Tackling climate change together
We're part of the global fight against climate change. It is the single biggest threat to the precious landscapes and historic houses we care for and in our latest video (above) you can get a glimpse of the challenges we're facing together.
Our teams are adapting to changing weather patterns and working hard to address the damage caused by wild fires, heavy rain, increased humidity, high winds, droughts and shifting shores.
Wildlife, beaches, woodlands, archaeological sites, historic buildings, gardens and parklands are all under threat.
Rising temperatures are damaging some of the finest paintings in our care, while pests and diseases pose a greater threat to collections, trees and plants. Archaeological discoveries are also in danger of being lost.
We're having to make building alterations to cope with flooding and manage the effects of a changing coastline and rising sea levels. Almost three quarters of the most important land in our care is vulnerable to climate change. Not only do these landscapes support wildlife, they also store carbon.
We’re tackling the causes of climate change by reducing emissions, caring for the land that captures and stores carbon, nurturing wildlife habitats and putting pressure on the Government to adopt policies that will help us all look after the places you love to visit. But the scale of the threat is breathtaking, and we can't do all of this without your help.
There are lots of different ways you can get involved in the fight against climate change. You could donate to a fundraising appeal, make simple changes to live more sustainably, or campaign for the Government to make environmental policy changes.
Our environmental pledges
- We're planting and establishing 20 million trees by 2030
- By 2030 we'll be carbon net-zero across our own emissions and those created by our supply chain and investments
- By 2025 we'll have created 25,000 hectares of new wildlife habitats
- We'll create green corridors for people and nature near towns and cities
Climate change impacts are huge but taking action now is already helping. From our gardens and coastal cliffs to our historic houses and collections, we’ll be changing how we do things and sharing inspiring stories along the way. Watch this space to find out more about our work to protect nature, beauty and history for future generations.
Protecting Cragside's heritage against climate change
With its elliptical skylight, unforgettable artworks and huge marble fireplace, the Drawing Room at Cragside in Northumberland is a hit with visitors. The room's impressive interior reflects the flamboyant tastes of inventor Lord Armstrong, who was an early adopter of emerging technologies and Victorian gadgets.
Sadly, these irreplaceable features are under threat from climate change, which is causing unpredictable weather patterns and more frequent and intense periods of rainfall. The house's drainage system is overwhelmed and water and damp have got into the Drawing Room, causing damage to the marble fireplace.
Damage caused to irreplaceable marble fireplace
At six metres tall and a weight of 10 tonnes, the fireplace is widely regarded as a one-of-a-kind work of art.
Rainwater is pushing salts in the stonework of the house into the decorative marble and plasterwork of the fireplace inside, causing its surface to deteriorate. Urgent work is needed to save this irreplaceable piece of architecture from crumbling away.
A two-stage project is currently underway to stabilise and future-proof the fireplace against climate change. We worked with conservators from Cliveden Conservation to fill the cracks with a mixture of lime putty and marble pigments that harden when exposed to air.
We'll never be able to get rid of the salts but this work buys us the time we need to carry out a survey to find out where the water is coming from. We're also looking to adjust the environmental conditions in the room to reduce the impact of the damage caused by the salts. Even if we resolve the problem, it will take years for the fireplace to fully dry out.
Partners and funders
The conservation and repair of the fireplace are possible thanks to generous donations from the Wolfson Foundation, a grant from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund administered by Historic England, and two private donors.
For more on the Drawing Room and fireplace conservation >
" We have a duty to look after places for everyone, for ever, and climate change is the biggest threat to them."
We are very grateful to the funders and partners who support our work on climate change, including Defra’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund, the European Climate Foundation, the European Regional Development Fund, the Environment Agency, HSBC UK, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Natural Resources Wales, Northern Ireland’s Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, the Northern Powerhouse, players of People’s Postcode Lottery, The Royal Oak Foundation, UK Research and Innovation, the Welsh Government and the Wolfson Foundation, as well as many other generous people and organisations.