I need your help
My home is under threat and there are fewer places to find food every day. And I’m not alone: thousands of birds, insects and other animals across England are finding it harder and harder to survive. Plants and trees are under pressure too.
The systems and laws that should be keeping nature healthy are failing – both for wildlife and for people.
The Wildlife Trusts and friends have convinced Westminster Government of the need for a new law – an Environment Act – that will improve protection for our country’s wildlife and wild places. But not all politicians are convinced and to make sure the law not only protects wildlife like me but helps us to recover, we need everyone on-board.
MPs will be voting on this soon, so we need them to support a strong Environment Act (an environment act with teeth!) because a country with more wildlife is better for me – and better for you too!
This is a once in a generation chance to save wildlife - please speak to your MP for me
What are we asking for?
Legal targets for nature's recovery that politicians must ultimately achieve and regularly report on progress towards, for example: safer air to breathe in our cities.
A Nature Recovery Network
A joined-up network of habitats on land and at sea that provide enough space for wildlife to recover and adapt to change, and for people to thrive both physically and mentally.
A Nature Watchdog
An independent body to help people challenge bad decisions made by Government and councils, which have a negative impact on wildlife and our natural environment.
How you can help
Your MP works for you and they want to hear your views. We need to show them a strong Environment Act is something everybody feels passionate about by making a huge noise for nature!
Ask for a meeting with your MP
The most powerful way for you to make an impact is to ask your MP for a meeting. It can be daunting at first thought, but don’t worry – they are people just like you and me. Remember, you want to ask them to support a stronger Environment Act and share your personal reasons why this is so important to you.
Other ways you can help
Write to your MP
Writing to your MP can be a good way to get all of your points across to them. Remember to share with them why the future of nature and wildlife is so important to you and share your personal experiences of this. Keep your letter clear and concise, so your MP knows what you are asking for.
Contact them on Twitter
Most MP’s are on Twitter. You only have a limited number of words, so we would suggest you take a picture of yourself in your favourite local wild place using our downloadable poster, and tweet it to them asking them to support a strong Environment Act using the hashtag #WilderFuture.
@InsertMPTwitterHandleHere [Insert place name here] is my favourite wild place. Are you going to help protect it by supporting a strong #EnvironmentAct? #WilderFuture
Keep in touch
We want to hear how you are taking action for a Wilder Future. Please let us know by tweeting us @Lancswildlife or emailing us firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more
Meeting your MP: Advice
What to expect
MPs want to know what it is you care about. Not only do they want to hear from you, they have a duty to listen – their job is to represent you in Parliament. MPs will be open for a chat, but they are pressed for time so don't expect meetings to last too long. Appointments will generally last for around 10–15 minutes, so make sure you have your key messages ready.
You might find it helpful to prepare in advance and perhaps even rehearse what you want to say beforehand. It is also important to research who your MP is. Find out what they care about and whether or not they have taken an active interest in the environment before – that way you can go into the meeting fully prepared. You can find a lot of that information here. See the ‘Voting Records’ section and scroll down for information about environmental voting records.
All MP surgeries are slightly different, but in most cases you are likely to be sat in a waiting room before your appointment, with people from your area. Once it is your turn, you'll be invited into an office for your chance to persuade your MP why they should be supporting a new law for Nature's recovery. You won't regret it (and to your friends, family and potential employees it sounds really impressive - so be sure to let them know!).
How can I make my meeting effective?
- Share your story: MPs love personal stories. Share yours with them, choosing experiences that have taken place in your local area and meant a lot to you. This way you can show your MP how much the natural environment in your area matters. Perhaps there are some moments shared with your Wildlife Trust or events you have attended that stand out? Can you think how even more wildlife in your area would help to improve it?
- Have a clear ask: To make your meeting as successful as possible, make sure you have some clear things to ask your MP to do for you. You could ask them to write to their Party Leader, for example: Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn and their environment team, to support an ambitious Environment Act for all the reasons shared above. You can also ask them what they themselves think they can do to help make this happen.
- Don’t worry if you’re not an expert: It’s your MP’s job to listen to you and you will probably know far more than them - just be passionate about the issue.
- Take a photo: Ask your MP if you can take a photo with them (you could include one of these posters). This is a great way to let others know that people have been speaking to them about nature’s recovery, and to encourage them to do the same. MPs often like the publicity too!
Following up with your MP is a good way to keep your meeting fresh in their mind. Sending them a quick ‘thank you’ email with the photo you took is a nice way of doing this.
It might also help to take brief notes on what was said in the meeting so you can remind them of anything they have committed to and hold them to it.
Download our top tips for speaking to your MP
Meeting your MP: Things to help
Take a photo of your MP holding one of these posters.
Building a Nature Recovery Network
How does this fit in with what other charities and individuals are doing?
You may have noticed that there are a few voices speaking up for wildlife at the moment. The Wildlife Trusts are part of a coalition called the Greener UK with 12 other environmental charities campaigning for nature's recovery at what we see as a crucial point for its survival. Each of these charities has agreed to the same set of messages in calling for new laws to help restore our wildlife, but are running their own campaigns alongside ours, so that collectively we can reach as many people as possible, each playing to our own strengths e.g. WWF-UK's #FightforyourWorld.
Concerned about the threat to our wildlife, a few independent people are also acting for nature's recovery. For example, Chris Packham recently launched 'A People's Manifesto for Wildlife', suggesting a range of policies. A copy of this independent document has been sent to every MP.
When talking to your MP, it is worth bearing in mind some of these campaigns, as they may have received letters or been asked to do things in relation to them - so it might crop up in conversation!
Why do we need an Environment Act?
We need wildlife. Our natural world is valuable in its own right. As well as storing carbon and reducing flood risk, a healthy natural landscape is the foundation of our wellbeing – we depend on it and it depends on us. Without this, the survival of humanity is at stake. By creating more space for nature, we can create a better world for people and wildlife.
Wildlife is in trouble. From rivers and woodlands to birds and wildflowers, our natural world is struggling. More than half the species assessed in the latest State of Nature report have suffered since the 1970s, with many of our much-loved animals (including hedgehogs and great crested newts) struggling.
Wildlife needs us. We have a unique opportunity to make a difference, and we can make a difference. A new and ambitious Environment Act can help to reverse the trend of missing wildlife, setting out a plan for nature's recovery and creating a healthier natural world for us all.
Why is an Environment Act Important to Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside?
A strong Environment Act Will...
- Improve people’s access to nature, especially in towns and cities.
- Create new wild areas and wildlife corridors across the three counties.
- Keep our existing wildlife sites safe from harm.
- Join up new sites with old ones to create a network of green spaces.
- Stop our soils washing away into rivers and the sea.
- Improve air quality, especially in our towns and cities.
- Stop poisoning our rivers and streams with chemicals.
- Reduce emissions that are contributing to climate change.
- Protect people’s rights to a healthy natural environment.
- Avoid the loss of environmental protection laws after Brexit.