Cycle And Sing event brings climate change message to York

For the love of Yorkshire, sign up…
28 Nov 2015 @ 10.10 am
| Environment

A group of cyclists and a hundred singers will come together in York on Saturday (November 28) for a special event to raise awareness of the need to act on climate change as part of the For the Love of Yorkshire festival.

Cycle And Sing combines a bike ride organised by York Bike Belles on the Sustrans solar system greenway with a mass choir at All Saints Church on North Street.

The family-friendly bike ride will set off from the west end of York Minster at 11am and take a group photo at the sculpture of Planet Earth on the cycle route.

There will be a break at Brunswick Organic Nursery on the return leg before heading back into York for the singing, which begins at 2.30pm.

The York cyclists will be joined by Frenchman Daniel Longing from Lyons, a keen amateur cyclist.

He will open the North Street event by accepting and translating a message to world leaders at the climate summit in Paris from Yorkshirewoman Margo Hanson representing the University of Leeds, principal supporter of the Yorkshire-wide climate festival.

Four well-known songs will be performed by a mass community ‘climate choir’, along with the debut performance of a new song written and performed by climate scientist Dr Kevin Hicks and his band, Eclectic Sparks.

Lots of Yorkshire events

The day will form just one of 34 events taking place under the banner of For The Love Of Yorkshire, including bike rides, talks, prayer meetings, debates, film showings, music, a play, lectures, conferences, walks and workshops.

The festival was launched on November 10 and will run until December 12.

Of these, four major events are to be held across Yorkshire on 28 November as part of a UK-wide ‘For the Love of’ campaign by the Climate Coalition.

There will be a People's March For Climate, Justice and Jobs. Photograph: For The Love Of
There will be a People’s March For Climate, Justice and Jobs. Photograph: For The Love Of

The action-packed weekend will include the People’s March for Climate, Justice and Jobs on November 29 in London and Edinburgh.

Whilst ‘Cycle and Sing’ is the York event, Sheffield’s event also combines singing and cycling alongside other activities, Leeds will host a pilgrimage from all corners of the city, and in Huddersfield there will be a climate flash mob, poetry and candlelit vigil.

From York to Paris

The dates have been chosen to coincide with the UN world summit on climate change, starting on November 30 in Paris. World leaders will get together to formulate a global agreement on climate change.

Yorkshire is setting an example to the rest of the UK by being the only county to organise a regional programme of events.

And a film will be made of the events which, along with a large heart-shaped board covered in signatures collected during the festival, will be taken to the Paris summit and presented to representatives of the UN conference.

“The ‘For the Love of Yorkshire’ message to world leaders is simple,” says organiser Kate Lock, a York-based environmental writer and researcher. ‘

“We are calling on them to sign a strong agreement on climate change to limit the rise in global temperature to below 2C and we promise to work at the regional, city and local level across Yorkshire to help achieve this.”

She added:

We know how great Yorkshire is at getting things done – just look at the success of the Grand Depart for the Tour de France in 2014. People love Yorkshire, and they care about what happens to it.

Groups, organisations and academic institutions in Yorkshire have got some amazingly imaginative, powerful and thought-provoking events planned. So I thought, let’s pull them all together, encourage some new ones and get Yorkshire to show the way!

Kate has recently completed a Masters degree in Sustainability at the University of Leeds and previously worked at the University of York with the Stockholm Environment Institute.

“I hope that people will find the community choir an interesting and fun way of engaging with climate change,” says Kate, who was inspired by the public participation involved with York Mystery Plays and the Yorkshire Grand Depart in 2014.