Latest Species Champions News

Panel debates hen harriers and grouse moors management

17 July 2019

Two species champions, Angela Smith MP and Richard Benyon MP, took part in a lively panel debate at Westminster on the future of grouse moor management, organised by the RSPB. Angela, who champions the hen harrier, spoke of the loss of predator species in her own constituency and called for the illegal killing to stop.

Kittiwakes catch a champion in the north east

10 July 2019

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the Conservative MP for Berwick upon Tweed, will be standing up for the Red listed kittiwake, a seabird that nests on steep cliffs around the UK and relies on a diet of small fish such as sandeel.

Species Champions converge on curlew summit

08 July 2019

Curlew Species Champions from around the UK met at No 10 Downing Street to discuss the plight of curlews. Jake Berry MP, Mark Isherwood AM and Lewis Macdonald MSP speak up for the threatened curlew in Westminster, the Welsh Assembly and Holyrood respectively and joined forces with government officials and conservationists to address possible solutions to curlew declines.

Species Champion takes part in ringing study of lapwings

14 June 2019

During a site visit to RSPB Pulborough Brooks the lapwing champion, Nick Herbert MP, helped search for the birds and got to hold one of lapwing chicks which were ringed that day. The ringing study, now in its second year, aims to help the RSPB find out more about lapwing survival rates, where they overwinter and nesting habits.

Robert Courts to champion the Cuckoo

05 June 2019

The Witney MP Robert Courts is to champion the Red Listed cuckoo. Despite the familiarity of their call and their association with spring, this species has suffered dramatic declines across the United Kingdom.

Stag beetles to get Suffolk champion

22 May 2019

Sandy Martin MP is to champion the stag beetle.  South-east Suffolk is one of the beetle’s strongholds in England and the Ipswich MP will be helping to raise awareness of these extraordinary insects and their habitat needs.

Silver-studded blue butterfly finds Cornish champion

13 May 2019

George Eustice, the Conservative MP for Camborne and Redruth, is to champion the Silver-studded blue butterfly. Now virtually absent from four fifths of its former range, it can still be found in the heathland areas of his Cornish constituency.

MPs Toast New Butterfly Beer

02 May 2019

Butterfly Conservation has launched a new beer – the Wood White – to support the butterfly of the same name. At least 300 pubs are set to stock the limited edition ‘Wood White’, as well as The Strangers’ Bar in the Palace of Westminster, where MPs, their guests and members of parliamentary staff will all be able to sample the new ale.

MPs Debate the Impact of the 25 Year Environment Plan on World Health

09 April 2019

Derek Thomas MP for St Ives and the Isles of Scilly secured a Westminster Hall debate on the impact of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan on health and wellbeing. The debate was attended by a number of MP species champions, including Richard BenyonKerry McCarthyNeil ParishRebecca PowBarry Sheerman and Sarah Wollaston. Bittern champion Thérèse Coffey replied on behalf of the government and stated she expects the Environment Bill to be the first Bill in the next session of Parliament.

Species Champions seek answers from Government

08 April 2019

MP Species Champions have been busy tabling written Parliamentary Questions pressuring the Government to act to protect nature.  Layla Moran MP asked the Government about funding for biodiversity after 2020 and Hilary Benn MP sought reasons for the decline in water voles in England. Four MPs asked about protected areas for birds: Anna Turley MP asked whether Defra will classify the Bowland Fells SPA to include the lesser black-backed gull, while David Drew MP – Labour’s Shadow Farming Minister, Barry Sheerman and Debbie Abrahams asked about improving the protected areas network for curlewbittern and dunlin respectively.  The work and support of our Parliamentary Species Champions remains vital in our efforts to ensure that the Government protects the environment both during and beyond Brexit.