Eco Parish

Kilnamanagh-Castleview Parish #OurDigitalParish

Climate Change

What is climate change?

The planet’s climate has constantly been changing over geological time. The global average temperature today is about 15C, though geological evidence suggests it has been much higher and lower in the past.

However, the current period of warming is occurring more rapidly than many past events. Scientists are concerned that the natural fluctuation is being overtaken by a rapid human-induced warming that has serious implications for the stability of the planet’s climate.

What is the “Greenhouse Effect”?

The greenhouse effect refers to the way the Earth’s atmosphere traps some of the energy from the Sun. Solar energy radiating back out to space from the Earth’s surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases and re-emitted in all directions.

The energy that radiates back down to the planet heats both the lower atmosphere and the surface. Without this effect, the Earth would be about 30C colder, making our planet hostile to life.

Scientists believe we are adding to the natural greenhouse effect with gases released from industry and agriculture (known as emissions), trapping more energy and increasing the temperature. This is commonly referred to as global warming or climate change.

The most important of these greenhouse gases in terms of its contribution to warming is water vapour, but concentrations show little change and it persists in the atmosphere for only a few days.

On the other hand, carbon dioxide (CO2) persists for much longer (it would take hundreds of years for it to return to pre-industrial levels). In addition, there is only so much CO2 that can be soaked up by natural reservoirs such as the oceans.

Most man-made emissions of CO2 are through the burning of fossil fuels, as well as through cutting down carbon-absorbing forests. Other greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide are also released through human activities, but their overall abundance is small compared with carbon dioxide.

Since the industrial revolution began in 1750, CO2 levels have risen by more than 30% and methane levels have risen more than 140%. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is now higher than at any time in at least 800,000 years.

Our Parish Response

Our Impact

Climate Change is accelerated by each one of us and by the way we live. Our burning of Fossil Fuels is the biggest contributor to Climate Change. This, combined with our over-use of plastic, is polluting our water, our oceans, killing our animals, melting the ice-caps, and changing the weather conditions we experience (from extreme snow to drought).

Simple but conscious changes in our lifestyle can help slow down and combat climate change!

Where do you begin? Find out how your lifestyle impacts on the earth and begin to look at the steps you need to take to combat this. Take the short Footprint Calculator test at:

Footprint Calculator

The Pope’s Response: Laudato Si

In 2015, Pope Francis published a document called Laudato Si, which is on the care for our common home. We all live on earth so we should all treat it with respect and have it in good shape for future generations.

In 2015, Pope Francis published a document called Laudato Si, which is on the care for our common home. We all live on earth so we should all treat it with respect and have it in good shape for future generations.

In September 2018, Dr Lorna Gold who works with Trocaire published a book called “Climate Generation: Awakening to Our Children’s Future”. This book provides a road-map for what we can do to combat and work towards action to provide a better world for future generations. It is published by Veritas and can be purchased from the store or online: Climate Generation

For further information on helping the parish become an Eco Parish, please read this guide:

Eco-Parish Guide

Pastoral Letter – The Cry of the Earth – The Cry of the Poor

Prayers for our Earth

Prayer For Our Earth

All powerful God,
you are present in the universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.

Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.

Fill us with your peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.

Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty,
not pollution and destruction.

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.


Spotted Locally

Below we have the starts of lists of birds, bees, trees and plants that you can find locally in the parish. Have you spotted anything from the list in your own garden, or better yet, do you have something that isn’t on our list? If you have, please share it with us!


Collared Dove – Streptopelia decaocto


  • Average length of 32 cm (13 in) from tip of beak to tip of tail, with a wingspan of 47–55 cm (19–22 in), and a weight of 125–240 g (4.4–8.5 oz).
  • It is grey-buff to pinkish-grey overall, a little darker above than below, with a blue-grey under wing patch. The tail feathers are grey-buff above, and dark grey tipped white below; the outer tail feathers also tipped whitish above. It has a black half-collar edged with white on its nape from which it gets its name. The short legs are red and the bill is black. The iris is red, but from a distance the eyes appear to be black, as the pupil is relatively large and only a narrow rim of reddish-brown iris can be seen around the black pupil.

 Where it can be found:

  • Native to most of Europe, India and Northern China
  • Introduced to North America and Japan

Blackbird – Turdus merula


  • 5 to 29 centimetres (9.25 to 11.4 in) in length, has a long tail, and weighs 80–125 grams (2.8 to 4.4 oz).
  • The adult male has glossy black plumage, blackish-brown legs, a yellow eye-ring and an orange-yellow bill. The bill darkens somewhat in winter. The adult female is sooty-brown with a dull yellowish-brownish bill, a brownish-white throat and some weak mottling on the breast. The juvenile is similar to the female, but has pale spots on the upperparts, and the very young juvenile also has a speckled breast.

Where it can be found:

  • Europe, Morocco, South East Australia

Song Thrush – Turdus philomelos


  • 20 to 23.5 centimetres (8 to 9.25 in) in length and weighs 50–107 grammes (1.8 to 3.8 oz).
  • The sexes are similar, with plain brown backs and neatly black-spotted cream or yellow-buff underparts, becoming paler on the belly. The underwing is warm yellow, the bill is yellowish and the legs and feet are pink.
  • For its weight, this species has one of the loudest bird calls. Its distinctive song, which has repeated musical phrases, has frequently been referred to in poetry.
  • An individual male may have a repertoire of more than 100 phrases, many copied from its parents and neighbouring birds. Mimicry may include the imitation of man-made items like telephones, and the song thrush will also repeat the calls of captive birds, including exotics such as the white-faced whistling duck.

Where it can be found:

  • Europe, Scandinavia, New Zealand, and sporadically throughout Asia and the Middle East

Great Tit – Parus major


  • 5 to 14.0 cm (4.9–5.5 in) in length, and has a distinctive appearance that makes it easy to recognise.
  • It has a bluish-black crown, black neck, throat, bib and head, and white cheeks and ear coverts. The breast is bright lemon-yellow and there is a broad black mid-line stripe running from the bib to vent. There is a dull white spot on the neck turning to greenish-yellow on the upper nape. The rest of the nape and back are green tinged with olive. The wing-coverts are green, the rest of the wing is bluish-grey with a white-wing-bar. The tail is bluish grey with white outer tips.
  • The plumage of the female is similar to that of the male except that the colours are overall duller; the bib is less intensely black, as is the line running down the belly, which is also narrower and sometimes broken.
  • Young birds are like the female, except that they have dull olive-brown napes and necks, greyish rumps, and greyer tails, with less defined white tips.

Where it can be found:

  • Various species found throughout the world

Coal Tit – Periparus ater


  • 10–11.5 cm in length
  • It has a distinctive large white nape spot on its black head. The head, throat and neck of the adult are glossy blue-black, setting off the off-white sides of the face (tinged grey to yellow depending on subspecies) and the brilliant white nape; the white tips of the wing covertsappear as two wingbars. The underparts are whitish shading through buff to rufous on the flanks. The bill is black, the legs lead-coloured, and irides dark brown.
  • The young birds are duller than the adults, lacking gloss on the black head, and with the white of nape and cheeks tinged with yellow.

Where it can be found:

  • Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, Russia, and sporadically throughout Asia and the Middle East

Blue Tit – Cyanistes caeruleus


  • 12 cm (4.7 in), long with a wingspan of 18 cm (7.1 in) for both genders, and weighs about 11 g (0.39 oz).
  • A typical Eurasian blue tit has an azure-blue crown and dark blue line passing through the eye, and encircling the white cheeks to the chin, giving the bird a very distinctive appearance. The forehead and a bar on the wing are white. The nape, wings and tail are blue and the back is yellowish green. The underparts is mostly sulphur-yellow with a dark line down the abdomen—the yellowness is indicative of the number of yellowy-green caterpillarseaten, due to high levels of carotene pigments in the diet. The bill is black, the legs bluish grey, and the irides dark brown. The sexes are similar, but under ultraviolet light, males have a brighter blue crown. Young blue tits are noticeably more yellow.

Where it can be found:

  • Europe, Scandinavia, North Africa, and small parts of the Middle East

Green Finch – Chloris chloris


  • The greenfinch is 15 cm (5.9 in) long with a wing span of 24.5 to 27.5 cm (9.6 to 10.8 in).
  • It is similar in size and shape to a house sparrow, but is mainly green, with yellow in the wings and tail. The female and young birds are duller and have brown tones on the back. The bill is thick and conical.
  • The song contains a lot of trilling twitters interspersed with wheezes, and the male has a “butterfly” display flight.

Where it can be found:

  • There are various species found throughout the world including India, Vietnam, East Asia, Europe, North Africa, South West Asia and Thailand

Chaffinch – Fringilla coelebs


  • 5 cm (5.7 in) long, with a wingspan of 24.5–28.5 cm (9.6–11.2 in) and a weight of 18–29 g (0.63–1.02 oz).
  • The adult male of the nominate subspecies has a black forehead and a blue-greycrown, nape and upper mantle. The rump is a light olive-green; the lower mantle and scapulars form a brown saddle. The side of head, throat and breast are a dull rust-red merging to a pale creamy-pink on the belly. The central pair of tail feathers are dark grey with a black shaft streak. The rest of the tail is black apart from the two outer feathers on each side which have white wedges. Each wing has a contrasting white panel on the coverts and a buff-white bar on the secondaries and inner primaries. The flight feathers are black with white on the basal portions of the vanes. The secondaries and inner primaries have pale yellow fringes on the outer web whereas the outer primaries have a white outer edge.

Where it can be found:

  • It is resident in Europe and moves to various locations during summer or winter, such as Scandinavia, North Africa and New Zealand.

Gold Finch – Carduelis carduelis


  • 12–13 cm (4.7–5.1 in) long with a wingspan of 21–25 cm (8.3–9.8 in) and a weight of 14 to 19 g (0.49 to 0.67 oz).
  • The sexes are broadly similar, with a red face, black and white head, warm brown upperparts, white underparts with buff flanks and breast patches, and black and yellow wings.

Where it can be found:

  • It is resident in Europe and moves to various locations during summer or winter, such as Scandinavia, North Africa and Western Parts of Russia.

House Sparrow – Passer domesticus


  • 16 cm (6.3 in) long, ranging from 14 to 18 cm (5.5 to 7.1 in).
  • It is a compact bird with a full chest and a large, rounded head. Its bill is stout and conical with a culmen length of 1.1–1.5 cm (0.43–0.59 in), strongly built as an adaptation for eating seeds. Its tail is short, at 5.2–6.5 cm (2.0–2.6 in) long. The wing chord is 6.7–8.9 cm (2.6–3.5 in), and the tarsus is 1.6–2.5 cm (0.63–0.98 in). In mass, the house sparrow ranges from 24 to 39.5 g (0.85 to 1.39 oz).
  • Females usually are slightly smaller than males. The plumage of the house sparrow is mostly different shades of grey and brown.

Where it can be found:

  • It is native to Europe, Russia, Middle East, India, China and introduced to North and South America and Eastern Australia.

Siskin – Spinus spinus


  • The siskin is a small, short-tailed bird, 11–12.5 centimetres (4.3–4.9 in) in length with a wingspan that ranges from 20–23 centimetres (7.9–9.1 in). It weighs between 10–18 grams (0.35–0.63 oz).
  • The male has a greyish greenback; yellow rump; the sides of the tail are yellow and the end is black; the wings are black with a distinctive yellow wing stripe; its breast is yellowish becoming whiter and striped towards the cloaca; it has a black bib (or chin patch) and on its head it has two yellow auriculas and a black cap. The amount of black on the bib is very variable between males and the size of the bib has been related to dominance within a flock. The plumage of the female is more olive-coloured than the male. The cap and the auriculas are greenish with a white bib and a rump that is a slightly striped whitish-yellow. The young have a similar colouration to the females, with drab colours and a more subdued plumage.

Where it can be found:

  • It is native to Europe, Scandinavia, parts of Russia and China.

Wren – Troglodytidae


  • They range in size from the white-bellied wren, which averages under 10 cm (3.9 in) and 9 g (0.32 oz), to the giant wren, which averages about 22 cm (8.7 in) and weighs almost 50 g (1.8 oz).
  • The dominating colours of their plumage are generally drab, composed of grey, brown, black, and white, and most species show some barring, especially to tail and/or wings. No sexual dimorphism is seen in the plumage of wrens, and little difference exists between young birds and adults. All have fairly long, straight to marginally decurved bills.
  • Wrens have loud and often complex songs, sometimes given in duet by a pair. The song of members of the genera Cyphorhinus and Microcerculus have been considered especially pleasant to the human ear, leading to common names such as song wren, musician wren, flautist wren, and southern nightingale-wren.

Where it can be found:

  • It is native to Europe but quite widespread throughout the world.

Gold Crest – Regulus regulus


  • 5–9.5 cm (3.3–3.7 in) in length, with a 13.5–15.5 cm (5.3–6.1 in) wingspan and a weight of 4.5–7.0 g (0.16–0.25 oz).
  • It is similar in appearance to a warbler, with olive-green upper-parts, buff-white underparts, two white wing bars, and a plain face with conspicuous black irises. The crown of the head has black sides and a narrow black front, and a bright crest, yellow with an orange centre in the male, and entirely yellow in the female; the crest is erected in display, making the distinctive orange stripe of the male much more conspicuous. The small, thin bill is black, and the legs are dark flesh-brown.
  • Apart from the crest colour, the sexes are alike, although in fresh plumage, the female may have very slightly paler upper-parts and greyer underparts than the adult male.
  • The juvenile is similar to the adult, but has duller upper-parts and lacks the coloured crown. Although the tail and flight feathers may be retained into the first winter, by then the young birds are almost indistinguishable from adults in the field. The flight is distinctive; it consists of whirring wing-beats with occasional sudden changes of direction. Shorter flights while feeding are a mix of dashing and fluttering with frequent hovering. It moves restlessly among foliage, regularly creeping on branches and up and down trunks.

Where it can be found:

  • It is native to Europe, and travel throughout for winter or breeding season.
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