CELEBRATING A LITTLE BIT OF CUMBRIA with English Pastoral author James Rebanks
As headline sponsors of the Wainwright Prize, and being based in the English Lake District ourselves, we were delighted to be able to visit James Rebanks at his farm in Matterdale to present him with the Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing for his book ‘English Pastoral’.
Our Chairman Mark Cropper was joined by Alistair Giles of Agile, organisers of the prize, and Richard Bracewell our Marketing Director to congratulate James and hand over the award.
James welcomed us on a very wet and windy day, and very kindly gave us a tour of the farm where we learned about the nature friendly farming methods being put into practice to make the farm more environmentally sustainable – improving soil health and biodiversity, and ensuring the farm sequesters more carbon than it releases.
It was truly inspiring to have that direct connection and experience with nature, and something that James and the other authors on the Wainwright Prize list do beautifully is to bring nature into our indoor moments.
I write out in the field on my phone…scraps of paper…a notebook that can fit in my pocket. The kind of writer I am I try to capture the immediacy of things, and there’s a directness to doing that at the time that you can’t replicate later.James Rebanks, Author
The farm is nestled between two of Wainwright’s fells, Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell in Matterdale, just a short drive north of our mill. When ‘English Pastoral’ was published, James was not aware that it was made with paper from our mill, and still retains some water from the Lake District fells within every cover.
“That’s a lovely and mad thought that my book is made out of a little bit of Cumbria”, James commented.
It was a thought provoking day, and one that resonates with our own sustainability goals and ambitions towards net zero.