Forecast Changeable 2015
Forecast Changeable 2015
National Trust and climate change The National Trust looks after special places and maintains them for ever, for everyone. Our mission is to save places of historic interest and natural beauty for the benefit of the nation. It’s a cause that is now actively supported by over four million members and 60,000 volunteers.
The desire to ‘protect’ somewhere is usually triggered by a clear and compelling threat. We were founded in 1895 as an open spaces body, established to protect the countryside at a time when our towns and cities were growing at unprecedented levels. Many historic houses came into our care after the difficulties faced by large estate owners in the middle of the 20th century. This meant that our attention shifted towards country houses and their associated parks, gardens and collections. In 1965 we started our Neptune campaign, to save coastlines in their natural state.
‘The impacts of climate change are clear to see at Trust places, whether from increasingly erratic weather events or from long-term changes in temperature and rainfall distribution affecting countryside and buildings, gardens and collections. The risk of permanent damage to landscape and heritage as a result of not planning for a future with a radically different climate is ever increasing’ Helen Ghosh, Director-General
In memory of Alan Watson Written and researched by Dr Mark Roberts, James Lloyd and Jenna Hopkinson With thanks to Rob Jarman and Alan Watson for their work on the original Forecast Changeable Report in 2005
Yet we are facing new threats in the 21st century that require new forms of response. By far the biggest of these is also the most insidious and sometimes the hardest to fully comprehend: the threats arising from man-made climate change. This climate change has incurred a number of environmental consequences, for example an increase in temperature, increased intensity of weather events and a change to the pattern of rainfall.1 We first set out our views on climate change in 1995, since then our work on climate change has been reported in various ways, in A Call for the Wild in 1999, Forecast? – Changeable! in 2006, From Source to Sea in 2008, Energy – Grow Your Own in 2010 and Shifting Shores in 2015.
Cover: Buttermere, Lake District, Cumbria. National Trust Images/David Noton Left: Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire. National Trust Images/James Dobson.
Our strategy document Playing Our Part, published in 2015, recognised that climate change now poses the single biggest threat to the places we look after, bringing new, damaging impacts to a natural and cultural environment already under pressure, and a growing conservation challenge to our houses and gardens. Recognising the strategic need to understand and respond to the risks from climate change, this report brings together a collection of case studies to demonstrate the impact a changing climate has on the places in our care and the practical steps we are taking to adapt to it, and mitigate its impact. We take a very long term view of the places we are responsible for. A changing climate has meant changing conservation priorities. We have set targets that balance the need to reduce the energy we use and the need to generate our own renewable energy which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also demonstrate how it is possible to work in tune with the precious landscape in our care. By showing practical ways of generating renewable energy and reducing energy consumption without compromising the beauty and natural integrity of those places, we hope to demonstrate that we can take action to mitigate the impact of climate change, and pass on our places for future generations to enjoy.
1 IPCC, 2013: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocke