The natural world has always been a source of awe and wonder for me. I spend as much time as I can enjoying it. Strapping on the walking boots and heading out to green spaces with friends and family is something that I just couldn’t live without.
However, I know that these pockets of wilderness and spaces to immerse yourself in nature are becoming harder to find. This disconnect from nature concerns me.
The Wildlife Trust’s Wilder Future, Wilder Yorkshire campaign provided me the perfect platform to get my voice heard. They're calling for people to meet their MP to have a say on an Environment Act that can benefit their local area.
However, this is something I had never done before; feeling unsure, I knew that preparation would be key. My local MP is Richard Burgon, so I firstly requested a meeting with him via this easy form.
Research your MP and find out what they care about
I knew it would be a short meeting so I needed to pick the key messages I wanted to get across. TheyWorkForYou is a website that allows you to see how your MP has voted on various issues and get to know what's important for them.
I was able to see how Richard had voted and how his values matched my own. Using this, along with the useful information you receive from The Wildlife Trusts once you've requested a meeting, helped me focus what I wanted to say.
Have a clear vision
I found the most helpful thing was just to reflect on what really matters to me.
Try to paint the picture for your MP of what you want your wilder future to look like. Talk about local areas and wildlife that you really care about.
MPs often ask what they can actually do to help your cause. For this campaign, you can just urge them to support a strong Environment Act that will support and regenerate our natural world.
Relax - it's just a conversation
Once in the room, the conversation was relaxed - it was as easy as having a conversation with anyone else about something that I care about.
Richard responded well, he agreed to pass on my views to his party as well as meeting the Wyke Beck Project to see what a Wilder Yorkshire will look like.