Template for writing a letter to the authorities

People often contact us to ask, “How can I help you in your campaign to make our footpaths safer for walkers?”

One of the things you can do is to write to your MP. You can also write to other groups such as the Ramblers or the National Farmer’s Union. The more people raise awareness of the problem, the more likely it is that the authorities will finally get the message.

To support your letter, if you wish, you can add in some of the official advice from either the National Farmers Union or the Health and Safety Executive.

Because it is difficult to start a letter from scratch, we have provided a suggested template. Please feel free to use this template. Just change the words in the box bracket [the ones that look like this] or choose one of the phrases suggested. Please add your own stories, and use your own words wherever possible.

Template letter for you to copy and modify.


I am writing to [let you know of my concern about / express my anxiety about / ask for your help with / demand something be done about] the attacks on walkers by dangerous cattle.

There have been [numerous attacks over the years / many people injured / three deaths in 2020 so far / many disturbing incidents of attacks] on public footpaths.

[Insert a personal story here if you have one.]

As a result of this, [I’ve become increasingly anxious about walking in the countryside / my family is worried about walking in the countryside / I now avoid fields with cattle whenever I can / I am unable to go on walks because of the number of fields full of cows.]

Many of these [incidents / deaths / attacks ] were avoidable if farmers [took simple precautions / followed the guidance of the National Farmer’s Union / obeyed Health and Safety guidance].

Please would you discuss this [with the Prime Minister / with the Minister responsible for farming / with the government / with the relevant authorities / with the Farmers Union / with the Health and Safety Executive / in parliament ].

Yours sincerely,

Tips for writing your letter to an MP

  • Use your own words wherever possible. MPs are very good at spotting a pro-forma or mass-produced letter, and will take less notice of these.
  • Keep it short and to the point. Only include those details you feel will help the MP understand why you are worried.
  • It is best to make practical suggestions, such as fencing footpaths, avoiding putting cattle with calves on footpaths, etc. General statements, such as “something must be done”, are unlikely to result in action.

Thank you for helping us by writing your letter.

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