Latest Species Champions News

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.

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.

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.