Dear Bat Group Member,
2020 is going to be a crucial time for bat conservation and your MP will have an influential part to play in ensuring that bats and other wildlife remain protected under new legislation post-Brexit.
On the 8 January the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Theresa Villiers, stated that the Environment Bill will be back before Parliament soon. We need to make sure that the Bill delivers for bats and previous versions of the Bill have suggested that there will be parts that will need strengthening. Your MP has the power to propose and vote for amendments to the Bill when it comes before parliament, which is why we’re getting in touch to ask you to introduce your bat group to them.
Whether you voted for your MP or not, their job is to represent you and your constituency in Parliament. Post-election is the perfect moment to send them an email welcoming them to their new role – or welcoming them back – and let them know about the important place bats have in their constituency. A short email introducing your bat group and inviting them to an upcoming event or requesting to meet them to talk about local bat conservation efforts would be a fantastic first step to building a strong relationship that is going to be essential if we are going to campaign for a strong Environment Bill.
If you haven’t ever written to your MP before, or you want to brush up on the best way to approach them, we have put together a short guide to help you here (click here to download) that outlines how you can go about doing that. You can find a step-by-step guide to contacting your elected political representative, as well as a template message below (please adapt it to reflect information about your bat group and the type of activity/event/meeting you would like to invite them to). Do please get in touch with us to let us know if you are successful in making contact with them and/or if they attend a bat group activity or event. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll be back in touch with more news on the Environment Bill as soon as we have it.
Bat Conservation Trust
EXAMPLE TEMPLATE EMAIL FOR MPS – DO PLEASE AMEND, ADD OR DELETE CONTENT AS YOU SEE FIT, PARTICULARLY IN THE RED AREAS WE HAVE HIGHLIGHTED:
Dear XXXX MP name XXXX,
I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome you as our elected Member of Parliament on behalf of Somerset Bat Group . We are a voluntary group who are interested in the conservation of bats. We currently have 61 members of the group and 454 on Facebook. Our work covers all aspects of bat conservation in Somerset where we have recorded a total of 16 of the 17 of resident bat species.
Bats are a vital part of our native wildlife, accounting for almost a third of all mammal species in the UK and occupy a wide range of habitats, such as wetlands, woodlands, farmland, as well as urban areas. They can tell us a lot about the state of the environment, as they are top predators of common nocturnal insects and are sensitive to changes in land use practices.
We undertake various activities from public engagement such as bat walks, talks,training events, citizen science projects such as roost counts, local surveys and checking bat boxes, to helping rescue injured bats. We would very much like to invite you to come along to one of our events to show you some of the work we do and to talk about why bat conservation is so important for us. We will send further details soon.
Congratulations on winning your seat and I look forward to hearing from you.
XXXXXX Your name XXXXXXXX
member of Somerset Bat Group