The Wainwright Prize was named in honour of Alfred Wainwright, the author of the famous fell walking series, and since 2021 the prize is sponsored by James Cropper PLC
There are three categories, and they are awarded to the work which best reflects Wainwright’s core values and include a celebration of nature and our natural environment, or a warning of the dangers to it across the globe.
A visit to the rapid where she lost a cherished friend unexpectedly reignites Amy-Jane Beer's love of rivers setting her on a journey of natural, cultural and emotional discovery. On New Year's Day 2012, Amy-Jane Beer's beloved friend Kate set out with a group of others to kayak the River Rawthey in Cumbria. Kate never came home, and her death left her devoted family and friends bereft and unmoored. Returning to visit the Rawthey years later, Amy realises how much she misses the connection to the natural world she always felt when on or close to rivers, and so begins a new phase of exploration. The Flow is a book about water, and, like water, it meanders, cascades and percolates through many lives, landscapes and stories.
From West Country torrents to Levels and Fens, rocky Welsh canyons, the salmon highways of Scotland and the chalk rivers of the Yorkshire Wolds, Amy-Jane follows springs, streams and rivers to explore tributary themes of wildness and wonder, loss and healing, mythology and history, cyclicity and transformation. Threading together places and voices from across Britain, The Flow is a profound, immersive exploration of our personal and ecological place in nature.
- Browns Books Synopsis
Over previous years it has been largely funded by sponsors: Thwaites, Marston Brewery (who produced the ‘Wainwright Golden Beer’ brand), the Alfred Wainwright Estate and the Quarto Group. The publicity and promotional campaign for the prize is self-financed by promotional levies from publishers with shortlisted titles.
As of 2021, the prize is now sponsored by James Cropper PLC
The prize is project managed by Agile in association with The National Trust and with promotional support from; BBC Countryfile Live, The Outdoor Guide, The Wainwright Society and many others.