Deep Time Walk – A transformative journey through 4.6bn years of Earth history

On Friday 12th of May, Staff and Trustees of WCIA were given the opportunity to participate in a Deep Time Walk through Bute Park in Cardiff led by our fantastic long-term volunteer Paul Graham. The 4.6km walk tracks our own planet’s 4.6-billion-year history, with every meter travelled equalling 1 million years.

It was a journey that took in the birth of the planet, the cooling of the crust and the formation of the oceans, the beginning of photosynthesis, an explosion in complexity of multicellular life such as fungi, plants, algae through to dinosaurs our common mammalian ancestors, right up to the emergence of homo sapiens the development and growth of human civilisation from basic hunter-gatherers right up to the advanced civilisations of our current age.

The Deep Time Walk was co-created by Dr. Stephan Harding, Deep Ecology Research Fellow at Schumacher College (England) and his MSc student, the geologist Sergio Maraschin in 2007.

The aim of the walk is to contextualise humanity’s rich ancestral heritage and provides insight into the interconnectedness of all life forms. It makes participants aware that the Earth is not a static and passive backdrop on which humans reside, but a complex and interdependent set of active actors who have within themselves the capacity to move and radically change the Earth.

Aside from having the chance to leave the office, talk with colleagues and trustees as well as and enjoy a walk through Bute Park on a sunny day. It was a great opportunity to consider our own place within Earth’s vast geological history and the capacity we have as a species to affect the planet, sadly in a negative way but with the hope that collectively and through cooperation we have the means and ability to life harmoniously as a wider deeply interconnected Gaia.

Our volunteer Paul shared his impressions and thoughts about the Deep Time walk:

‘I get a huge amount of satisfaction from leading these Deep Time Walks. Since first discovering them I’ve been on a personal learning journey that’s really helped to shape my understanding of the climate crises and our human part in it.

Leading the walks is a great experience and it’s both rewarding and enjoyable to be able to share Earth’s story in such an interactive and thoughtful way.  And although it carries a stark message about our human impact and the damage we are doing to the planet, it also feel it offers a message of hope that by changing our behaviour we can ensure a thriving and liveable plant for future generations.

Friday’s walk with the WCIA was a great pleasure and as well as hearing Earth’s story I learned the importance of being able to simply walk and talk in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, something that is increasingly difficult to find time for when we lead such busy lives.  Of course the weather helped’ 

Follow the link below if you’ve been inspired to learn more about the Deep Time Walk, take part or even organise your own Deep Time Walk – explore Earth’s history and geological time.

Deep Time Walk – explore Earth history and geological time

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