Champions

Debbie Abrahams MP (Oldham East and Saddleworth)

Debbie 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, Debbie’s species, 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 currently chairs the Committee on Exiting the European Union.

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Jake Berry MP (Rossendale and Darwen)

Jake is a Conservative Party politician in the UK. His is the Member of Parliament for Rossendale and Darwen in south east Lancashire and is championing the curlew.  The constituency is made up of a number of small towns, deep valleys and the West Pennine Moors. Jake was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department of Communities and Local Government.

“The Curlew is an iconic bird that can be seen on the hills surrounding Rossendale, Darwen and North Turton. I’m delighted to be able to support the RSPB with their work to protect this great British bird and campaign to protect its habitat amongst the West Pennine Moors.”

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Steve Brine MP (Winchester)

Steve is a Conservative Party politician in the UK. He is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Winchester in Hampshire and is championing the striped lychnis moth. The constituency includes the cathedral city of Winchester together with surrounding towns and villages. Steve writes a monthly column for the Hampshire Chronicle newspaper, and his political interests include health, planning and development. Steve is currently a member of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

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

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James Cartlidge (South Suffolk)

James is a Conservative Party politician and has been Member of Parliament for the constituency of South Suffolk in the east of England since 2015.  This is 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.

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Therese Coffey MP (Suffolk Coastal)

Therese is a Conservative Party politician in the UK. She is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Suffolk Coastal and is championing the bittern. Suffolk Coastal covers 74 miles of coastline, including Felixstowe, the biggest container port in the UK. Therese is Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions.

“As the RSPB’s Bittern Champion I want to raise the profile of this once near-extinct bird which was the star of BBC Springwatch in 2014. The Suffolk coast is a special place and it is our duty to protect the fantastic wildlife who share it with us.”

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Robert Courts MP (Witney)

Robert has been the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for the constituency of Witney in west Oxfordshire since 2016 and is championing the cuckoo. His constituency is largely rural, containing the Oxfordshire part of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and agriculture and tourism are important to its economy. Robert is a practising barrister and serves on the International Trade Committee.

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Tracey Crouch (Chatham and Aylesford)

Tracey is a Conservative Party politician in the UK, and has been Member of Parliament for the constituency of Chatham and Aylesford in south east Kent since 2010. Tracey’s constituency includes part of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where one can find wildflowers such as the common poppy – the species championed by Tracey.

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Jon Cruddas MP (Dagenham and Rainham)

Jon is a Labour Party politician in the UK. He is the Member of Parliament for Dagenham and Rainham in east London and is championing the European eel. The constituency is undergoing large scale redevelopment of brownfield industrial land along the banks of the river Thames, including the London Riverside Conservation Park. Jon is keen on fishing and is Treasurer of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Angling.

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Thangam Debbonaire MP (Bristol West)

Thangam Debbonaire is a Labour party politician and Member of Parliament for Bristol West since 2015. Her constituency covers most of central and west Bristol and includes Bristol University and the University of the West of England. The world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, that spans the Avon Gorge and Bristol Zoo are in the constituency.  Thangam, who is championing the shrill carder bee, is Labour’s Shadow Minister for Housing.

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Philip Dunne (Ludlow)

Philip is a Conservative Party politician in the UK. He is Member of Parliament for the constituency of Ludlow in south Shropshire. A combination of farmland and market towns, the constituency covers much of the southern half of the county and includes the Shropshire Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A farmer since 1987, Philip has previously spoken out about the need to protect the natural environment. Philip Dunne is the Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee. The woods of the West Midlands are one of the remaining strongholds for the Wood white butterfly, the species championed by Philip.

“Working with Butterfly Conservation, I hope my role as Species Champion will raise the profile of this important rare species and help secure its future.”

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Mark Garnier (Wyre Forest)

Mark is a Conservative Party politician in the UK. He has been the 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. Mark is 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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Rt Hon Robert Goodwill MP (Scarborough and Whitby)

Robert Goodwill has been the Conservative Party MP for Scarborough and Whitby in North Yorkshire since 2005 and was previously a Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber. He is championing the Lesser sandeel. His coastal constituency contains the two seaside towns of Scarborough and Whitby, which still retain some limited fishing activity, and their rural surroundings, where agriculture and tourism are the main economic activities.  Robert, whose family owns a 250 acre farm in North Yorkshire, lists his interests as agriculture, fisheries, environment and transport. Robert is a member of the Environmental Audit Committee, and was previously the Minister of State for Agriculture and Fisheries.

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Rt. Hon. Chris Grayling MP (Epsom and Ewell)

Chris Grayling has been the Conservative Member of Parliament for the constituency of Epsom and Ewell since 2001 and is championing the hedgehog.  The constituency is a commuter area to the south west of London and contains the Epsom Downs, an area of chalk uplands that is the site of the Epsom Downs racecourse.

“Surveys by hedgehog experts tell us that we have lost over a third of all our hedgehogs in the past decade. And they are still declining.  The reasons for their decline are complex, but I hope to be able to promote the conservation of this animal in Government and see hedgehog numbers back on the rise once again”.

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Emma Hardy MP (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle)

Emma Hardy is a Labour Party politician, and has been the MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle since 2017. In 2019 Emma Hardy launched Hull’s ‘Butterfly City’ project, to plant 3000 trees across the city to attract the Brimstone Butterfly, which Emma Champions.

Emma currently undertakes the role of Shadow Minister for Education for Labour.

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Rt. Hon. Matt Hancock MP (West Suffolk)

Matt Hancock has been the Conservative Party MP for West Suffolk since 2010 and was appointed Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in July 2018.  Matt, who champions the hazel dormouse, is interested in economics, education and horse racing and is currently the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. The West Suffolk constituency is mainly rural, dominated by farming, and contains the towns of Haverhill and Newmarket as well as two major US Air Force bases at Lakenheath and Mildenhall.

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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 Minister for the Cabinet Office.

“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 is a Conservative Party politician in the UK. He is the 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.

“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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Tim Loughton MP (East Worthing and Shoreham)

Tim has been the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for the constituency of East Worthing and Shoreham since 1997, and is championing the yellowhammer. His constituency, which is a mixture of urban and rural areas, is located on the south coast of England and stretches from the coast into the chalk hills known as the South Downs. It includes part of the South Downs National Park and Sussex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In Parliament Tim sits on the Home Affairs Committee and his interests include the environment and housing.

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Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion)

Caroline was elected as the UK’s first Green MP in 2010. She is Member of Parliament for Brighton Pavilion, situated on the south coast and stretching inland to the South Downs. Caroline is passionate about the importance of securing a healthy natural environment and has sat on the Environmental Audit Committee since her election in 2010.  Caroline is championing the county flower of Sussex, the round-headed rampion. Caroline is an officer of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agroecology for Sustainable Food and Farming, Vice Chair of the APPG on a Better Brexit for Young People and is chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Climate Change.

“I am very pleased to be the species champion for round-headed rampion.  This bright blue flower is also known as the ‘Pride of Sussex’ and can be found in great numbers at Castle Hill National Nature Reserve on the edge of Brighton. However, although it is more common on the South Downs than anywhere else in the UK, it is now only found at a few places in southern England because so much of the chalk grassland where it likes to grow has been lost to farming.”

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Scott Mann MP (North Cornwall)

Scott is a Conservative Party politician in the UK. He is the Member of Parliament for North Cornwall, on the Atlantic coast, and is championing the sea bass. The constituency contains popular holiday resorts, and tourism, fishing and farming are the main industries. Scott has spoken up for recreational sea anglers in Parliament.

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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. Rachael was formerly Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and is now shadow Minister for the third sector.

“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. Alison is currently a Labour Shadow Minister in the Treasury.

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Huw Merriman MP (Bexhill and Battle)

Huw is a Conservative Party politician in the UK. He is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Bexhill and Battle; a semi-rural part of East Sussex located on the south coast between Eastbourne and Hastings, and reaching north to the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. He is chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Bees, which campaigns to raise awareness of the risks to pollinators, and he is championing the Long-horned bee. Huw is Chair of the Transport Committee.

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Damien Moore (Southport)

Damien Moore is the Conservative Member of Parliament for the constituency of Southport since June 2017 and is championing the Natterjack Toad.  Southport is on the northwest coast of England and is an important tourist destination.  The area is well known for its beaches and it hosts the largest area of wild dunes left in Britain. These include the Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve, which is a stronghold for the Natterjack toad.

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Layla Moran (Oxford West and Abingdon)

Layla is a Liberal Democrat politician in the UK. She has been Member of Parliament for the constituency of Oxford West and Abingdon since June 2017 and champions the skylark.  The constituency covers the west and north of the city of Oxford, the town of Abingdon and surrounding rural areas. In Parliament Layla is Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson.

Layla is championing the Skylark.

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Rt. Hon. Caroline Noakes MP (Romsey and Southampton North)

Caroline 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. She is championing the Duke of Burgundy butterfly. 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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Mathew Offord MP (Hendon)

Mathew Offord has been the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for the suburban constituency of Hendon in north London since 2010. The constituency contains part of Brent Reservoir (commonly known as the Welsh Harp), a large area of open water designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its breeding waterbirds. A former political analyst for the BBC, Matthew is a keen sailor and scuba diver and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.  He is championiong the Sandwich tern. He is a member of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee.

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Neil Parish MP (Tiverton and Honiton)

Neil is a Conservative Party politician in the UK. He is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Tiverton and Honiton in mid and east Devon and is championing the marsh fritillary butterfly.  Before entering politics Neil was a farmer and one of his aims as an MP is to be a strong voice for the countryside. He is Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

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Rebecca Pow MP (Taunton Deane)

Rebecca is a Conservative Party politician in the UK. She is the Member of Parliament for Taunton Deane in Somerset and is championing the lapwing The largely rural constituency contains the market towns of Taunton and Wellington, plus surrounding Somerset villages. Rebecca is chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ancient Woodland and Veteran Trees and an officer of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Climate Change. She launched and champions the Sustainable Soils Alliance and is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Natural Environment.

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Victoria Prentis (Banbury/North Oxfordshire)

Victoria is a Conservative Party politician and since 2015 has been the Member of Parliament for Banbury (North Oxfordshire), a rural constituency with two main population centres: Banbury and Bicester.   Victoria, who champions the corn bunting, comes from a farming family and is qualified as a barrister. In Parliament she is the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries.

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Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield)

Barry is a Labour Party politician in the UK. He has been Member of Parliament for the urban constituency of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire since the seat was first established in 1983. In  2015 Barry launched ‘Greenstreams’ – a project dedicated to improving rivers in the Huddersfield area for the benefit of both people and wildlife.

Barry is championing the Noctule bat.

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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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Gary Streeter MP (South West Devon)

Gary is a Conservative Party politician in the UK. He is a long time Member of Parliament for the constituency of South West Devon and is championing the horrid ground weaver spider. His constituency is a mixture of urban and rural, and includes a stretch of the coast line of Devon. Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon.

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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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Derek Thomas MP (St Ives and the Isles of Scilly)

Derek is a Conservative Party politician in the UK. He is the Member of Parliament for the Cornish constituency of St Ives and the Isles of Scilly, at the south western tip of England, and is championing the Manx shearwater. The economy in his constituency used to be based on tin mining and fishing but is now more tourism orientated. Derek is a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

“I am extremely honoured to have been asked to be the champion of the Manx Shearwater. Having personally been to see where the birds’ breed on the Isles of Scilly (one of just a few locations in the UK) and watched the impressive work done to ensure their conservation and protection from ground predators, I am looking forward to working with the RSPB in safeguarding the existence of this special seabird.”

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Kelly Tolhurst MP (Rochester and Strood)

Kelly is a Conservative Party politician in the UK. She is the Member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood, a largely industrial seat in north Kent situated alongside the River Medway, and is championing the nightingale.  Before entering politics Kelly was a marine surveyor with her own business. Kelly is now Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Transport.

“Recently I had the pleasure and honour of becoming the RSPB’s Nightingale Species Champion, given the importance of our local habitat to their existence and which is sadly under threat. In late 2015, the species was listed on the UK Red List meaning now more than ever greater protection is needed.”

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Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP (Berwick upon Tweed)

Anne-Marie has been the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for the constituency of Berwick upon Tweed in the north east of England since 2015. Her constituency, the second largest in England, is mainly rural with a long coastline and several market towns. It contains the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve and part of the Northumberland National Park, while the entire coastline is protected for its contribution towards nationally and internationally important coastal and marine ecosystems. Anne-Marie is the Secretary of State for International Development.

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Charles Walker MP (Broxbourne)

Charles is a Conservative Party politician in the UK. He is the Member of Parliament for Broxbourne, the predominantly urban seat in south east Hertfordshire, and is championing the Atlantic salmon.  Charles is a keen angler and enjoys fishing for chub and barbel on the River Lee.  He is the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Angling.

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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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