Cumbrian author Lee Schofield honored with James Cropper Wainwright Prize

A CUMBRIAN author has received accolades for his work at the James Cropper Wainwright Awards.

Lee Schofield wrote Wild Fell: Fighting for Nature on a Lake District Hill Farm, which is his account of a decade of work for the RSPB, in partnership with landowner United Utilities at Haweswater in the Lake District National Park, and the personal and professional challenges involved in working on the front lines of nature conservation in the highlands.

Lee won his award alongside winners of the three nature writing awards, including David Attenborough cameraman James Aldred, BBC R4 presenter Dan Saladino and writer and illustrator brothers Rob and Tom Sears.

Now in its ninth year, the prize is named after Alfred Wainwright, Kendal’s much-loved naturalist and local writer, and is awarded annually to the books that most successfully inspire readers to explore the outdoors and cultivate respect. of the natural world.

The winners were announced just weeks after it was announced that Alfred Wainwright’s coast to coast walk, which begins in the Lake District, will become a national trail. The announcement comes with a £5.6million pledge to improve the route and make it more accessible.

Lee Schofield, author and senior site manager for the RSPB in Haweswater said: “I am delighted to have received the praise from the James Cropper Wainwright Award judges for Wild Fell.

“In the nature and climate crisis, raising awareness of how our environment is being affected has never been more important, and I am proud to have been part of an incredible list of authors, showing the reality of the fight for our planet and how we can all play a part in saving it.

“Wild Fell is a very personal account of my experiences of nature conservation in the highlands, ups and downs.

“I hope this shows how doing something for nature, whether it’s planting trees or connecting more people outdoors, can provide rich and thriving landscapes for people and nature.

“Congratulations to the winners and thank you for all the support from the judges, sponsors, authors, colleagues and the public.”

Mark Cropper, chairman of the prize’s main sponsors, James Cropper, said: “We are always delighted to see local writers succeed, and Lee Schofield is no exception.

“Being set among the hills of the Lake District, stewardship of the natural environment is an integral part of our business, and it is this mutual respect and celebration of nature and conservation that is at the heart of our sponsorship of the award. James Cropper Wainwright.

“This year, we formed a book club and challenged our team to read as many shortlisted books as possible.

“The book club created a buzz around the factory price and Lee’s book was a favorite of many who attended.”

“Telling stories on paper is something our company has been doing for almost two centuries, and it’s a joy to see all of the Prize-winning and highly commended authors doing this thing in such a meaningful way, encouraging us all to embrace and protect what our environment has to offer.

James Cropper has been making fine publishing papers and premium packaging since 1845 in the very town where Alfred Wainwright lived and worked.

In fact, in 2005 the company produced a bespoke paper, matching the paper of the first editions, for Wainwright’s 50th anniversary illustrated guides which were again printed in Kendal.

Lola R. McClure