News & Events Latest news Smooth Snake secures Species Champion 1st March 2015 Mr Desmond Swayne, MP for New Forest West has become one of the first MP Species Champions in England after lending his political support to the smooth snake which has its national strong hold in the New Forest and the nearby Dorset heaths. Iconic and threatened English species are being ‘adopted’ by MPs across England, who are acting as ‘Species Champions’ to help improve the species’ future. From the smooth snake to the nightingale, 20 English species currently facing significant threats have been identified and put up for adoption. Mr Swayne commented “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 precious species. It’s fantastic that so many other MPs have come on board to be part of the scheme.” Mr Swayne will learn first-hand about smooth snakes and be shown how we can help its populations recover. It is hoped this scheme will provide a brighter future for the selected species, spread that knowledge throughout the political community and shape policy to improve its future.