Debbie Abrahams MP (Oldham East and Saddleworth)

Debbie Abrahams is a Labour Party politician in the UK, and has been Member of Parliament for Oldham East and Saddleworth since 2011.  The constituency lies to the east of Greater Manchester, and reaches from central Oldham up in to the Pennines and Saddleworth Moor. Debbie’s constituency includes part of the Peak District National Park and the RSPB’s Dovestone reserve where dunlin, the species she champions, can be found in the breeding season.

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Harriett Baldwin MP (West Worcester)

Harriett is a Conservative party politician in the UK. She has been the Member of Parliament for West Worcestershire since 2010 and is the champion the Violet click beetle. West Worcestershire is a large, rural and relatively sparsely populated constituency. Harriett is on the Treasury Committee, and was previously Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development.

“We are lucky to live in the most beautiful rural countryside and I have been briefed about a specific beetle which lives on Bredon Hill and which needs protecting.

“There are only three sites in the UK where the Violet Click Beetle is known to live so I was keen to sign up and do what I can to help this species.”

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Hilary Benn MP (Leeds Central)

Hilary has been the Labour Party Member of Parliament for Leeds Central since 1999 and is championing the water vole . The constituency contains the retail and commercial centre of the city as well as two universities. The River Aire runs through the centre of the constituency and recent improvements in water quality have allowed species such as water vole to return to parts of the river. Hilary was Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2007 to 2010 and continues to regularly contribute in parliamentary debates on nature and the environment.

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Saqib Bhatti MP (Meriden)

Saqib Bhatti is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Meriden, which is a slim rural green belt constituency in the West Midlands. Saqib is the champion for the willow tit, a UK Red List bird often found in damp willow thickets. In Parliament, Saqib sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee and is a member of the Conservative Environment Network.

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Olivia Blake MP (Sheffield, Hallam)

Olivia Blake is the Labour Member of Parliament for Sheffield, Hallam. Olivia’s constituency is largely rural, with the western part of the seat falling within the Peak District National Park and comprising mostly of moorland. Olivia is the champion for the hen harrier, a bird of prey known for its spectacular ‘sky dancing’. The hen harrier is on the UK Red List and illegal raptor persecution drives their decline. In Parliament, Olivia is a staunch advocate for nature and has previously served as the Shadow Climate Change Minister and the Shadow Minister for Nature, Flooding & Water.

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James Cartlidge MP (South Suffolk)

James Cartlidge is the Conservative Member of Parliament for South Suffolk, a rural seat stretching in a narrow horizontal strip along Suffolk`s border with Essex, through the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Most of the seat is traditional agriculture, sitting alongside remote commuter bases for those working in London and nearby towns. James is championing the turtle dove, a UK Red List bird found mostly within woodlands in southern and eastern England. In Parliament, James is the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and an Assistant Government Whip.

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Sarah Dyke (Somerton and Frome)

Sarah is the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for the rural constituency of Somerton and Frome, that includes areas of the Somerset Levels and Moors. Sarah is the Species Champion for the Great Crested Newt, which is the UK’s largest newt and a highly protected native species that has experienced enormous declines in both range and abundance. One of Sarah’s primary focuses is the environment, which she is an advocate for in Parliament but also as Somerset County Council’s environmental portfolio lead, supporting local biodiversity and climate objectives. 

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Sir Roger Gale MP (North Thanet)

Sir Roger Gale is the Conservative Member of Parliament for North Thanet. Sir Roger’s seat stretches along the north-eastern coast of Kent and contains several seaside towns and their rural hinterlands. Sir Roger is the champion for the beaver, a keystone species once native to Britain. Beaver populations are looking to be re-established where they used to live and are credited for their significant positive impact on the environments they inhabit. Sir Roger is also a member of the Conservative Environment Network’s Parliamentary caucus.

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Mark Garnier (Wyre Forest)

Mark Garnier is the Conservative Member of Parliament for the Worcestershire constituency of Wyre Forest since 2010, covering the towns of Kidderminster, Stourport and Bewdley, and various rural villages. The Forest of Wyre, located on the western side of the constituency, is one of the largest areas of semi-natural woodland in the UK and home to the rare lesser-spotted woodpecker, the species championed by Mark. In Parliament, Mark is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Brunei, Myanmar and Thailand and a member of the International Trade Committee.

“I am delighted to champion the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, the smallest woodpecker in Europe.  Worryingly the Lesser Spotted has seen a 50% reduction in numbers over the last 25 years.  Representing a constituency with one of the ancient English woodlands, a natural habitat for the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, I look forward to learning about this bird and championing its plight.”

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John Glen MP (Salisbury)

John Glen is the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for Salisbury in Wiltshire since 2010. His is a large rural constituency that includes parts of the West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the northern tip of the New Forest National Park, and the southern part of Salisbury plain, including Stonehenge.  He is championing the pheasant’s-eye, a small arable plant found in his constituency. John is Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister.

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Andrew Griffith MP (Arundel and South Downs)

Andrew Griffith is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Arundel and South Downs, which is a mostly rural constituency within the South Downs National Park. Andrew champions the redshank, a wading bird with distinctive orangey red legs. In Parliament, Andrew has been appointed Parliamentary Secretary (Minister for Policy and Head of the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit). 

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Emma Hardy MP (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle)

Emma Hardy is a Labour Party politician, and has been the Member of Parliament for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle since 2017. In 2019, Emma launched Hull’s ‘Butterfly City’ project, to plant 3000 trees across the city to attract the Brimstone Butterfly, which Emma Champions. In Parliament, Emma sits on the Treasury Committee and has previously been Labour’s Shadow Education Minister.

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Helen Hayes (Dulwich & West Norwood)

Helen is a Labour Party politician in the UK. She is Member of Parliament for the constituency of Dulwich & West Norwood in south London. The constituency contains a number of woodlands and parks, providing an urban home to a diversity of wildlife including Helen’s species, the common pipistelle. Helen is currently Labour’s Shadow Children and Early Years Minister.

“I’m very pleased to champion the Common pipistrelle. This species can be seen in the green spaces of my constituency of Dulwich and West Norwood as well as in lots of other urban and rural settings across the UK. Watching the aerial acrobatics of common pipistrelles as they hunt insects at night is a pleasure that everyone should have the opportunity to witness. I am delighted to add my voice to that of Bat Conservation Trust in order to speak up for these wonderful but sadly undervalued and misunderstood animals.”

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Kevin Hollinrake MP (Thirsk and Malton)

Kevin Hollinrake is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Thirsk and Malton, a huge rural seat in north Yorkshire, and is championing the puffin. His constituency includes part of the North York Moors and a stretch of coastline; the economy is largely based on tourism and agriculture. In Parliament, Kevin is a member of the Treasury Committee.

“This iconic seabird is very special and very precious, and it’s wonderful that we can see it here, on the East Yorkshire coast.  We should all be doing our utmost to protect it.  I’m delighted to help the cause – and I think taking on this role is really going to impress my eight year old daughter, which is an added bonus.”

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Danny Kruger MP (Devizes)

Danny Kruger is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Devizes. Danny’s constituency in Wiltshire includes four main towns and many villages, and overlaps with the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding National Beauty. Danny is the champion for the Great Bustard, the heaviest flying bird in the world and has only a few small breeding populations left after being pushed to national extinction through persecution and habitat loss but has since been and brought back through restoration projects. In Parliament, Danny sits on the Treasury Committee and has previously held Parliamentary Private Secretary posts in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.  
“I am delighted to be appointed Species Champion for the Great Bustard – the traditional ‘county bird’ of Wiltshire and once again a familiar sight on Salisbury Plain thanks to the heroic efforts of David Waters and the Great Bustard Group. This huge bird needs a safe habitat in order to thrive and there is no better place in England than here in the heart of Wiltshire for the revival of this ancient indigenous species.” 

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Rachael Maskell MP (York Central)

Rachael is a Labour Party politician in the UK. She is the Member of Parliament for the urban constituency of York Central and is championing the tansy beetle. The constituency takes in most of the heart of the historic northern city. In Parliament, Rachael was formerly Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and she currently sits on the Ecclesiastical Committee.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to join the Species Champions initiative and adopt the Tansy beetle.  This beautiful beetle has been described as the Jewel of York, and is a special species for many in our local community.”

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Kerry McCarthy MP (Bristol East)

Kerry is a Labour Party politician in the UK. She is the Member of Parliament for the urban constituency of Bristol East and is championing the swift. The constituency is home to some of Bristol’s best green spaces.  She was the first vegan MP in the House of Commons and is a patron of the Vegan Society. Kerry is Labour’s Shadow Minister for Green Transport.

“I’ve been asked by the RSPB to “champion” the swift as part of an effort to raise awareness and protect this remarkable migrant bird that nests almost exclusively in buildings, particularly in urban areas.  Sadly the number of swifts has declined by more than 45% over the last forty years and they have been placed on the amber list. One of the problems they face is a lack of suitable nesting opportunities.”

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Alison McGovern (Wirral South)

Alison is a Labour Party politician in the UK. She is Member of Parliament for the constituency of Wirral South in Merseyside – one of four constituencies covering the Wirral peninsula – made up of countryside and farmland as well as residential areas. Alison is a strong supporter of the New Ferry Butterfly Park, an urban nature reserve managed by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust, which is located within her constituency and is home to Alison’s species, the small copper butterfly. In Parliament, Alison is currently Labour’s Shadow Minister for Employment. .

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Ed Miliband MP (Doncaster North)

Ed Miliband is the Member of Parliament for Doncaster North and the Labour Party’s Shadow Secretary for Energy Security and Net Zero. He sees the environment and climate change as a defining issue for this generation. Ed has held a number of senior posts in both government and opposition, including being Leader of the Labour Party.

Ed’s constituency covers largely rural and suburban areas north and west of Doncaster, including parts of the River Don and Adwick. Former farmland within the surrounding floodplain, Adwick washland is a mix of wetland and grassland habitat that hosts a variety of wildlife, including the species Ed champions: the Starling.

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Layla Moran (Oxford West and Abingdon)

Layla Moran is the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for the constituency of Oxford West and Abingdon since June 2017. Layla’s constituency covers the west and north of the city of Oxford, the town of Abingdon and surrounding rural areas. Layla champions the skylark, a widespread bird well known for its display flights, but due to dramatic declines is now in the UK Red List. In Parliament, Layla is the Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson.

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Caroline Nokes MP (Romsey and Southampton North)

Caroline Nokes is a Conservative Party politician in the UK. She has been the Member of Parliament for the Hampshire constituency of Romsey and Southampton North since 2010. Caroline has a keen interest in environmental issues and she is championing the Duke of Burgundy butterfly. In Parliament, Caroline is the Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee.

“I’m thrilled to be working with Butterfly Conservation to raise the profile of this rare butterfly and I’m hoping that by being a ‘Species Champion’ I can contribute to securing its future in Hampshire.”

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Luke Pollard MP (Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport)

Luke Pollard is the Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport and previously served as Shadow Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Luke’s constituency sits on the south-west coast of England, bordering Plymouth Sound National Marine Park, the first of its kind in the UK.

Luke champions the pink sea fan, a species that enhances and enriches the marine environment by providing safe habitats for species and important breeding and feeding grounds for commercial species. In Parliament, Luke is the vice chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Environment and frequently campaigns for better environmental protection.

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Alex Sobel MP (Leeds North West)

Alex is a Labour Party politician. He has been Member of Parliament for Leeds North West since his election in 2017. Alex has a keen interest in nature, and in 2019 sponsored a Parliamentary debate on insect declines. He is currently Labour’s Shadow Minister for Heritage and Tourism.

Alex is championing the White Clawed Crayfish.

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Rt. Hon. Sir Desmond Swayne MP (New Forest West)

Desmond is the Conservative MP for New Forest West in Hampshire, is championing the smooth snake, which has a stronghold in the New Forest. The constituency, which he has held since 1997, is located in the south of England and skirts along the western edge of the New Forest and includes several market towns, a port and a stretch of coastline.

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Daniel Zeichner MP (Cambridge)

Daniel is a Labour Party politician in the UK. He is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Cambridge and is championing the ruderal bumblebee.  Daniel is a keen environmentalist and is an executive member of Labour’s national environmental campaigning group, SERA, making the case for a shift to a greener tax policy. Daniel is Labour’s Shadow Minister for Agriculture.

“Where would we be without bees? As far as important species go, they are top of the list. I am passionate about protecting our precious pollinator species from decline as they are facing threats from loss of habitat and the Government’s opposition to the European ban on neonicotinoids.”

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