I visited the Pyrenees with my family, and found a new species. It was the red-billed leiothrix – or Pekin Robin – from south-east Asia. It is a shy thrush-sized bird with scarlet bill, greenish back, blue tail, yellow underparts and a rosy breast.
The song is somewhere between a nightingale and a blackbird. It added a splash of colour to a late summer day. This species was released from cages in north-east Spain in 1990, and has since naturalised in river valleys in the Pyrenean mountains. According to recent university surveys, they don’t appear to be having any negative impact on French wildlife. They add to the sound and spectacle of the mountains. So good news, then!
Not so fast! The second UK record of Asian hornet has been confirmed, from a smallholding in Somerset. This species has had a profound ... Read more...
Every church can turn green – with a national celebration for the first anniversary of Eco Church. It’s captured the imagination of well-known places of worship.
Churches are encouraged to use a green cloth and green liturgy for communion services on 5th February 2017. St Paul’s Cathedral (pictured), Canterbury Cathedral, Goldhill Baptist Church, York Minster, Romsey Abbey and Portsmouth Cathedral have said they’ll take part. Others are expected to follow.
A ‘Green Communion’ resource has been specially written by Precentor of Canterbury Cathedral Rev Matthew Rushton. Churches who don’t normally use liturgy can adapt the prayers and use them however they want.
Worshippers will be able not only to download prayers but also to upload pictures of their services to the Eco Church website. This will create a mosaic of a nationwide community caring for God’s earth across England and Wales.
‘Having ... Read more...
Hosted by Salisbury and Winchester diocese, these Tools For Transformation events will explore A Rocha UK’s award scheme and the Big Church Switch – and share stories from local church eco-journeys. The Big Church Switch encourages churches to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Christian Aid and Tearfund were involved in launching Eco Church, which has drawn nearly 400 churches. Now those partners are working with A Rocha UK to help even more Christians catch the vision.
A Rocha UK Churches And Theology Director Dr Ruth Valerio and Conservation Director Andy Lester will speak at the Hampshire and Dorset/Wiltshire events respectively through November, January and February.
‘Tools For Transformation can be ... Read more...
Over the past few months the Gower-based team have been busy clearing bracken from the headland at The St Madoc Centre – which is named after a sixth century church planter. And they’ve uncovered some surprises.
Bracken may be good for some species such as adder – but not especially useful for a wide range of rarer plants, fungi and bird species. So the team were encouraged to see the return of chough to the site this autumn – and in numbers probably never previously recorded.
Chough is a scarce breeding bird in the UK. It’s largely confined to cliffs of south and west Wales – with a few pairs in Cornwall. Chough need open ground with a plentiful supply of insects ... Read more...
The state of UK’s nature demands unprecedented efforts to save it, says the charity. Latest data shows creation in crisis. As a Christian conservation organisation, A Rocha UK believes it’s ideally placed to mobilise churches to help. And it needs your support. Plans include:
– increased conservation work at A Rocha UK’s nature reserves;
– hundreds more churches involved in the Eco Church award scheme;
– thousands more Christians engaged in caring for God’s earth.
‘For a small charity, A Rocha UK has big plans,’ said Operations Director Steve Deall. ‘We want to roll out our new strategy fast – for the sake of nature and people – ... Read more...