As I reflected upon in yesterday’s blog, this week the UK Government has formally started a process that will redefine our place in the world.

Irrespective of our future relationship with the Europe Union, the UK has and will continue to have obligations to protect our most threatened species from extinction (such as Aichi target 12 under the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity). For us, the status of threatened species is a critical test of whether we are living in harmony with nature.  It it is why, throughout our history, we have invested an enormous amount of effort to recover species such as great crested grebe, avocet, osprey, cirl bunting, stone-curlew, corncrake, red kite, white-tailed eagle, crane, albatrosses, Gyps vultures and spoon-billed sandpipers.

Yet, the number of threatened species within the UK has grown - for example, 361 species have been identified as in imminent danger of being lost from England whilst a further 785 are threatened, rare, range-restricted or declining.  This is why we have had to think and act differently to scale up our conservation efforts.

Black-tailed godwit - one of the species that will benefit from the funding - by Gordon Langsbury (

Today, I am delighted to report the fantastic news that the National Lottery has agreed to invest £4.6m in backing one of the most ambitious conservation projects ever undertaken in the UK. The RSPB has joined forces with Natural England, the Amphibian and Reptile Trust, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation and Plantlife to develop new ways ways of working together to inspire people to take action for threatened species.

The project is a mix of targeted work for 20 of our most threatened species alongside action in landscapes across England from the Yorkshire Dales to Cornwall to help a further 200 species including the grey long-eared bat, pine martin, willow tit, large garden bumblebee, lesser butterfly orchid and hedgehog. Back from the Brink is ambitious, it is exciting and I am confident will deliver fantastic results of nature.  

We intend to pilot new approaches to inspire action from our own supporters, landowners, farmers and local community groups who will be recruited to observe and record these threatened species and help provide the habitats and help they need.

This has project has been a long time in development.  With funding now in place, we can start to build the team to put life back into England's green and pleasant land.  

I look forward to reporting more good news about this project soon...

  • Hi Fiona, here is the list...

    Adonis annua Pheasant’s-eye

    Adscita statices Forester

    Agroeca cuprea Golden lantern-spider

    Ajuga chamaepitys Ground-pine

    Alauda arvensis Sky Lark

    Alopecosa fabrilis Great Fox-spider

    Altella lucida Dorset Mesh-weaver

    Amara fusca Wormwood Moonshiner

    Amiota variegata Variegated Fruit-fly

    Ampedus nigerrimus Black Click Beetle

    Ampedus rufipennis Red-horned Cardinal Click Beetle

    Anaptychia ciliaris subsp. ciliaris Eagles Claw

    Andrena tarsata Tormentil Mining Bee

    Anguis fragilis Slow-worm

    Anisus vorticulus Little Whirlpool Ram's-horn Snail

    Anthophora retusa Potter flower bee

    Anthus trivialis Tree pipit

    Arabis glabra Tower mustard

    Artemisia campestris Field Wormwood

    Arvicola amphibius Water Vole

    Asilus crabroniformis Hornet Robber Fly

    Astragalus danicus Purple milk-vetch

    Bacidia incompta

    Barbastella barbastellus Barbastelle bat

    Blarneya hibernica (= Tylophoron hibernicum)

    Blysmus compressus Flat Sedge

    Boletus pseudoregius The Pretender

    Boletus rhodopurpureus Oldrose Bolete

    Bombus humilis Brown-Banded Carder Bee

    Bombus muscorum Moss Carder Bee

    Bombus ruderarius Red-shanked carder bee

    Bombus ruderatus Large garden bumblebee

    Bombus sylvarum Shrill carder bee

    Bombylius minor Heath bee-fly

    Brachygonus ruficeps

    Bromus interruptus Interrupted brome

    Bryum calophyllum Matted bryum

    Bryum warneum Sea bryum

    Buellia asterella Starry breck lichen

    Bufo calamita Natterjack Toad

    Bupleurum rotundifolium Thorow-wax

    Burhinus oedicnemus Stone Curlew

    Calicium adspersum

    Caloplaca  flavorubescens

    Caloplaca coralliza

    Caloplaca herbidella Geranium Firedot

    Caloplaca lucifuga

    Caloplaca luteoalba Orange fuited Elm lichen

    Calosoma inquisitor Caterpillar-Hunter

    Caprimulgus europaeus Nightjar

    Carabus monilis Necklace ground beetle

    Carduelis cabaret Lesser Redpoll

    Carduelis cannabina Common Linnet

    Carex ericetorum Rare Spring Sedge

    Carterocephalus palaemon Chequered Skipper

    Catapyrenium psoromoides Tree Catapyrenium

    Catillaria alba (= Biatora veteranorum)

    Cephalanthera longifolia Narrow-leaved Helleborine

    Cephaloziella nicholsonii Greater Copperwort

    Cerceris quinquefasciata 5-Banded Tailed Digger Wasp

    Chaenotheca gracilenta

    Chamaemelum nobile Chamomile

    Chlorencoelia versiformis Flea’s ear

    Chortodes extrema Concolorous

    Chrysotoxum octomaculatum Broken-banded Wasp-hoverfly

    Cicendia filiformis Yellow Centaury

    Cicindela hybrida Northern dune tiger beetle

    Cicindela sylvatica Heath Tiger Beetle

    Clinopodium acinos Basil Thyme

    Coenagrion mercuriale Southern Damselfly

    Coenonympha pamphilus Small heath

    Coleophora tricolor Basil-thyme Case-bearer moth

    Collema fragrans

    Coronella austriaca Smooth Snake

    Cosmia diffinis White-spotted Pinion

    Crex crex Corncrake

    Cryptocephalus primarius Rockrose Pot beetle

    Cryptolechia carneolutea

    Cupido minimus Small Blue

    Cyclophora porata False Mocha

    Dactylorhiza viridis Frog Orchid

    Dendrocopus minor Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

    Didymodon tomaculosus Sausage beard-moss

    Ditrichum cornubicum Cornish Path Moss

    Emberiza calandra Corn Bunting

    Emberiza cirlus Cirl bunting

    Emberiza citronella Yellowhammer

    Emberiza schoeniclus Reed bunting

    Enterographa elaborata

    Enterographa sorediata

    Eresus sandaliatus Ladybird Spider

    Erinaceus europaeus Hedgehog

    Erotettix (=Macrosteles) cyane Pondweed Leafhopper

    Erynnis tages Dingy Skipper

    Euphydryas aurinia Marsh Fritillary

    Filago lutescens Red-tipped cudweed

    Filago pyramidata Broad-leaved cudweed

    Formica exsecta Narrow headed ant

    Fumaria purpurea Purple ramping-fumitory

    Galeopsis angustifolia Red hemp-nettle

    Galium pumilum Slender Bedstraw

    Gentianella anglica Early Gentian

    Gentianella campestris Field Gentian

    Gnophomyia elsneri Royal Splinter Cranefly

    Gnorimus nobilis Noble Chafer

    Gnorimus variabilis Variable Chafer

    Grapholita pallifrontana Liquorice Piercer

    Gryllus campestris Field Cricket

    Gyalecta ulmi

    Hamearis lucina Duke of Burgundy

    Harpalus froelichii Brush-thighed seed-eater

    Hericium coralloides Coral Tooth

    Hericium erinaceus Bearded Tooth

    Herminium monorchis Musk Orchid

    Hipparchia semele Grayling

    Homonotus sanguinolentus Bloody Spider-hunting Wasp

    Hydnellum spongiosipes Velvet Tooth

    Hypebaeus flavipes Moccas beetle

    Hypopitys monotropa (= Monotropa hypopitys) Yellow Bird's-nest

    Iberis amara Wild candytuft

    Illecebrum verticillatum Coral Necklace

    Juniperus communis Juniper

    Lacerta agilis Sand Lizard

    Lacon querceus Oak Click Beetle

    Lecanographa amylacea

    Lecanora quercicola

    Lecanora sublivescens

    Leersia oryzoides Cut-grass

    Leptidea sinapis Wood White

    Lepus europaeus Brown hare

    Limenitis camilla White Admiral

    Limoniscus violaceus Violet Click Beetle

    Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit

    Lithostege griseata Grey carpet

    Locustella naevia Common Grasshopper Warbler

    Lolium temulentum Darnel

    Lophozia capitata Large-celled Flapwort

    Lucanus cervus Stag Beetle

    Lullula arborea Woodlark

    Lycopodiella inundata Marsh Clubmoss

    Lyophyllum favrei Gilded Domecap

    Maculinea arion Large Blue

    Martes martes Pine Marten

    Megapenthes lugens Queens Executioner

    Melampyrum cristatum Crested Cow-wheat

    Melandrya barbata Bearded False Darkling Beetle

    Meloe proscarabaeus Black Oil Beetle

    Meloe rugosus Rugged Oil beetle

    Meloe violaceus Violet Oil Beetle

    Mentha pulegium Pennyroyal Mint

    Micromys minutus Harvest mouse

    Microthlaspi perfoliatum Cotswolds Pennycress

    Midia midas Midas tree-weaver

    Minuartia hybrida Fine-leaved Sandwort

    Motacilla flava subsp. flavissima Yellow Wagtail

    Muscicapa striata Spotted Flycatcher

    Mycena renati Beautiful Bonnet

    Myolepta potens Western Wood-vase Hoverfly

    Myotis bechsteinii Bechstein’s Bat

    Natrix natrix Grass Snake

    Noctua orbona Lunar-yellow underwing moth

    Nyctalus noctula Noctule

    Oenanthe fistulosa Tubular Water-dropwort

    Opegrapha prosodea

    Ophonus laticollis Set-aside downy-back beetle

    Ophrys insectifera Fly Orchid

    Orchis anthropophora (= Aceras anthropophora) Man Orchid

    Oria musculosa Brighton wainscot

    Pareulype berberata Barberry carpet moth

    Passer domesticus House sparrow

    Passer montanus Tree sparrow

    Perdix perdix Grey partridge

    Pertusaria velata

    Petalophyllum ralfsii Petalwort

    Phellodon confluens Fused Tooth

    Physcia tribacioides Southern Grey Physcia

    Pilularia globulifera Pillwort

    Pipistrellus pygmaeus Soprano pipistrelle bat

    Piptoporus quercinus Oak Polypore

    Platanthera bifolia Lesser Butterfly Orchid

    Platycis cosnardi Cosnard's Net-winged Beetle

    Plebejus argus Silver-studded Blue

    Plecotus auritus Brown long-eared bat

    Plecotus austriacus Grey Long-eared Bat

    Podoscypha multizonata Zoned Rosette

    Poecile montanus Willow Tit

    Poecile palustris Marsh Tit

    Poecilus kugelanni Kugelann’s Green Clock

    Polia bombycina Pale shining brown

    Potamogeton acutifolius Sharp-leaved Pondweed

    Prunella modularis subsp. occidentalis Dunnock

    Pseudepipona herrichii Purbeck Mason Wasp

    Pulsatilla vulgaris Pasque Flower

    Pyrenula nitida

    Pyrgus malvae Grizzled Skipper

    Pyrrhula pyrrhula subsp. pileata Bullfinch

    Ramonia chrysophaea

    Ramonia nigra

    Ranunculus arvensis Corn buttercup

    Ranunculus tripartitus Three Lobed Watercrowfoot

    Rhinolophus ferrumequinum Greater horseshoe bat

    Rhinolophus hipposideros Lesser horseshoe bat

    Rinodina isidioides

    Satyrium w-album White-letter Hairstreak

    Scandix pecten-veneris Shepherd’s needle

    Schismatomma graphidioides

    Scleranthus annuus Annual Knawel

    Scleranthus perennis subsp. prostratus Prostrate Perennial Knawel

    Scotopteryx bipunctaria Chalk Carpet

    Silene gallica Small-flowered catchfly

    Silene otites Spanish catchfly

    Squamarina lentigera Scaly breck lichen

    Stethophyma grossum Large Marsh Grasshopper

    Streptopelia turtur European turtle dove

    Thyridanthrax fenestratus Motteld bee-fly

    Torilis arvensis Spreading hedge-parsley

    Tremella moriformis Mulberry Brain

    Trichopteryx polycommata Barred Tooth-striped

    Triturus cristatus Great crested newt

    Valerianella rimosa Broad-fruited cornsalad

    Vanellus vanellus Lapwing

    Veronica triphyllos Fingered speedwell

    Veronica verna Spring speedwell

    Viola lactea Pale Dog-violet

    Vipera berus Adder

    Wadeana dendrographa

    Wadeana minuta

    Weissia squarrosa Spreading-leaved beardless-moss

    Zootoca vivipara Common Lizard

    Zygodon forsteri Knothole Moss

  • Hi Martin, Thank you for your blog.  Can you direct me towards a list of the 20 and the 200 species please?

    Fiona Hewer, Wild Maidenhead

  • That is excellent news for threaten species such as our Turtle Doves, Martin. While I do not think it is right that the conservation organisations you list and that will benefit from this Lottery grant should merge in any way, nevertheless practising how to work together is so important and this practice can now take place in a meaningful way. Experiencing how to work together may well prove very useful when and if it comes to defending our EU based wildlife and environmental laws during the negotiations for leaving the EU and after.