For a whole range of reasons, not everyone could take part in the People’s Walk for Wildlife that was held last weekend. But everyone can be part of the journey that will see an improvement in our wildlife and environment – by writing to your MP. As part of the People’s Walk for Wildlife a People’s Manifesto for Wildlife was produced by a group of independent conservationists and campaigners. It is full of ideas as well as 200 solutions that if adopted by our politicians (and NGOs) would lead to a healthier environment, a reversal of species population declines and more people and communities connected to nature. It is the sort of stuff that MPs should be implementing on behalf of their constituents, but they can only do this if we make sure they know about the manifesto, and also that we, that is you, care. Writing to your MP shows that you care.
Dr Mark Avery has already provide the necessary links you need to find out who your MP is, as well as their address – see here.
The link to the People’s Manifesto for Wildlife is here, and ideally should be included in your letter (or email).
If you’ve never written to your MP before well don’t worry, they don’t bite, (well, maybe some do!). You can keep your letter short and seek inspiration from the text in the manifesto itself. Tell your MP what inspires you about the manifesto and what you think is relevant to you, your family and local community. I’ve included the text of my letter to my MP, Mr Mike Gapes, as follows…….
Dear Mike Gapes
You may be aware that on the 22nd September there was a peaceful Walk for Wildlife organized by conservationist Chris Packham. In the region of 10,000 people attended the walk which started in Hyde Park and ended near Downing Street, where a copy of the Peoples Manifesto for Wildlife was delivered by a group of six inspirational young conservationists concerned at the state of the nation’s wildlife and environment. Mr. John Randall received the manifesto on behalf of No. 10.
I have enclosed my copy of the People’s Manifesto for Wildlife. Please excuse it’s rather battered appearance due to the inclement weather conditions on the day of the walk. It is a rather excellent document packed with a range of ideas, all positive, some radical, others common sense. The manifesto has been developed by a range of independent conservationists and is organized along the lines of a series of ‘Ministries,’ each briefly outlining the nature of the problem and proposing a list of 10 solutions.
A number of the Ministries may not be of immediate concern to the constituency of Ilford South, but I’d like to draw your attention the following:
- The Ministry of Natural Culture and Education (Dr Robert Macfarlane) which outlines how we can bring nature and wildlife back into the heart of culture and education.
- The Ministry of Urban Spaces (Kate Bradbury) which highlights how our urban spaces can, and should be, teeming with wildlife.
- Ministry of Social Inclusion and Access to Nature (Dr Amy-Jane Beer) which highlights that access to diverse nature should be a recognized human right.
- Ministry of Diversity in Nature and Conservation (Mya-Rose Craig) that seeks to address the low visible minority ethnic representation across the environment sector and to engage all communities.
- Ministry of Young People in Nature (Bella Lack & Georgia Locock) that aims to reconnect young people with nature and cure the current epidemic of Nature Deficit Disorder.
I hope you can find time to read through all of the manifesto, but if not, at least the pages that cover the Ministries highlighted above. I’d like to invite you to suggest the Top 10 solutions from the manifesto that you think are most relevant to your constituents in Ilford South, and then I’d be happy to visit you and talk about how we could get some of these ideas implemented. To help inspire others to highlight the People’s Manifesto for Wildlife to their MPs I’ll be posting a copy of this letter on my blog.
Very many thanks for taking time to read this letter and the enclosed manifesto, and I look forward to hearing from you……..
All MPs are going to receive a hard copy of the manifesto over the coming few weeks. My MP is lucky, he’ll receive two copies! MPs usually take notice to letters from their constituents, they’d be foolish not too. Not all MPs will agree with what is in the manifesto, but some will. If enough MPs start to talk about the contents of the manifesto then things will change. You can be part of that change. It is not the only thing we can do, but it is another step on the journey to saving our wildlife and reviving our environment.