Some of Wales’ most iconic historic sites and landscapes are threatened by warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, changing rainfall patterns and more frequent extreme weather events.
The plan highlights the need for collaboration and action across all sectors that will improve understanding; build adaptive capacity and increase the resilience of the historic environment – so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.
The Historic Environment Group (HEG) is a national forum, led by Cadw, that consists of public sector bodies and representatives of voluntary sector organisations and owners of historic sites. The HEG Climate Change Subgroup was charged with assessing and reporting to HEG on how the historic environment sector in Wales should address the challenge of climate change. They have reported on this through the Historic Environment and Climate Change in Wales Sector Adaptation Plan. The plan results from extensive consultation with stakeholders and sits alongside the recently published Welsh Government climate change adaptation plan for Wales, Prosperity for All: A Climate Conscious Wales.
The Group met with the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas in order to launch the plan. The Deputy Minister, said:
“We have to re-think the way we manage the historic environment in Wales to respond to the threats of climate change. While we are taking steps to limit climate change, we must also adapt to the changes which are already happening as a result of historic and ongoing emissions.
Chair of the Historic Environment Group Climate Change Subgroup, Jill Bullen said:
“Many of those managing important historic sites and landscapes are already thinking deeply about climate change and its implications on their work. We have tried to learn from their expertise and share their experience and lessons learned more widely.
Environment Minister, Lesley Griffiths welcomed the plan, and said:
“In addition to decarbonising the economy of Wales, we must also respond to the impacts of climate change we are already witnessing on an increasingly frequent basis.
“This new plan complements the actions contained within Prosperity for All: A Climate Conscious Wales, which we published recently.
“We have already invested significantly in climate change adaptation and preparing for the future, through a wide range of policies, programmes and interventions. It is important we continue our efforts to deliver a more prosperous, equal and greener nation.
The Deputy Minister, concluded:
“I would like to thank the Historic Environment Group for leading the way with this Plan. It identifies climate change risks, opportunities and adaptation needs for the historic environment. Above all it is a rallying cry to us all to rise to the challenge and start taking action now.”
Cadw has also published guidance on Flooding and Historic Buildings in Wales – which provides advice on ways to establish flood risk and prepare for possible flooding by installing protection measures. It also recommends actions to be taken during and after a flood to minimise damage and risks.