Funding appeal to save endangered Plymouth spider

Wednesday 11th February 2015

A crowdfunding appeal has been launched to raise money to find and save a spider from global extinction.

A Buglife petition urging a Government planning inspector to reject plans for a housing development in Radford Quarry, Plymouth on the basis it would wipe out the Horrid ground-weaver spider has attracted more than 9,500 signatures.

The spider has only ever been found at three sites in Plymouth – one of which has already been lost when it was turned into an industrial estate, and the main site – Radford Quarry – is now under threat from a new development of 57 houses.

The charity has moved on to the next step, trying to raise the necessary funds to kick start an emergency conservation plan for the species. The survey work needs to take place between March and April, so people have until the end of February in which to donate.

Andrew Whitehouse, South West Manager of Buglife said “We have been overwhelmed by the response to our petition. It is fantastic that so many people have signed to show how much they care about our invertebrates”

“We hope that we will get the same level of support for our fundraising appeal.  If everyone who signed our petition gave just £1 we would have enough money to undertake much needed survey and research.”

Vanessa Amaral-Rogers, Buglife’s Campaigns Officer, said “We urgently need to broaden our surveys to see if we can find the spider elsewhere, only by getting to know this spider better will we be able to develop an emergency conservation plan and prevent its extinction.”

Andrew added “The Horrid ground weaver may be a very small spider with an unusual name, but it has captured the hearts of so many who do not want to see it driven close to extinction. Thank you to everyone who has joined us to help save Plymouth’s special spider.

The funding appeal has a target of £9,600, and has so far raised more than £3,000.