In News

A report from the National Trust has found that extreme weather threatens the future of nearly ¾ of their managed sites. The charity says that climate change is the “single biggest threat” facing over 28,000 historic homes, 150,000 hectares of land and 780 miles of coastline managed by the Trust.

In the report, the National Trust called on the government to do more to help organisations adapt to climate change. The Trust has been monitoring the climate change threats posed to its stately homes, museum collections, parks, gardens and land holdings by mapping current extreme weather events, such as downpours, flooding, drought and wildfires. The data is then used on a “hazard map” to predict threats under a “worst case scenario”. The National Trust say that planning for the worst will help it identify vulnerable sites across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and use knowledge gained on the ground by local teams to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The map was launched in 2021 and has so far estimated that a number of sites face a high level of threat from issues, such as coastal erosion, extreme heat and flooding could rise to 17% over the next 40 years. This helped inform the new report, A Climate for Change, which estimates that 71% of the Trust’s sites would be at risk of being impacted by climate change by 2060.

The National Trust is now calling on more funding and support from the Government for landowners, heritage organisations and tourism groups across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to help them adapt their buildings, coastlines and countryside to better cope with the impacts of climate change. It also wants the government to establish a new Climate Resilience Bill to create national targets for adaptation and a statutory duty on all public bodies to make adaptation a key factor in decision making.

The UK government said there is a national adaptation programme in place that sets out a five year plan to increase the country’s resilience to climate change risks, including those posed to heritage sites and its coastline and countryside. It has also said that it is committed to investing billions of pounds in wider climate change measures, including flood and coastal schemes in England.




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