Species Champions

Politicians in Cardiff, Holyrood and Westminster are working with Plantlife as ‘Species Champions’ to bring political support to the protection and promotion of wild fungi and plants.

As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, Species Champions give our native wildlife a crucial voice in politics across England, Scotland and Wales.

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In the Westminster parliament...

Plantlife trustee Richard Benyon MP is championing the Snake’s-head Fritillary. In July 2017, Richard hosted a reception for all English Species Champions, partner organisations and the TV presenter Steve Backshall.

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In the Scottish Parliament...

Plantlife’s Species Champions include Keith Brown MSP, who visited the rare Sticky Catchfly Silene viscaria in June 2017 at one of its few remaining strongholds – Holyrood Park in Edinburgh. Sticky catchfly is threatened by over-grazing and being swamped by gorse and ivy, and the remaining sites need careful management to avoid local extinction.

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In the Welsh Assembly...

Julie Morgan AM is championing waxcap fungi, which Plantlife Cymru is working to protect. Julie campaigned to protect the Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs in her North Cardiff constituency, where the grasslands host species including Smoky Spindles, Clavaria fumosa, Ballerina Waxcap, Hygrocybe calyptriformis and Earthy Waxcap, Hygrocybe fornicata.

Our Species Champion MPs also include Tracey Crouch, Norman Lamb, Caroline Lucas and Bill Wiggin.

In total, more than 160 politicians have ‘adopted’ species to champion, working with a range of nature conservation organisations across the UK. They are playing a vital role in raising the profile of these species and advocating their conservation, both in their local constituency and in their national assembly or parliament.

For more information, please contact Jenny Hawley, Senior Policy Officer at Plantlife, at jenny.hawley@plantlife.org.uk