Matt Warman MP has been awarded the ‘Muddy Welly Award’ by the RSPB in recognition of his work as Species Champion for the redshank.
The award was presented at a reception marking the first anniversary of the charity’s Species Champions project and celebrating the recruitment of 39 MPs from across the political spectrum. TV presenter Steve Backshall joined MPs for the celebrations.
Matt was presented with the Muddy Welly Award after he enthusiastically joined RSPB staff in monitoring breeding redshank on the saltmarsh at RSPB’s Frampton Marsh reserve in his constituency. Matt was to be seen leaping across muddy ditches, armed with a clipboard, in quest of the secretive breeding birds.
The Species Champions project brings together MPs and conservationists from a partnership of 9 wildlife organisations to work on behalf of threatened species which range from the swift to the Atlantic salmon and the small copper butterfly to the greater horseshoe bat.
At the ceremony MPs were asked to sign the Greener UK Pledge for the Environment. The pledge, which Matt signed, calls upon MPs to work to establish the UK as a world leader in the environment by committing to match or exceed the current protections we have in place for nature.
Matt said, “It was great to join the RSPB in celebrating the first anniversary of their Species Champion initiative, which has gathered MPs from across the main political parties to stand up for wildlife in decline in their constituencies. I really enjoyed my visit to Frampton Marsh last year, where I was lucky enough to observe some redshank in their natural habit. Winning an award for my efforts was a bonus!”
Chris Corrigan, Director, RSPB England commented, “I am delighted that MPs from across the political spectrum are standing up for endangered wildlife. At a time when attention is focused on Brexit, it is important that nature has a voice in Parliament. We are pleased to be working with the MPs, both in Westminster and in their constituencies, and hope they will use every opportunity to speak up for their species and nature more widely.”