Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Post 392 - Usefully Using Leap Day to write a letter to my MP

More people my age need to know about how to look after the planet.
Hey everyone, today's Post 392 and even though it's not a special post number, it was a special Day yesterday, it was the 29th February, a day that I really respect as it really doesn't happen often. So I thought I would do something special and write a reply to my MP. On Day 200 I did a post on writing to him about the fox hunting vote (which got called off :-) and nature in education. He wrote me a really nice reply and invited me to write back letting him know what the Education Secretary had to say about nature in the curriculum.

I got a reply from the Minster for Schools (see Day 250) which showed there isn't much in the curriculum about caring for nature and looking after the planet. Mya Bambrick got an almost identical letter too. I don't think this enough. We need every child to know about the environment, how wildlife and habitats are under threat and how to look after the planet in future.

So I used my Leap Day to write a new letter, you can see it below. I'll let you know what my MP says. It would be great if more people could do the same so that we can try to get more added to the curriculum.

I also thought I'd mention the Wildlife Crime Unit is important and hope he will try to help save that too.

Hope you enjoyed,



Dear Rishi,

Nature needs us!
When I got your latest newsletter at home the other day it reminded me that I haven't written back to you after your very kind response to my letter last May. I understand that people have different views on hunting. I understand population control of some species, like deer, is sometimes required for conservation and sometimes for the protection of farm animals, but I also think it's a very tricky subject as people can get quite upset about it - I don't like cruelty to animals and I don't understand why some people enjoy 'sports' that are cruel.

What I really wanted to contact you about today though is the environment. As the area that you cover is very rural I was surprised your newsletter didn't have something in it about nature and protecting the environment. I read the article on dairy farming and was pleased that it didn't mention Badger culling which is upsetting too when it seems it doesn't work but vaccination does.

I wanted to follow up on what I think was the most important part of my letter, the bit about education in nature. You said to write back when I had a response from Nicky Morgan. She didn’t reply but asked the Minister for Schools to reply. The response that I and a nature loving friend, Mya Bambrick who also wrote to the Minster for Schools, received were pretty similar and emphasised that there are only little bits about nature in the curriculum. You can see the response in my post on Day 250 of my blog, www.yearofnature.blogspot.com. We don't think that there is enough! The Minister didn't mention anything in the curriculum about the threats to our environment and wildlife nor anything to encourage young people to protect nature and our planet. Surely we need this to be part of every child's education if my generation and future ones are going to be the ones looking after it? Will my children and yours have an environment that is capable of being saved,  or even know or ever see some of the species that are in critical decline or facing extinction? Can our planet handle the damage man is doing? Maybe if people know more about these things, especially young people, we will have a chance to reduce the harm humans have done to the world. Some things just need a helping hand to get it into people`s minds, such as Reduce Reuse Recycle - and it is normal now for people to recycle. Maybe other initiatives could be started in a similar way. I hope you can support and promote more education on caring for the environment, as well as local conservation groups like the one at Foxglove Covert. 
All sorts of creatures need our help.

There is something else you might be able to help with. I've signed a petition recently on something which is quite strange. There is a lot in the news about raptors still being under threat and many being found dead in strange circumstances. I find it odd that the Government wants to remove the Wildlife Crime Unit when there are lots of problems still with hunting, hare coursing etc., and of course with raptors like the rare Hen Harrier still needing help. Is this something you support? Would you try to help tell the Government we still need the Wildlife Crime Unit? I'd be grateful if you could.

One more thing I saw in the paper is that you don’t support staying in the EU. I know this is a complicated subject but at least some of the EU rules gives nature a bit more protection and a lot of people I know were very happy when the EU rules were kept recently. If you support nature and, as you mentioned in your letter to me last year, are keen to get more children interested in nature will you be getting involved in more activity to encourage this? Would you be able to help promote nature and local conservation projects?
My MP liked my Elephant Hawkmoth post -
it reminded him of costumes on Eurovision!

I'm glad you enjoyed my blog and the colourful creatures I covered. This year I've set myself the challenge of visiting as many Yorkshire Wildlife Reserves as I can and I'm off to a good start so far. I do want to go back to some again, like Foxglove Covert. They were beautiful in winter and can't wait to see how alive they are in the Summer. 

I hope you are getting ready for the Eurovision song contest again, I especially enjoyed the Swedish entry last year and it will be interesting to see how they do in hosting it this year.

Kind regards,



  1. Very well said Zach and what a great way to use the day. - Tasha

    1. Thanks Tasha, hope a few more people write too.

  2. Brilliant letter Zach.
    It will be interesting to read the response.
    Keep up the great work.

    1. Thanks Stewart, he should respond, he did before. Will be interesting to see if he can help.

  3. Great blog and email there Zach. I have written a small piece on my Facebook page and shared it to the Photographic group page as well. Later I will share to my other groups I follow. It is definitely worth persuing and would be great if a national school campaign could be put together.

    Keep up the great work.

    1. Thanks Dion and that's great. The school campaign might be interesting will think about that.