Latest Species Champions News

Thank you to our 59 MP Species Champions

06 November 2019

The Species Champions partnership organisations would like to thank all the MPs who have taken part in the Species Champions project, working on behalf of their species in Parliament, their constituencies and in the media. In particular we wish to thank Richard Benyon, Alastair Burt, Peter Heaton-Jones, Norman Lamb, Claire Perry and Caroline Spelman who are standing down from Parliament and won’t be seeking re-election.  While Parliament is dissolved the project is suspended but we will be back in action soon after the General Election, and in the meantime we will review the project and the species being championed to make sure that MPs can have maximum impact for our threatened wildlife.

Species Champions take part in Restoring Nature and Climate Change Debate

28 October 2019

A popular petition which called for the restoration of nature on a massive scale to help stop climate breakdown received in excess of 100,000 signatures, triggering a Westminster Hall debate. Several MP species champions took part; Daniel Zeichner MP led the debate on behalf of Petitions Committee, Kerry McCarthy MP and Caroline Nokes MP gave speeches, while there were interventions from Barry Sheerman MP, Tracey Crouch MP, and Caroline Lucas MP.

MPs call for the Environment Bill to help their species

28 October 2019

The Second Reading of the Environment Bill attracted several MP species champions and Chris Grayling MP (hedgehog) called for housing to be built in a way that is sustainable for the surrounding countryside and Derek Thomas MP (Manx shearwater) asked the Secretary of State to look at funding of nature recovery programmes.

Species Champions debate the Queen’s Speech

17 October 2019

MPs debated the Environment Bill, a cornerstone of the legislative programme set out in the Queen’s Speech. Two species champions – Victoria Prentis MP (corn bunting) and Derek Thomas (Manx shearwater) welcomed the nature recovery strategies in the Bill and stressed their importance to their species.

A bat, a butterfly and a bird win at the 2019 MP Champions Annual Awards

14 October 2019

Helen Hayes MP, champion of the common pipistrelle won the Best Parliamentary Champion prize at this year’s Annual Awards. Caroline Nokes MP, who champions the Duke of Burgundy, picked up the species award in recognition of the dramatic improvement in the butterfly’s conservation status. The Muddy Welly prize went to Angela Smith MP, hen harrier champion, following her visit to a very muddy blanket bog at RSPB Dove Stone earlier in the year.

Three MPs recognised for their work as Species Champions

14 October 2019

Helen Hayes MP, Caroline Nokes MP and Angela Smith MP were winners at the 2019 Annual Awards reception at Westminster. Prizes were presented by Frank Gardner OBE, the President of the British Trust for Ornithology and BBC Security Correspondent, with Matt Shardlow, Buglife Chief Executive, speaking on behalf of the project partners. The MPs attending the event were asked to sign a letter to the Prime Minister calling for urgent action in response to the ecological crisis.

Caroline Lucas MP goes on a plant hunt

19 September 2019

The Brighton Pavilion MP accompanied Plantlife and Natural England staff in search of Round- headed rampion, the plant species she champions and which can be found on the rich chalk grassland at Castle Hill National Nature Reserve.

Summer 2019 Species Champion newsletter published

15 September 2019

The latest MP Species Champion newsletter has been published ahead of the Species Champion awards

Bill Wiggin MP finally gets to meet his rare plant species

14 August 2019

The North Herefordshire MP, Bill Wiggin, has championed the endangered Spreading Bellflower for 3 years but has only now been fortunate enough to see it. The plant has responded well to active management by Forestry England and Plantlife at Frith Wood in his constituency.

MP helps to bake Pheasant’s Eye seeds

07 August 2019

John Glen MP helped sow seeds of his species, the rare arable plant Pheasant’s Eye, on farmland being managed in a nature-friendly manner. Kew Millennium Seed Bank, which sourced the seeds, discovered they needed baking in the sun to help germination, so this year tens of thousands of seeds are being sown on top of the soil to expose them to the summer heat.