Award-winning nature writer James Rebanks will be the final speaker at Bridport Literary Festival in November.

In an addition to the published programme, festival director Tanya Bruce-Lockhart has managed to secure his services just days after Rebanks won the prestigious Wainwright Prize for his book English Pastoral: An Inheritance.

The event at The Electric Palace, Bridport, at 7.30pm on Saturday 13 November looks set to be popular. He’ll be in conversation with Elizabeth Wainwright.

The story of Rebanks’s family farm in the Cumbrian Fells was praised by the Wainwright Prize judges as a ‘seminal work which will still be celebrated in 50 years.’ The award is named after writer and fellwalker Alfred Wainwright and goes to the book that ‘most successfully inspires readers to explore the outdoors and to nurture a respect for the natural world.’

The award comes at a time when interest in nature writing is at its highest. Natural history sales totalled £2.8 million July and August, according to Nielsen BookScan, up 21% on the same period last year and 31% on 2019.

A very personal book, English Pastoral is the story of an inheritance and one that affects us all. It tells of how rural landscapes around the world were brought close to collapse, and the age-old rhythms of work, weather, community and wild things were lost. Yet this elegy from the northern fells of Cumbria is also a song of hope; of how, guided by the past, one farmer began to salvage his tiny corner of England. 

The author Philip Pullman says: ‘Rebanks writes so well that I can’t imagine anyone starting to read it and not being eager to read it all at once, as I did, and not being moved by the life and the landscape he describes so well. I was thrilled by it.’

You can book tickets through the website or call Bridport Tourist Information Centre on 01308 424901.