Glantowy Fawr farmhouse and farm on the floodplain of the River Tywi showing the effects of increased rainfall on historic assets

Adapting to Climate Change

In April 2019, the Welsh Government declared a national climate emergency to accelerate action to tackle climate change.

This requires both mitigation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, through measures such as energy efficiency, and adaptation to prepare for the impacts of climate change. To help raise awareness of the risks and opportunities of climate change and the need for adaptation, the climate change subgroup of the Historic Environment Group (HEG) has published the Historic Environment and Climate Change in Wales Sector Adaptation Plan.

⬇️ Historic Environment and Climate Change in Wales Sector Adaptation Plan
PDF 13.09 MB

This plan aims to encourage collaboration and action across all sectors that will:

  • increase our knowledge and understanding of the threats and opportunities for the historic environment from changing weather and climate in the short, medium and long term
  • increase our capacity by developing the awareness, skills and tools to manage the impacts of climate change on the historic environment
  • build the resilience of the historic environment by taking action to adapt and respond to the risks, reduce vulnerability and maximise the benefits.

The sector adaptation plan is aimed at policy and plan makers, including the Welsh Government, local authorities and other public and third sector organisations, as well as non-governmental organisations, including academic institutions. All of these organisations have a vital role to play in developing and implementing the actions identified in the plan.  

The plan builds on the findings of the HEG report, A strategic approach for assessing and addressing the potential impacts of climate change on the historic environment of Wales, and the strategic actions identified in the Welsh Government’s climate change adaptation plan, Prosperity for All: A Climate Conscious Wales.

⬇️ A Strategic Approach for Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change on the Historic Environment 2012
PDF 1.55 MB

Source: Cadw – Adapting to Climate Change

Selection of case studies:

CASE STUDY
In early January 2014 a series of storms battered Aberystwyth Promenade damaging many structures including the grade II listed Bathrock Shelter, which dates from the 1920s.

Bathrock Shelter, Aberystwyth, damaged by a storm in 2014
Bathrock Shelter, Aberystwyth, damaged by a storm in 2014

CASE STUDY
Waun Fignen Felen is an important Mesolithic archaeological site, a place used over several millennia as a hunting location by populations exploiting the uplands.

Waun Fignen Felin peat erosion channels contrasting with the ongoing conservation restoration work within the site
Waun Fignen Felin peat erosion channels contrasting with the ongoing conservation restoration work within the site

CASE STUDY
The scheduled monument of Dinas Dinlle is a dominant hillfort lying on the north Gwynedd coast on the top of glacial moraine, designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its geological significance.

The eroding cliff face of Dinas Dinlle coastal hillfort, Gwynedd
The eroding cliff face of Dinas Dinlle coastal hillfort, Gwynedd

CASE STUDY
Over a three-week period during the summer drought of 2018, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) aerial archaeologist captured around 4,000 high resolution images which resulted in the discovery of approximately 100 new historic assets.

Severe drought in 2018 at a known prehistoric settlement in the Vale of Glamorgan showed new crop marks of a probable Roman villa within its modified ramparts
Severe drought in 2018 at a known prehistoric settlement in the Vale of Glamorgan showed new crop marks of a probable Roman villa within its modified ramparts

CASE STUDY
The spread of Ash Dieback is now present across the whole of Wales and will have a major impact on the landscape.

Storm levelled woodland, Trawscoed 2018
Storm levelled woodland, Trawscoed 2018

CASE STUDY
Farmland includes archaeological sites, buildings such as farmsteads and their associated farm structures, and agricultural landscapes whose character may be strongly influenced by historic field systems and boundaries.

Glantowy Fawr farmhouse and farm on the floodplain of the River Tywi showing the effects of increased rainfall on historic assets
Glantowy Fawr farmhouse and farm on the floodplain of the River Tywi showing the effects of increased rainfall on historic assets

03/04/2020

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