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 animals across England are finding it harder and harder to survive. Plants and trees are struggling too.
The Wildlife Trusts and friends have convinced Westminster Government of the need for a new law – an Environment Act - to help protect our country’s wildlife. But not all politicians are convinced and to make sure the law not only protects what we've got but brings us more wildlife, we need everyone on board.
MPs will be voting on this soon, so we need to convince them now, because a country with more wildlife is better for me – and better for you too!
I can’t talk to my MP - but you can. Please arrange a meeting with your MP and help us talk to every elected politician by Christmas.
The campaign for a wilder future starts here!
We need the Environment Act to give us:
Legal targets for nature's recovery that politicians must ultimately achieve and regularly report on progress towards e.g. safer air to breathe in our cities
Councils required to map a network of places where wildlife must be protected and improved, and give access to everyone, whatever their background, to wildlife-rich green space, e.g. wildflowers in every housing development
Opportunity for people to challenge bad decisions made by Government and councils, which have a negative impact on wildlife and our natural environment.
An Act would...
1. Improve people’s access to nature, especially in towns and cities.
2. Create new wild areas and wildlife corridors across the county.
3. Keep our existing wildlife sites safe from harm.
4. Stop our soils washing away into rivers and chemicals poisoning our waterways.
5. Improve air quality, especially in towns and cities.
6. Reduce emissions that are contributing to climate change.
7. Protect people’s rights to a healthy natural environment.
8. Avoid the loss of environmental protection laws after Brexit.
Find out more
Why is an Environment Act needed in England?
We need wildlife. Our natural world is valuable in its own right and is the foundation of our wellbeing - we depend on it and it depends on us. Without a healthy natural world 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 flowers, our natural world is struggling. Locally, the State of Surrey’s Nature report estimates one in nine wildlife species are now extinct in the county, and nearly a quarter of the remainder are in significant decline. Over half the species assessed in the UK State of Nature report have suffered since the 1970s, with many of our much-loved animals struggling. Just some of the declines we have seen nationally in recent years include:
- 66% decline in the number of barn owls since the 1930s
- 90% decline in the number of common frogs since the 1980s
- 90% decline in the number of water voles since the 1990s.
Wildlife needs us. We can make a difference. A new and ambitious Environment Act can help reverse the trend of missing wildlife, setting out a plan for nature's recovery and creating a healthier natural world for us all.
Advice: Meeting your MP
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 are generally friendly and open for a chat, but they are pressed for time so don't expect meetings to last too long. Generally appointments will last around 10-15 minutes - so make sure you've got your key messages ready. You might find it helpful to prepare in advance and perhaps even rehearse what you want to say beforehand. It's 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.
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 local 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've 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. For example, you could ask them to write to their Party Leader e.g. 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 think they can do to help make this happen too!
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 - 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 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!