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Richard is proud to be MP Species Champion for the Snake’s-head fritillary.

The Species Champions Project partners Members of Parliament from England with wildlife organisations to bring political support to the protection and promotion of threatened wildlife. The project is run by a group of seven wildlife organisations: Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife (of which Richard is a Trustee) and the RSPB. Additional support is provided by the Angling Trust, the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and Somerset Wildlife Trust.

There are now 39 MP Species Champions who are committed to species as diverse as the Atlantic salmon and the Wood white butterfly.

Richard says, ‘The Snake’s-head fritillary is a beautiful wildflower which is particularly important to me as it survives close to my home and in my constituency. I’ll do all I can to champion its cause and make sure we conserve it in the meadows where it still grows.’

Richard has a particular interest in wildlife and conservation. He served as Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries from 2010 to 2013 and remains committed to working for the environment at Westminster. He chairs the All Party Parliamentary Environment Group and is vice-chair of the APPG for Waterways. He also sits on the Advisory Board of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, a non-profit-making think tank.

He is one of nearly 200 MPs (and rising) who have signed the Green Alliance Pledge for the Environment, committing to making the most of the opportunity offered by Brexit for the UK to assert itself as a world leader on the environment and to establish a new and positive vision for our wildlife and countryside together with building an environmentally sustainable and thriving farming sector:

I believe that following the triggering of Article 50, the UK government, working with administrations in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh, must build a healthy and prosperous future for all.

This means a thriving natural world on land and at sea, clean air and water, communities connected to nature, and a sustainable economy.

For the wellbeing of my constituents, for people at home and abroad, and for future generations who will depend on a flourishing and secure planet, I will do everything in my power to:

  • Establish the UK as a world leader on the environment by committing to match or exceed current environmental, wildlife and habitat protections.
  • Ensure the UK leads on climate change by publishing robust low carbon investment plans and driving the Paris Agreement’s implementation internationally.
  • Create a countryside richer in nature by supporting farmers and landowners to deliver environmental benefits alongside a thriving farming sector.
  • Make the UK a world leader in innovative and sustainable marine and fisheries management.