prize 2021 Shortlist launch

7th September 2021 –  The Wainwright Prize 2021 Awards Ceremony