Climate change 'biggest threat' to National Trust sites Cragside and Wallington Hall

The Gorge at Cragside on a normal day. Credit: National Trust

Heritage sites across the region are at risk because of extreme weather, the National Trust has said.

The charity say climate change is one of the "biggest threats" facing their properties in a new report ahead of COP 28.

National Trust owned Cragside in Northumberland suffered damage after storm Babet as more than 12 miles of path were closed at the site.

Machinery at the power house - home to old turbines that generated some of the first electricity used in a private home anywhere in Britain - was also damaged.

Elsewhere in Northumberland, a nearly 300-year-old tree was also felled by strong winds at Wallington Hall.

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The National Trust is calling on the Government to introduce a climate resilience act to make climate change adaptation a legal requirement for public bodies and claim that without "urgent and large-scale action", more than 70% of its 500 historic properties will be at medium or high risk of climate-related hazards by 2060.

The trust has also said appointing a minister for climate adaption in the cabinet office or treasury would be "pivotal."

Since the start of the current storm season in September, there have been four named storms.

A Government spokesperson said the UK was the first country to legislate for net zero.

“In February, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero was created to ensure climate change remains a key focus across government,” the spokesperson said.

“Our third National Adaptation Programme sets out a robust five-year plan to strengthen infrastructure, promote a greener economy, and safeguard food production in the face of the climate challenges we face.”

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