Species Recovery Programme

Natural England’s Species Recovery Programme (SRP) is a national initiative that supports specific local action to protect threatened native species. In 2023, it was therefore very exciting that significant capital funding from the SRP was announced for two related major conservation projects on The Lizard National Nature Reserve. On this page, you will find the latest news about our SRP projects and how we are targeting the funding on our rarest species and habitats.


March 2024

The National Trust’s press release: ‘Nature recovery on The Lizard is working from the ground up’.

Grayling Butterfly
© National Trust Images/Ian Ward

February 2024

Progress on the Back to the Future project

Cladonia stereoclada

September 2023

Announcement of funding for Lizard Rarities Project from the SRP

Marsh Fritillary

July 2023

Announcement of funding for Back to the Future Project from the SRP

Pigmy Rush

Heathland on The Lizard, at Kynance Gate Bronze Age village


Here on The Lizard, despite its wonderful landscape and rich biodiversity, we are no more immune than anywhere else to the pressures that climate warming and habitat change present, and many rare species are struggling. It was therefore very exciting to be awarded significant capital funding in late-2023 to two related major conservation projects. The funding comes from Natural England’s Species Recovery Programme (SRP), a national initiative that supports specific local action working to improve the lot of threatened native species.

We will be targeting this new funding on protecting both individual rare species, and the habitats and landscape of The Lizard in which they live.

Specific plans include:

  • Actions targeted at 15 of The Lizard’s rarest and most threatened species, including plants, lichens, liverworts and the Grayling butterfly. The habitat management and creation planned for these 15 species will also support a wider range of other species that live alongside them.
  • Targeted management of small-scale habitats (microhabitats), which are vital to a range of rare plants and animals, such as the Marsh Fritillary butterfly and Pigmy Rush, among others.
  • Exploring different land management techniques at the wider landscape scale, including the restoration of trackways and seasonal ponds, and the burning and grazing of heathland.
A Grayling Butterfly, Hipparchia semele, resting on Bell Heather © National Trust Images

The two projects – The Lizard Rarities Project, and Back to the Future – are led by the National Trust and Natural England teams on The Lizard, respectively. In practice, they will be managed through active collaboration between the different conservation partners. This means we can make the best use of local resources and knowledge, and help our rare species to thrive.