Some of our rarest and most threatened species have unexpected champions … MPs in the House of Commons.

Sir Desmond Swayne MP (Conservative, New Forest West) is Species Champion for the smooth snake, whose favoured habitat is found in his New Forest constituency and the nearby Dorset heaths.

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.”

Damien Moore MP (Conservative, Southport) is Species Champion for the natterjack toad.  The MP’s constituency is home to some of the last strongholds of this enigmatic amphibian and includes the area covered by the ‘Gems in the Dunes’ project.

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.”

The MPs bring political backing to the protection and promotion of threatened wildlife.

The project is run by the Rethink Nature partnership, a group of seven wildlife organisations working together to make a difference to species conservation. They are: Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife and the RSPB.

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.

The project is one of a number of initiatives spanning the United Kingdom, involving political representatives working with ARC.

Hefin David AM (Welsh Labour, Caerphilly) is Adder Champion in the Welsh Assembly.  He has been supportive of ARC’s Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) bid.

Jackie Baillie MSP (Scottish Labour, West Scotland) is Smooth Newt Champion in the Scottish Parliament.

MP Species Champions Newsletter

MP Species Champions Newsletter Winter 2019 (PDF)
MP Species Champions Newsletter Summer 2018 (PDF)
MP Species Champions Newsletter Winter 2018 (PDF)
MP Species Champions Newsletter Summer 2017 (PDF)
MP Species Champions Newsletter Winter 2017 (PDF)
MP Species Champions Newsletter Summer 2016 (PDF)