Our Natural Setting
Many retreatants enjoy the mature trees which surround Manresa, seeing them as a welcoming presence which adds its own character to a time of retreat.
The ‘nobles of the forest’ and common trees are represented, with some less usual trees speaking of connections with other places - the sequoia a reminder of Emo Court and the ginkos recalling Japan and its centuries of Jesuit presence.
The trees are regularly surveyed and action is taken to preserve, remove or replace trees as needed. This is done with a broader and long-term arboricultural plan in view, considering generations other than our own.
The Labyrinth Meadow
Having been the site of a paddock, a cricket crease and a lawn, the current meadow has developed since 2014. Mown once annually, a great variety of plants have re-established themselves, providing homes to numerous insects and food for many birds. Cowslips and meadow browns are among the growing populations.
People on retreat are often surprised to find themselves observed by squirrels, foxes and badgers. These are not Manresa’s creatures but are ‘ours’ in a broader sense, sharing our environment with us. We avoid feeding or interfering with them and are keen to offer them the sanctuary that people coming to Manresa also seek.