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Species under threat on the Lizard granted funding to aid recovery

Grayling female butterfly
Grayling female butterfly | © National Trust Images/Matthew Oates

Lizard National Trust is one of 63 projects across the country to have been awarded a share of £14.5 million by Natural England to help recover 150 species nationwide.

England’s wildlife is facing extreme pressures – habitat fragmentation, climate change and invasive species have created huge declines, with average species abundance falling by 52%. Numbers of the Duke of Burgundy Butterfly, for example, have declined by some 50% in the last 20 years.

What is the Species Recovery Programme?

Natural England has been delivering its flagship Species Recovery Programme (SRP) for over 30 years focussing on bespoke conservation action to reverse the fortunes of our most threatened native species.

Wild asparagus, Lizard Cornwall
Wild asparagus growing on the Lizard, Cornwall | © National Trust Images/Ross Hoddinott

What does this mean for the Lizard?

The Lizard’s National Trust team was delighted to announce on 14 September 2023 the launch of the Lizard Rarities Project, funded by the Natural England Species Recovery Programme, to deliver targeted management actions for 15 of the Lizard’s rarest species.

This grant will allow the ranger teams to target and protect endangered species and populations of vulnerable wildlife through heathland and coastal habitat enhancement, pond and scrape creation and scrub clearance.

The work will include landscape-scale habitat creation and restoration work, with knock-on benefits for a whole suite of other plant and animal species. The project also creates a great opportunity to shine a light on some of our more unique, but often overlooked, species including:

  • Caloplaca aractina
  • Lathagrium (Collema) latzelii
  • Serpentine Solenopsora Solenopsora liparina
  • Heath Pouchwort Gongylanthus ericetorum
  • Lizard Crystalwort Riccia bifurca
  • Black Crystalwort Riccia nigrella
  • Wild Asparagus Asparagus prostratus
  • Yellow Centaury Cicendia filiformis
  • Fringed Rupturewort Herniaria ciliolata subsp. ciliolata
  • Land Quillwort Isoetes histrix
  • Dwarf Rush Juncus capitatus
  • Pygmy Rush Juncus pygmaeus
  • Twin-headed clover Trifolium bocconei
  • Upright clover Trifolium strictum
  • Grayling Hipparchia Semele
Rangers brushcutting on the Lizard, Cornwall
Rangers brushcutting on the Lizard, Cornwall | © National Trust Images/Seth Jackson