[Diggers350] MP letter template re Fri 22 Jan deadline for Right To Roam debate

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Wed Dec 30 00:36:18 GMT 2020

Write to your MP - ask them to attend the debate on trespass


Thanks to the 134,000 of you who signed our 
petition, 'Don't criminalise trespass', MPs will 
debate this issue in Parliament. The Petitions 
Committee have scheduled a debate in Westminster 
Hall for Monday 25th January 2021. To speak, MPs 
have to register with the Speaker of the House by 
Friday 22nd January. It's vital we get MPs attending representing your views.

Please contact your MP using and adapting the 
template email below. You can look up your MP and 
their email address on the 
website here. Remember to include your postcode 
when you send your email, to show you're a 
constituent, otherwise they won't have to respond.

Template email for you to adapt and send to your 
MP compliments of glorious Guy Shrubsole:

Dear ____MP,

Subject: Don't criminalise trespass - please 
register to attend the Petitions Committee debate on 25th January

As your constituent, I'm very concerned by the 
Government's proposals to criminalise trespass. 
Together with over 134,000 other people, I signed 
this Parliamentary petition to oppose the 
criminalisation of trespass (here: 
If you follow the link, you can click through to 
a map showing how many other of your constituents also care deeply about this.

The petition is now scheduled for a Petitions 
Committee debate in Westminster Hall on Monday 
25th January 2021 at 4.30pm, and I would like you 
to attend to represent my concerns. Please 
register to take part in the debate with the 
Speaker of the House by Friday 22nd January.

I'm concerned because criminalising trespass 
would be an extreme, illiberal and unnecessary 
attack on ancient freedoms that would threaten 
ramblers who stray from the path, wild campers, 
Travellers, peaceful protestors and the wider 
public keen to enjoy nature. Fear of 
criminalisation may even deter amateur 
naturalists from carrying out wildlife surveys, as some scientists have warned.

Access to nature is vital for everyone’s physical 
and mental health – something lockdown 
demonstrated vividly. Last year’s exceptional 
spring, combined with the coronavirus 
regulations, meant many people stopped to observe 
and experience nature in ways they hadn’t since 
childhood. With restrictions on overseas travel, 
many more people enjoyed their summer holidays in 
the British countryside. Sales of camping 
equipment have soared; British Canoeing has seen 
a 40% jump in membership; and National Parks have 
seen huge numbers of visitors from sections of 
the population who’ve never visited them before.

Criminalising trespass would create a massive 
chilling effect on visits to the countryside. 
Many people are already put off visiting rural 
Britain through unfamiliarity, poor transport 
links, existing civil trespass laws and a general 
sense that they don’t belong or aren’t welcome in 
the countryside. Such feelings are multiplied 
greatly for Black, Asian and ethnic minority Britons.

  Criminalising trespass isn’t just draconian, 
it’s completely unnecessary. Landowners who wish 
to sue trespassers can already do so via the 
courts. Police forces have stated they don’t want 
or need any additional powers to deal with 
unauthorised encampments, whether by Travellers 
or protestors (see 
Gypsies and Travellers are already amongst the 
most marginalised communities in the UK, and 
criminalising trespass or increasing police 
powers of eviction would compound the inequalities they experience.

Criminalising trespass is opposed by numerous 
access and environment groups, from the Ramblers 
and British Mountaineering Council to CPRE and 
the British Horse Society, who wrote to the Home 
Secretary earlier this year urging her to 
reconsider the proposals (see 
It is also opposed across party lines: the chair 
of the Conservative Environment Network, Ben 
Goldsmith, wrote an article in the Telegraph this 
Autumn calling on the Government to drop plans to 
criminalise trespass (see 

The Petitions Committee has scheduled a debate on 
this subject for Monday 25th January. I'm 
therefore calling on you as my representative to 
please attend the debate, and to relay my 
concerns and those shared by people up and down the country.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name and postcode]
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