Andrew Forgrave, rural affairs editor at the Daily Post, said of The Hawk Moth Effect, the winning entry: ‘Can you remember that precise moment when you fell in love with wildlife? Chris Kinsey can. She was aged 10, and the object of her affection was an elephant hawk moth. With the gift of adult hindsight, she recalls the childish wonderment she felt with this “beautiful imago” that, to her astonishment, carried the gift of metamorphosis. Its “Alice-in-Wonderland transformation” from cigar butt chrysalis to moth world stealth bomber sparked a lifelong fascination with lepidoptera. And who can blame her?’
Gillian Clarke, the national poet of Wales and one of the judges, commented: ‘The best entries teach me something, and have a narrative. Good writing is clear, and avoids the temptation to add too many adjectives.’
Gillian Clarke will present Chris Kinsey with the £500 cash prize, donated by WWF Cymru, at the Dinefwr 2012 Literature Festival on 30th June. She will also present the £500 voucher for the residential nature writing course at Tŷ Newydd to John Harold who came second with an article titled How I fell in love with the frog lady.
James Robertson, editor of Natur Cymru, commented ‘The competition elicited some wonderful pieces of writing. Luckily we had five prizes to give out: the judges agonised about the order of the final five, each having its strong points. Congratulations to all five winners, and all those who took part. Nature writing is clearly flourishing.’
Anne Meikle, Head of WWF Cymru, said: ‘WWF Cymru is delighted to have sponsored this year’s Natur Cymru writing competition. We hope reading such talented work will enthuse others into discovering the wonders of nature and some of the threats which they face.’
The other prize winners are Eloise Williams who wins an overnight trip for two to Skomer Island (sponsored by The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales) with an article titled I carry your heart with me. In fourth place is Liz Fleming-Williams who wins a dolphin survey boat trip for two (sponsored by Dolphin Survey Boat Trips) for her article Snow on a Raven’s Wing. In fifth place is Rob Collister who wins a meal for two at the Glasshouse Café in the Wildlife Centre at Cilgerran (sponsored by The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales) for his article In my backyard.
The first two articles will be published in the autumn edition of Natur Cymru. Prize giving at Dinefwr will be in the dining room of Newton House at Dinefwr at 2:15 pm Saturday 30th June. This will be followed by a guided walk through Castell Woods led by Ray Woods and Lizzie Wilberforce.