Helen Macdonald’s award-winning H if for Hawk (Vintage) is one of six books on the shortlist for this year’s Thwaites Wainwright Prize.
The prize, which showcases the best books in UK nature and travel writing, includes two books from Penguin Random House’s Vintage division on this year’s shortlist, one from PRH’s Transworld, and one each from independent publishers Granta and Faber & Faber.
It is up against Vintage stablemates Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet by Mark Cocker, about Cocker’s relationship to the East Anglian landscape, nature and living things around him; and Running Free: A Runner’s Journey Back to Nature by Richard Askwith, which is published by Vintage’s Yellow Jersey imprint and is partly a diary of a year running through the Northamptonshire countryside, and partly an exploration of why we love to run without limits.
Meadowland by John Lewis-Stempel (Transworld) is an account and biography of an English’s meadow’s life from January to December.
The Moor by William Atkins (Faber & Faber) is a travelogue of Atkins’ journey from north to south across the UK’s moors.
Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place by Philip Marsden (Granta) is an exploration of why we react strongly to certain places.
Chair of judges Dame Fiona Reynolds said: “From wild moorlands to quaint meadows, the shortlist for the Thwaites Wainwright Prize 2015 reflects both the vast variety of landscapes within the UK and the phenomenal creative work this inspires. Featuring previous award winners – like the Costa Book of the Year, H is for Hawk – alongside award debutantes, these six shortlistees show that nature writing in the UK is as strong as ever.”
The prize was launched by publishers Frances Lincoln, in association with the National Trust, in 2013. It is sponsored by Lancastrian Craft-Brewery, with Stanfords and The National Trust as campaign partners.
Celebrating the legacy of renowned British nature writer Alfred Wainwright, the Prize reflects his core values of inspiring people to explore the outdoors, whilst engendering a love of landscape and respect for nature.
Joining Reynolds on the judging panel are Nigel Roby, chief executive and publisher of The Bookseller; Paul Evans, broadcaster and nature writer; Fergus Collins, editor of BBC Countryfile magazine; Bill Lyons, TV executive editor of "Countryfile", "Secret Britain" and "Coast"; and Katie Bond, publisher at the National Trust.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday 22nd April.