I need your help
My home is under threat and every day there are fewer places where I can find food. And I’m not alone: thousands of birds, insects and other animals across England are finding it harder and harder to survive. Members of the plant and fungi kingdoms are under pressure too. This is because habitats where wildlife once thrived have been destroyed, and many of those that remain are under threat.
The Wildlife Trusts and friends have convinced the Government of the need for a new law – an Environment Act - to improve protection for our country’s wild places and wildlife. But not all politicians are convinced, and to make sure the law protects wildlife like me and 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, because a country with more wildlife is better for me – and better for you too!
I don't have an MP - but you do.
Please arrange a meeting with them so that every MP in Gloucestershire has been contacted by Christmas.
The campaign for a wilder future starts here
Critically, we need the Environment Act to give us:
Nature Targets: legal targets for nature's recovery which politicians must ultimately achieve and regularly report, such as safer air to breathe in our cities.
A Nature Recovery Network: a joined-up network of habitats that provide enough space for wildlife to recover and where people can thrive.
Nature Watchdog: an independent body to help people challenge bad decisions made by Government and councils in order to prevent negative impacts on wildlife and on our natural environment.
How would an Environment Act help wildlife in Gloucestershire?
- Enable Gloucestershire’s wildlife to recover by creating new wildlife areas and corridors across the county.
- Keep Gloucestershire’s existing wildlife sites safe from harm.
- Protect our rarest species and restore wildlife that has been lost.
- Prevent the poisoning of Gloucestershire’s rivers and streams with chemicals.
- Stop Gloucestershire’s soils washing away into the rivers and sea.
- Improve air quality, especially in Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury.
- Reduce emissions that are contributing to climate change and wildlife extinctions.
- Make all development green, improving people’s access to nature in towns and cities.
- Protect people’s rights to have a healthy natural environment in their area.
- Avoid the loss of environmental protection laws after Brexit.
Find out more
Why is an Environment Act needed in Gloucestershire?
Wildlife is in trouble. From rivers and woodlands, to birds and flowers, our natural world is struggling. Over half the species assessed in the State of Nature report have suffered since the 1970s, with many of our much-loved animals struggling.
- Only 3.3% of Gloucestershire is protected for wildlife.
- Since 1970 we have lost 69% of Gloucestershire’s wild flower-rich grasslands.
- Since 1970 there has been a 285% increase in the areas of arable farmland in Gloucestershire, which is usually of low value to wildlife.
- The UK is one of the least wooded countries in Europe and nearly 50% of our ancient woodlands have been lost in the last century.
- 80% of lowland heathland has been lost since 1800
- Barn owls numbers have declined by 66% since the 1930s
- 86% of UK rivers are not in good ecological condition
- Species such as small-pearl bordered fritillary butterflies and white clawed crayfish are on the verge of extinction in Gloucestershire.
- There has been a 90% decline in the number of common frogs since the 1980s
Wildlife needs us. We can make a difference. A strong Environment Act can help reverse the trend, set out a plan for nature's recovery and create a healthier natural world for us all.
We need wildlife. Our natural world is the foundation of people’s ability to survive and live happy, healthy and prosperous lives - 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.
Our Wild Future: workshop on 6 December, Gloucester Guildhall
Are you aged 16-30 and want to see politicians doing more for our wildlife? The Our Wild Future workshop will be a chance for you to share your ideas for local wildlife, wild places and the campaign for a strong Environment Act. It will take place on 6 December at Gloucester Guildhall from 12.30, and will be free to attend, with lunch provided. Local experts will be on hand and the best ideas will be made into short films. To book your free place, click here
For more details contact Nicky Simpson on 01452 383333 or email email@example.com.
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 please 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. See the ‘Voting Records’ section and scroll down for information about environmental voting records.
Once at your MP’s office (surgery) you are likely to sit in a waiting room before your appointment with other 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 and their environment team to support a strong 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!