Stroud Climate Cairn

November 2021
November 2021


August 2021

Humans live on the planet Earth with billions of other life forms, in an interdependent web, the biosphere.
Stroud Climate Cairn is a collective thought process, each stone representing an action that interlocks with other actions to make a joined up whole. All these actions, if done globally, would conserve the living planet: phase out fossil fuels, use less energy, ramp up renewable energy (e.g. solar power and wind power), eat more plant based food, eat less meat, plant trees, do not destroy rain forest (don’t buy furniture made of it) , eat locally grown food, not food flown in aircraft, recycle clothes, and mend things. Monitor emissions honestly; get behind science, but not necessarily the products of science (technology dominance). Do not buy things made with with the labour of enslaved people.

Well known stone carver Tom Perkins visiting the cairn, 23 June
The Climate cairn at Capels Mill
Climate cairn sign
Virtual rocks on climate cairn

Stroud Climate Cairn at Capels Mill, off Dr Newton’s Way, Stroud,
(canal-side site near the centre of Stroud, accessed from Waitrose carpark, and over pedestrian crossing – or along the canal)

The cairn is a collective landscape feature with a message to the future; a call to action for:

  • the future of our biosphere,
  • government policies to protect and restore the global climate and all the ecosystems of the earth.

The cairn is a process: the creation of a stone feature and the sharing of ideas, actions and policies to protect the earth’s climate and living ecosystems.

To interact with it:

  1. Please place a stone or a pebble on the cairn
  2. Photograph a ‘virtual stone’- that is, a piece of card / board, 20 cm or more in size, like a stone, with shading, cracks and fossils in it, if you wish! But most importantly, with a policy, idea or action written on it. An action that will help protect the climate and nature. Make it colourful, with diagrams….
  3. Share your virtual stone by e-mailing the photo to They will be assembled into a virtual cairn of ideas and actions: a cairn-shaped plan for the future!


Rocks tell a story: stones, pebbles or a pocketful of soil.

The fossil record is informative of past climate changes. It tells of past extinctions and the millions of years needed to recover from them. It tells of the web of life and how it has continued as a network of interdependence, coupled to the atmosphere, rocks, ocean and soil. Each stage of its journey through time has been essential to our own existence.

The cairn has cavities and wood chips for toads, newts, slow worms and other wildlife to hide in and the whole thing will be seeded with wild flowers once complete.The climate cairn stands for :-

  • The beauty of the web of life, of which we are a part.
  • The need for continuity in our landscape, rather than a jeopardised future caused by human destruction of nature.
  • The equality of all people, and their place in an ecologically sustainable society as citizens of the planet, with a voice, and with dignity.

Through millennia and geological epochs, people have lived here and life has thrived, represented by local bronze age burial chambers, and evidence in soils, peat and gravel deposits.

Humans and all of the Earth’s life could thrive into future millenia like they did in the past. Yet, the governing global system is jeopardising the very continuity of life. So:

  • The damaged ecosystems of our planet need to be restored, and the processes damaging them, such as deforestation, and deep sea trawling, need to cease.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by 7.6 % per year, towards a net zero level within 10 years, without impacting the biosphere, and probably using geological carbon capture and storage.
  • Local, national and international policies are urgently needed to bring this about.
  • This means a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and an audit of all emissions, including that from imported products.
  • This in effect means more regional economies, so that it is actually possible to monitor the impacts of products. The more regional it is, the more possible is a circular economy. A lower level of material consumerism is inevitable, but this can be linked to a better quality of life, health, diet, and spiritual connection to nature.
  • The same accountability, monitoring, transparency and regionalism which is needed to tackle environmental impacts, will also help tackle slavery; and ensure fair trade, workers’ rights and good governance in supply chains.