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Unloved and desperate for a date

This Valentine’s day, Plantlife plays matchmaker for Scotland’s threatened plants and fungi who need some parliamentary affection.

February 14 2013

Lesser butterfly orchid © Plantlife

Lesser butterfly orchid © Plantlife

Scotland’s threatened and endangered wild plants are yearning for some political tender loving care, Plantlife has identified 13 unlucky species in desperate need of affection and hope to pair them up with an MSP who can become their ‘Species Champion’.

So far, love has blossomed for the beautiful lesser butterfly orchid and the Scottish primrose who have been matched with MSPs committed to this initiative, but this still leaves 11 species desperately in need. Finding love and a committed relationship will help ensure a future for these iconic Scottish species.

Deborah Long from Plantlife Scotland said: “Our wild flowers and plants are so often the ‘undateables’ of our wildlife. Cute and cuddly animals often receive the most public attention, but we hope to play political matchmaker for some lesser-known, sometimes quite uncuddly, but equally important species. Each species is a symbol of Scotland’s precious, but threatened biodiversity. The recent debate in Parliament on Scotland’s Biodiversity Strategy shows that MSPs really do care. The Species Champion initiative is an opportunity for our generation of Scotland’s politicians to develop intimate knowledge and a collective expertise to address the challenges facing the flora and fauna of our country.”

Looking for love:

  • Dune gentian: This coastal flower is incredibly rare in the UK but getting a political partner this Valentine’s Day could safeguard its future on the island of Colonsay.
  • Juniper: Its berries might be famous for the flavour they give gin, yet without urgent action the future of juniper could be “down the hatch”. From its strongholds in Strathspey and Perthshire, juniper has continued to disappear from the Scottish countryside and has been lost from a quarter of places where it was previously found.
  • Splendid waxcap: This forgotten fungi is feeling left out in the cold when it comes to love and attention. A Scottish politician could really champion the cause of this little red toadstool that is found throughout Scotland but especially in the Scottish Borders, Caithness & Sutherland.

Each ‘species champion’ MSP will be able to learn first-hand from Plantlife what needs to be done to conserve and protect their chosen loved one!

For interviews and images email Justina Simpson or call 07833 700 177.