A hand crafted letter outlining why nature is important to you and what you want your MP to campaign for on your behalf has a huge impact.
One hand crafted letter from one constituent is important, a handful from several shows it's an issue and a dozen or more could indicate that it's something requiring more urgent action.
Add your voice to the mix and help us achieve positive action for wildlife.
At the moment, we're campaigning to ensure a progressive and powerful Environment Act, helping us to build a Nature Recovery Network that is enshrined in law. You can find out more about that campaign here, and we hope you agree with our aims and are able to write to your MP specifically about this. But a letter from you should be about what you feel strongly about, and a voice raised for nature and the environment - whatever it may specifically be about - helps to raise the profile of this cause with your representative in government.
Here are some top tips for writing your letter, and how to find out who to send it to.
Writing your letter
- Include your name and address. They need to know you are a genuine constituent, and to have an address to send a reply to.
- Be succinct. Your letter should be no more than one and a half pages of A4. Try not to cover too many points in one letter - keep it focused and clear. Our campaign is about introducing a strong Environment Act.
- If it's your first time writing to your MP, be sure to introduce yourself with a paragraph about who you are and why you care about the wildlife in your area.
- Use the EPIC format. The acronym ‘EPIC’ is a useful way to remember how to structure the main part of your letter. After the introductory paragraph, your letter should follow this structure:
E = Engage your MP with a short summary. Get your MP’s attention with a dramatic fact or short statement. There are lots of hard-hitting facts about the decline of nature in our country:
• More than half of the UK's species are in decline;
• 44 million birds have gone from our countryside since the 1960s;
• Of the 218 countries assessed for ‘biodiversity intactness’, the UK is ranked 189, making it one of the most nature-depleted in the world;
• 97% of our flower-rich meadows have been destroyed.
Pick something that you have personal knowledge of - or one of these - that you really care about. Really let them know how much you care.
P = State the problem. Present the causes of the problem you just introduced. In our campaign, we're arguing that a lack of strong legislation has allowed the destruction of nature and habitat for the sake of short economic gain.
I = Inform the MP about the solutions. In our opinion, a new Environment Act will need:
• Ambitious goals to include the recovery of nature, not just stopping its decline;
• Strong principles ensuring the needs of the natural world are central to all government and decision making across all departments (i.e. Department for Transport, agriculture, housing etc.);
• Clear standards that demonstrate how government and organisations will be held to account;
• Independent institutions to monitor, review and report progress and oversee and enforce compliance with the law.
If you want to, we have put together a report that you can point them to here: wtru.st/naturerecoveryreport.
C = Call to Action. Now that you’ve engaged your MP, presented the problem and informed them of a solution, you need to let them know what you want them to do about it.
• We are asking them to speak to their party leaders and DEFRA teams about the WIldlife Trusts' asks for an Environment Act.
• We want them to raise the issue with DEFRA and speak out for their constituents who care about the environment, to get the Environment Act to the top of the agenda.
- Ask for a response. Make sure they know you want to be kept informed about this matter. Depending on your MP, you may not receive a reply - but your letter will be logged and recorded on its subject matter so even if you don't hear from them, your voice does count towards a bigger goal.