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27 Jun 2022

Charities and agencies combine forces to tackle the impact of climate change

A close-up image of large fallen trees and branches.
More frequent storms is one of the results of climate change.
The National Trust for Scotland is one of seven UK organisations in a new partnership to help tackle the impact of climate change on historical sites and our cultural heritage, as well as to share expertise.

The new UK Heritage Adaptation Partnership will see stewards of historic sites across the UK – Cadw, Department for Communities, English Heritage, Historic Environment Scotland, Historic England, National Trust and National Trust for Scotland – pool their research and expertise.

Working together, heritage organisations from across the four nations will explore critical issues in how our historic sites and collections can adapt to the increasing frequency and intensity of climate hazards such as extreme flooding and heat, building the resilience of our historic environment.

Over the next two years, the group aims to:

  • Develop a consistent baseline of climate hazard metrics for the heritage sector
  • Create a shared understanding of site ‘vulnerability’
  • Develop an approach for assessing climate risk on heritage assets
  • Create a shared understanding of different adaptation options and pathways
  • Identify and invest in areas of research to develop understanding around the impacts of certain climate hazards on heritage assets
  • Communicate research and resources to the wider heritage sector and other relevant communities of interest
A view of a large cleit (a stone-built structure used for storage) on a hillside on St Kilda.
Winter storms caused the collapse of the Lady Grange cleit on St Kilda.

Stuart Brooks, Head of Conservation & Policy at the National Trust for Scotland said: ‘We are very committed to this partnership and see it as an integral part of our ambition to improve the resilience of Scotland’s heritage in our care as well as providing valuable support and insight to many other organisations and individuals who manage Scotland’s heritage and face common challenges.

‘This partnership will enable us to promote good practice as one voice on issues such as the value of traditional materials and skills, urgency for responses, and financial need for activity such as excavation, where for example archaeology is threatened by climate extremes such as heavy rain or drought, and to help protect our historic sites for generations to come.’

Our Strategy

Our new strategy – Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone – provides a framework for the future of the National Trust for Scotland as we look towards our centenary in 2031.