Predicting and adapting to climate change: challenges for the historic environment

Our changing climate poses risks to the historic environment but also brings opportunities for new discoveries and ways for people to engage with it. At Historic England, part of our responsibility is to understand what future changes we might expect and the impact these may have on our ability to protect historic buildings, archaeological remains and landscapes. This paper describes projects that have used spatial analysis to assess the risk and vulnerability of sites to ooding and coastal erosion. It summarises how we responded to the recent UK Climate Change Risk Assessment and outlines the research we believe is needed to strengthen the evidence base in time for the next cycle of reporting so that the historic environment is better served by the process. Finally, it outlines the adaptive measures that have been proposed to enable Historic England to address the risks and make the most of the opportunities created by climate change.

Credit: Jen Heathcote, Hannah Fluck & Meredith Wiggins (2017) Predicting and Adapting to Climate Change: Challenges for the Historic Environment, The Historic Environment: Policy & Practice, 8:2, 89-100, DOI: 10.1080/17567505.2017.1317071, Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group, 2017, Open Access publication