Over the past few years, students and staff from St Mary’s Catholic High School in Menston, West Yorkshire, have been involved in a project aiming to raise awareness about the effects of climate change on the world’s poorest people and the impact our lifestyles have on the environment.
To help the campaign, Francis McCrickard of the Myddelton Grange team and Shelagh Fawcett, co-ordinator of Leeds diocese Justice and Peace Commission, came up with the idea of a climate change walk of “Stations of the Environment” about the land surrounding Myddelton Grange Centre.
The result is 11 “stations”, or stopping points, each with a beautifully designed board containing local and global information as well as spiritual reflections. The walk takes people not only on a journey through the extensive woodland and farmland of Myddelton but also on a much deeper journey. Each station gives information about its location but also makes connections with the global reality of climate change and invites a spiritual reflection.
St Mary’s pupils and staff have been involved in the project from the outset. Commenting on the student involvement Shelagh Fawcett said: “It is great to see our young people so passionate about creating a more just world and to witness their creativity in encouraging us all to recognise what we can do to make a difference.”
The climate change walk was officially opened by Kris Hopkins, MP for Keighley and Ilkley, who said: “It was a wonderful privilege to be asked to officially open the walk. The fact that more than 8,000 trees have been planted thus far is a remarkable achievement. They will serve as a great legacy for generations to come and, of course, have a positive impact on the local environment. It was particularly fitting that the opening was timed to coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban. I am proud that the current Government has committed itself to supporting international development at levels greater than any of its predecessors and, working alongside agencies such as Cafod, much good work is being done.
“I look forward to visiting the walk again in the future and would like to congratulate everyone at Myddelton Grange for what they have achieved.”