From cycling to work every day to recycling more and using less water, Dippy the dinosaur’s visit to Norwich Cathedral has inspired more than 9,000 visitors to make individual pledges to help protect the planet for the future – and some of these pledges will soon be heading to the international climate change conference COP26.

As well as giving people the chance to see a Diplodocus cast up close, Dippy’s tour is also about encouraging people to take action to help protect the planet for generations to come, and at Norwich Cathedral a special Reflection Zone has been created where people are asked to think about what they can do to help our wonderful world. The Reflection Zone links with the Cathedral's support for the work of Christian Aid which works with those impacted by climate change around the globe.

Written on leaves and placed on trees next to Dippy, these personal pledges make a striking visual statement that echoes the #TogetherForOurPlanet message of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference - known as COP26 – which is due to be held in Glasgow from 31 October until 12 November 2021.

Some of these pledge-filled leaves are actually destined for COP26 as they will be delivered by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher, when he joins fellow delegates at the conference.

Bishop Graham, who is the Church of England’s Lead Bishop for the Environment, said: “I believe it’s so important to allow people’s concerns and hopes concerning our climate emergency to be heard. Jesus took time to listen before taking action. I’m delighted to be able to carry some of these pledges from Norfolk to the COP26 meeting in Glasgow. Visitors to Dippy in Norwich Cathedral have been inspired to consider what part they can play, and Christian Aid challenges us to consider the impact of our actions on the lives of some of our brothers and sisters around the world, who contribute the least to global warming, but are affected the most.”

Ahead of attending COP26, Bishop Graham will also be giving a talk under the tail of Dippy that puts the spotlight on the forthcoming conference. Called ‘COP26: cop out or a way to cope?’, the Bishop’s lecture at 7pm on Tuesday 28 September will unpack what will happen and look at possible outcomes of what is perhaps the single most important international gathering to secure the future of our planet. Tickets cost £5 and can be booked here

The Revd Canon Andy Bryant, the Cathedral’s Dippy Project Manager, said that throughout October the Cathedral also planned to countdown to COP26 by highlighting people’s pledges from the Dippy on Tour Reflection Zone on social media, and that he hoped this would encourage even more people to add their own pledges to the trees.

He said: “It has been wonderful to see so many of our Dippy visitors wanting to make a pledge to help our planet. We have had people of all ages having conversations about the changes they can make to address the issues of climate change. The sheer number of leaves on the trees are a real dinosaur roar of hope for our planet - people really do want change and want to play their part in bringing about that change.”

Some of the pledges people have made so far have included:

· Put a jumper on instead of whacking up the central heating

· Plant vegetables and fruit in our garden to decrease food miles

· Stop running water when brushing my teeth

· Plant wildflowers to help pollinators like bees

· Walk to school every day

· Not be a slave to fast fashion – charity shops all the way

· Buy eco-friendly cleaning products

· Buy loose vegetables and fruit and use less plastic packaging

· Walk, scoot or cycle if you can. Don’t drive if you don’t have to.

· Stop drinking bottled water

Chris Hull, volunteer campaign organiser at Christian Aid, said: “The scale and breadth of these pledges that have come from peoples' hearts and imaginations, shows the real drive of many Norfolk residents of all ages to change personal behaviour to respect and protect our earth. Christian Aid and its partners are working on the ground with people in very poor communities across the world who suffer the direct consequences of climate change now. They see the changes themselves and many have sadly lost loved ones and livelihoods. Uncomfortably, such changes are predominantly created by us in the richer countries. These pledges are a sign of solidarity with the world's poorest, and an invocation to the decision makers to take bold and imaginative action at COP26.”