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COP26 walkers hit the region

By Fiona Reid
COP26 walkers hit the region

COMMUNITIES across Annandale and Eskdale rolled out a warm welcome to groups of climate pilgrims this week.

Eskdalemuir was the stop for one walking group at the weekend, pictured.

They had started their journey at Land’s End, heading for John O’Groats, with the aim to reach Glasgow in time for the COP26 global climate change conference next month, where they will deliver messages of support for the planet.

The Eskdalemuir Community Hub hosted the group of 25 on day 42 of their walk – and before their stop they had braved a plunge in the nearby King’s Pool.

Hub spokeswoman Victoria Long said: “The Eskdalemuir Community Hub felt very privileged to receive them into our attractive environmentally friendly building, warmed by eco friendly pellet stoves and we made them welcome with food and space to meet together.

“Many people in Eskdalemuir too, feel very concerned about the future for all of us and wish to add our support. We want action from Cop 26, not just empty words.

“Government funding has been applied for by the Eskdalemuir Community Hub to help us install electric power points for cars and cycles. This is our current response to the situation and the start of more changes to come.”

Meanwhile, another group of climate walkers, known as Camino to COP, called at Gretna, Ecclefechan, Johnstonebridge, Moffat and Lockerbie as part of their 500 mile pilgrimage from London to Glasgow.

They were raising public awareness of the climate crisis through the march, also dubbed the ‘Peoples’ March for the Planet’ and held in the spirit of the Jarrow March, the Salt March in India and the March on Washington in the US, and carried banners, flags and were even occasionally accompanied by a samba band.

Organiser Reverend Helen Burnett, who is the vicar of St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Chaldon, said: “This is a walk for everyone. Although led by the Extinction Rebellion (XR) interfaith alliance, known as the XR Faith Bridge, people from a variety of backgrounds, of different faiths and none, are taking part.

“Since London we have experienced so many rich and varied landscapes from Spaghetti Junction and the Grand Union Canal through suburban gated communities, static caravan sites, Cumbrian villages and moorland farms.

“We have visited Quaker meeting houses, mosques, synagogues and churches and we have been overwhelmed by the generosity and hospitality of the communities that have hosted us.”


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