Another Laudato Si’ Mini-Pilgrimage went ahead on Sunday 7 November to emphasise the importance of the environment and Care for Our Common Home at local level, during the COP26 global climate summit.
As with the previous Laudato Si’ Pilgrimage walk in September (for the Season of Creation), there was a good turnout of parishioners from across our Diocesan Family, also of local people and those simply interested in conservation and the environment.
Once again, Paul Elgar, the Myddelton Grange Estate Manager led the guided walk and answered pilgrims’ questions on the woodland, grassland, farmland and conservation management he undertakes on behalf of the Diocese of Leeds. It was a revelation to hear about the natural life-span of different species of tree; how the surface-area of a conifer’s needles is greater than that of a ‘broadleaf’ and therefore absorbs more CO2; how a tree grown and felled for use in construction ‘locks up’ the carbon for the lifetime of that building; and how trees, plants and wildlife can struggle to flourish in the majority of our country’s dark, unmanaged forests.
To ensure this diocesan asset can continue to be enjoyed by all, material from a local building project will be re-used to create an accessible pathway through the site covered by the Myddelton Grange Farm estate, where wheelchair users and those less mobile will be able to reach the Calvary, experiencing the bluebell woods in season, and using the bird and wildlife hides which are being planned along the route.
As ever, the Pilgrimage ended at the Calvary, where participants were able to meet socially over a glass of wine and hear how plans are underway to construct a suitable ‘lych-gate’ type of shelter at the entrance. This will provide a home for the historical and environmental interpretation material compiled by Sacred Heart parishioner Frank McCrickard, as well as a safe place to mount and preserve the C19th carvings from the previous gateway, rescued from vandalism and now restored to their former beauty.
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