Co Down teenager Dara McAnulty has become the youngest ever winner of a major literary prize in the UK with his observations on the natural world and his experience of coping with autism. Such was the standard of his book that the judges of the 2020 Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing say it should be put on the national curriculum.
There can be no higher praise than that and his victory shows that even in a world gripped by the greatest pandemic in living memory it is still possible to raise awareness of the natural world and the way it is changing. What is most important is that his book will be more readily accessible to other young people than tomes written by people of an older generation.
Young people do not like to be talked down to, but rather be able to formulate their own views and in that way they will be able to relate to Dara's book, Diary of a Young Naturalist.
Dara has overcome many difficulties due to his autism and his success makes him a shining role model for his peers and those undergoing their own challenges.