Some of our most threatened species and habitats have unexpected champions … MPs in England, MSPs in Scotland and MSs in Wales. There are a number of initiatives spanning the United Kingdom, involving political representatives working with ARC. Click below to see ARC's Champions in each nation:

See the Species Champion MPs from the House of Commons (England)

See the Nature Champion MSPs from Holyrood (Scotland)

See the Species Champion MSs of the Senedd (Wales)

The English Species Champion MPs

The project is run by the Rethink Nature partnership, a group of seven wildlife organisations working together to make a difference to species conservation. 

The aim is for the MPs to raise awareness of their species and the causes of its decline both in Parliament and in their constituencies.  MPs are encouraged to support the development of public policy and legislation that will help their species to flourish. 

MPs can play a key role in ensuring a world where species – the fundamental building blocks of biodiversity – are valued and thrive.


Sir Desmond Swayne MP (New Forest West) is Species Champion for the smooth snake.

Sir Desmond said: “I’m delighted to be working with Amphibian and Reptile Conservation to champion the rare smooth snake.  Our native wildlife is at threat and I’m keen to do my bit to promote efforts to protect these previous species.  It’s fantastic that so many other MPs have come on board to be part of the scheme.”

Sir Desmond recently joined ARC and Forestry England staff on a rare reptile survey


Damien Moore MP (Southport) is Species Champion for the natterjack toad.  

Mr Moore commented: “I’m more than happy to play my role in supporting this project and to raise awareness of their work. The natterjack toad will be well-championed.”


Sarah Dyke MP (Somerton & Frome, including areas of the Somerset Levels and Moors) is the Species Champion for the Great Crested Newt, 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. 

The Scottish Nature Champion MSPs

The Scottish nature champions campaign is run by ScotLink, and encourages Members of the Scottish Parliament to champion threatened and iconic species and habitats, raising awareness and promoting action to protect and restore Scotland’s environment.

During part one of COP15, MSP Nature Champions provided real-life examples of crucial species and habitats that maintain ecosystem function whilst raising awareness of the inextricable link between the nature and climate crises. Read more about it here.

In Scotland, our nature champion MSP’s are both species and habitat based. See the list below for details: 

Pictured above: MSP Pam Gosal, ARC and National Trust's Nature Champion for traditional orchards, pictured with ARC and National Trust staff. 


The Welsh Species Champion MSs

Wales Environment Link’s (WEL) Species Champion Project started back in June 2016, when joining with the sister projects in Scotland, England and Wales, pairing the Senedd Members with at-risk species in their constituency. In Wales, we have a biodiversity duty placed on all public bodies in Wales, to ensure that everything they do considers the impact on the environment and how we can all do our part to maintain, restore and revive nature in every part of Wales.

Heledd Fychan MS (South Wales Central) is the great crested newt champion for Senedd. 

Jeremy Miles AM (Neath) is the common toad champion. He has championed this species for a number of years now.