Heritage and climate change: ‘taking positive action’

How the heritage sector is acting to address climate change – and how heritage is part of the solution to climate change. (October 2021

“EDDC is proposing a coast protection scheme aimed at reducing the rate of cliff erosion at Pennington Point. The scheme would protect the properties located at the top of Salcombe Hill and the Alma Bridge.” (January 2003)

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Clearly, climate change will have an impact on our heritage:

Heritage and climate change – Vision Group for Sidmouth

There is now a concerted response underway:

UK heritage bodies’ pioneering response to climate change ahead of COP26

The UK heritage sector is united in its pioneering response to climate change, according to Heritage Responds, a new report launched this week by heritage coalition the Historic Environment Forum charting how heritage organisations are taking positive action.

The report brings together the expertise of 26 of the country’s leading heritage organisations – including English HeritageHistoric England and the National Trust – ahead of COP26 in Glasgow to highlight examples of how through revolutionary research, carbon reduction and maximising the potential of the historic environment, the heritage sector is making a major contribution to the response to climate change.

UK heritage bodies’ pioneering response to climate change ahead of COP26 – Woodhead Construction

UK heritage sites part of climate change solutions says new report – Museums + Heritage Advisor

New report highlights UK heritage bodies’ pioneering response to climate change ahead of COP26

With more on their dedicated website:

Heritage Responds: Taking positive action on climate change

The Historic Environment Forum exists to bring people together. And there is no other single issue that requires us to work more closely together than climate change. As the world turns its eyes to COP26 in Glasgow, Heritage Responds highlights the positive contribution heritage organisations and their partners are making to the climate change debate and the actions needed to adapt to a changing world.

The work is the culmination of six months of collaboration by the members of the Historic Environment Forum COP26 Task Group and showcases how the sector is responding to Climate Change, including investment in traditional low-carbon building adaptation techniques, nature-based solutions to mitigate the future impact of Climate Change, and renewed efforts to increase the lifespan of heritage assets and save the embodied carbon which might otherwise be sacrificed in demolition, new construction or poor upkeep. 

Alongside the new report, the Historic Environment Forum in collaboration with Historic England has also launched a new Heritage Responds Climate Change Story Map, a geographical mapping of the key case studies demonstrating how the heritage sector is acting to address climate change – and how heritage is part of the solution to climate change.

Heritage Responds – Historic Environment Forum

Amongst the case studies is the Wood Bridge in Dorset:

The aim of this project was to repair the collapsed Wool Bridge, which dates from the 16th century and is the best-preserved Elizabethan bridge in Dorset, and prevent future damage from floods. Wool Bridge spans the river Frome and Grade II* listed; its collapse provided a useful opportunity to record the bridge. The site was added to the Historic England Heritage at Risk Register after erosion of the 16th Century foundations from flooding resulted in the collapse of historic material into the river below. Read why Wool Bridge is Grade II* listed

There was a need to protect the fabric of the bridge from future floods, which are predicted to occur with increasing regularity. A row of 44 four-metre sheet piles were completely submerged to act as a wall of steel to protect the bridge from undermining by the river. These piles also support a new concrete arch and wall, which was clad in the original stonework recovered from the river.

Heritage Responds

One wonders, therefore, what efforts might have been made if the former Alma Bridge at Pennington Point had been repaired – thus both restoring local heritage and acting as part of the wider Beach Management Plan…

Futures Forum: 28th January 2003: “EDDC is proposing a coast protection scheme aimed at reducing the rate of cliff erosion at Pennington Point. The scheme would protect the properties located at the top of Salcombe Hill and the Alma Bridge.”

   
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