Thursday, January 14, 2021

Shortlist announced: best nature-writing books published in 2020

The Richard Jefferies Society and the White Horse Book Shop Literary Prize is awarded annually to the author of the publication considered by the judging panel to be the most outstanding nature writing published in a given calendar year. The winning work must reflect the heritage and spirit of Richard Jefferies’ countryside books.


 The final short-list for 2020 publications was announced today as: 

·         Orchard. A Year in England’s Eden by Benedict Macdonald and Nicholas Gates.  [Collins]

·         Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty. [Little Toller]

·         The Consolation of Nature: Spring in the Time of Coronavirus by Michael McCarthy, Jeremy Mynott and Peter Marren. [Hodder]

·         The Swallow: A Biography  by Stephen Moss. [Square Peg]

·         Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake. [Bodley Head]

·         The Gospel of the Eels: A Father, a Son and the World’s Most Enigmatic Fish by Patrik Svensson. [Picador]

  The award was first introduced in 2015. Last year attracted an unprecedented number of nominations reflecting the increasing number of books dedicated to the natural world.

 Previous winners are: Gods of the Morning by John Lister-Kaye (2015), The Wood for the Trees by Richard Fortey (2016) The Seabird's Cry by Adam Nicolson (2017), Wilding by Isabella Tree (2018) and Rebirding by Benedict Macdonald (2019).

 The judging panel will meet in May to agree the overall winner of the £1000 prize. The winner will be announced on 24 May 2021.