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Northumberland International Dark Sky Park

A recent BBC report stated that “A study of pictures of Earth by night has revealed that artificial light is growing brighter and more extensive every year. Between 2012 and 2016, the planet’s artificially lit outdoor area grew by more than 2% per year. Scientists say a “loss of night” in many countries is having negative consequences for “flora, fauna, and human well-being”.

Many people never see the stars properly, or even at all, due to the amount of light pollution in towns and cities across the world. There has also been a surge of interest in the night sky, and this is reflected by the huge popularity of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, the largest area of protected night sky in Europe, covering 572 square miles (1,483 square kilometres). The area was awarded gold status designation in 2013 by the International Dark Sky Association in Tucson, Arizona, the world authority on light pollution. This status means that controls are now  in place to prevent light pollution and to protect the night sky.

This greeting card in the Cherish the Earth series shows the stars over Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland National Park,  with an accompanying quotation by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, head of the Karma Kagyu lineage and one of the most eminent figures in Tibetan Buddhism: “When we can appreciate beauty, and feel awe and wonder at nature, we have the basis to dedicate ourselves to environmental protection.”    The Karmapa is well known for his interest and commitment to environmental issues, as well as social justice for all.  He frequently highlights the issues in his teachings and life’s work.

There are twelve cards in the series, ranging from honeybees to Himalayan mountains, wildlife to oceans, and there has been a wonderful response since publication. They are also available from the shops at Kagyu Samye Ling, near Eskdalemuir, Scotland, and Kagyu Samye Dzong London.

The bees

At last we have a politician (Michael Gove) showing some intelligent leadership and awareness about environmental issues, backing a total ban on insect-harming pesticides in fields across Europe. It has taken a long time but it is very encouraging that politicians are waking up to the scientific evidence and acting responsibly. Long may it continue! Honeybees play a vitally important role in the pollination of countless plants across the world, including one third of the food crops which we depend on.

This image is available as a greeting card in the Cherish the Earth series on this website, and 50% of the profits will be donated to environmental projects supported by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, head of the 900 year old Karma Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The Karmapa is well known for his commitment to environmental activity, as well as being a world spiritual leader and guide to millions of Buddhists around the world.

 

 

Environment greeting cards

There has been so much publicity recently about plastics and pollution  that there has been a massive increase in public awareness of the global environmental impact of the unrestrained use of plastics. In the sea, plastic pollution is mostly invisible until it washes up on the shoreline, yet the ‘invisible’ aspect is more disturbing – microscopic particles of plastic are now found throughout the marine environment and food chain. This card in the Cherish the Earth series shows a crashing wave in Cornwall, with an accompanying quotation by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, head of the Karma Kagyu lineage and one of the most eminent figures in Tibetan Buddhism:   “Environmental degradation is far more complex than anything we alone can tackle, but if we can all contribute a single drop of clean water, those drops will accumulate into a clear stream and eventually a vast pure ocean. This is my aspiration.”  The Karmapa is well known for his interest and commitment to environmental issues, as well as social justice for all.  He frequently highlights the issues in his teachings and life’s work.

 

 

 

New website

Well it’s not really a ‘new’ site – much of the content is the same, though some superfluous content has been removed, and some new content will be added in the weeks ahead. The aim is to make the site as easy to use as possible so that buying a card or a calendar will not be a complicated and frustrating ordeal trying to work out the next step! And also to try and make an attractive website that is a pleasure to use and interesting for the viewer, whilst keeping it simple and uncluttered. There will soon be some new products beyond Northumberland, such as new greeting cards based on the sea, and on India. Meanwhile, all the regular products are available: Seasons of Northumberland calendars, Northumberland greetings cards, Northbumberland Winter christmas cards, Mindful Moments, Cherish the Earth, Earth Light and Time cards, and the notelet cards of Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland National Park, nature, Northumberland Coast and Hexham Abbey.

As always Terry Walsh (twda.co.uk) has been really helpful in giving advice and doing all the technical bits and making it all look so easy. Thanks Terry!

Honey

We have just finished the honey season with our bees and have a modest amount of heather honey – the best for many years – and a good amount of flower honey from earlier in the season. The bees are a very good barometer of the weather as they only fly (and therefore gather pollen and nectar) when the weather is pretty good. Unlike bumble bees they stay inside when it’s raining. And every year the bees do something unexpected so that as a beekeeper, you never stop learning.

One of my bee photos has now been produced as a greeting card in the new Cherish the Earth card series. The theme of the cards is to highlight the global environment through photography, and specially written quotations by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage and one of the most eminent figures in Tibetan Buddhism. The Karmapa is well known for his interest and commitment to environmental issues, as well as social justice for all. There are twelve cards in the series, ranging from honeybees to Himalayan mountains, wildlife to oceans.

Cherish the Earth

This new range of greetings cards succeeds the Cherish the Earth calendars which were produced in 2014 and 2015.  The theme of the cards is the same – to highlight the global environment through photography, with quotations from His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, head of the Karma Kagyu lineage and one of the most eminent figures in Tibetan Buddhism. The Karmapa is well known for his interest and commitment to environmental issues, as well as social justice for all.  He frequently highlights the issues in his teachings and life’s work. He founded the Khoryug movement and annual conference to develop sustainable and environmentally responsible policies in Buddhist communities and monasteries in the Himalayas.  “The environmental emergency that we face is not just a scientific issue, nor is it just a political issue. It is also a moral issue.”

There are twelve cards in the series, ranging from honeybees to Himalayan mountains, wildlife to oceans, and there has been a wonderful response since publication. They are also available from the shops at Kagyu Samye Ling, near Eskdalemuir, Scotland, and Kagyu Samye Dzong London.

Ice floes in the Arctic Ocean to the north of Svalabard.

Cherish the Earth greetings cards

A new range of greetings cards is now available from this website, which follow on from the Cherish the Earth calendars in 2014 and 2015. The advantage of greetings cards is that they are available all the year round rather than just the short window of time in the autumn and winter when calendars are on sale. The theme of the cards is the same as for the calendars – to highlight the global environment through photography, and quotations from His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage and one of the most eminent figures in Tibetan Buddhism. The Karmapa is well known for his interest and commitment to environmental issue, as well as social justice for all. There are twelve cards in the series, ranging from honeybees to Himalayan mountains, wildlife to oceans, and there has been a wonderful response since publication. They are also available from the shops at Kagyu Samye Ling, near Eskdalemuir, Scotland, and Kagyu Samye Dzong London.

 

 

Atlantic wave, Pednavounda, Cornwall