Write to your MP - ask them to back a Right to Roam Act
We're calling on MPs to publicly support a Right to Roam Act - a new law that would defend and extend public access to nature.
We only have a right to roam over 8% of England currently, so want to see that expanded to places like woods, rivers and Green Belt land. And following the recent court ruling that ended the right to wild camp on Dartmoor, we need fresh legislation that reinstates that right, and extends it to other national parks.
Politicians of all parties are starting to wake up to the need for a Right to Roam Act, but we want your help to push this to the top of the political agenda. So please write to your MP - whichever party they belong to - and get in touch with us to share their reply.
To make things easy, we've drafted a letter below that you can send to your MP (you can check who your MP is and get their contact details here).
You could copy and paste it into an email to your MP, but it's even better if you can print out the letter, add a line or two of your own together with your name and address, and post it to them. That's because MPs receive thousands of emails nowadays, whereas an actual letter gets more attention.
Or if you want to send an email to your MP instead, here's the text for copying and pasting:
Dear [Insert your MP’s name] MP,
To defend and extend the public’s access to nature, we need a new Right to Roam Act
I’m writing to you as your constituent to express my shock, sadness and anger at the recent decision to ban wild camping on Dartmoor – and ask you to act.
For decades, hundreds of thousands of people have enjoyed the freedom to wild camp on the moor, leading to life-changing experiences – from the awe of seeing the galaxy on a clear night, to the character-forming challenge of Ten Tors and Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. Now, all of that has been taken away because of the actions of a wealthy Dartmoor landowner.
Dartmoor National Park Authority may yet appeal this decision, and other Dartmoor landowners may choose to grant the public permission to camp on their land. But it won’t ever be the same – the public has had a cherished right taken away from them. So now it’s up to you to restore those rights.
I am asking you as my representative to publicly support a new Right to Roam Act that would defend and extend public access to nature. Such an Act needs to guarantee the right to wild camp, not just on Dartmoor, but in other national parks across England. It should also extend our right to roam from the pitiful 8% of England that we can currently access, to other landscapes closer to where most people live – like woodlands, rivers and Green Belt land.
Access to nature is critical to our public health. Physical inactivity costs the NHS around £1bn per year, and wider society around £7.4bn per year. Passing a law to extend our right to roam in nature costs, in the context of these figures, next to nothing.
Responsible wild camping leaves no trace on the countryside – but it leaves a huge impression on everyone who experiences it. And if the government is concerned that landowners will have to deal with more litter, then it should spend a bit more on promoting the Countryside Code – rather than the mere £2,000 per year it’s spent publicising it since 2010.
Please support a new Right to Roam Act, and make your commitment public.
Thank you and best wishes,
[NAME + include your address so your MP knows you’re a constituent]
 NICE guideline NG90, 22nd March 2018, ‘Key facts and figures’, https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng90/chapter/Context