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Rachael Maskell MP for York Central was named as the ‘Best Parliamentary Species Champion’ due to the work she has done to promote York’s unique Tansy Beetle, the species allocated to her by Buglife, the charity devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates.

Not only is the Tansy Beetle - an iridescent green beetle that lives on the Tansy Plant along the River Ouse in and around York - a beautiful species in itself, but it also highlights why conservation of our natural habitat is so important. The beetle population grew to 40,000 last year, having survived the winter floods, and Rawcliffe Pond off Rawcliffe Meadows is a great location to spot one.

Rachael has spent time at the University of York learning more about the species and has used Parliament to raise its importance. The coalition of partners involved in the Species Champion scheme are using this project to promote the importance of our natural world, but also to highlight how species are sensitive indicators as to what is happening to our climate and environment, issues very important to Rachael Maskell MP.

Rachael Maskell MP says:

“It is a huge honour to have been named as Parliament’s Species Champion, who has done the most to champion their species. I have really enjoyed getting acquainted with the Tansy Beetle, and learning so much about it, as well as using this as a means of promoting York’s natural assets and speaking up for the city in Parliament.

“The reason I became involved in this project, is from a lifelong love of nature, and the miraculous wonders it unfolds. I want all children and adults to take a little time to explore the beautiful species which are on their doorstep, whether plants or animals, or little beetles, and learn through this experience about their responsibility to our natural heritage and why it is so important to act now against the causes of climate change.

“As I continue to follow the developments of the Tansy Beetle, I will also look for more opportunities for people across the city to access natural habitats.”

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