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 biodiversity loss and 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.
Addressing biodiversity loss
Biodiversity supports all life but it's in rapid decline. Plants, animals and ecosystems are at risk. We can only meet the challenge of climate change by helping nature to heal. This is why we’re creating and restoring wildlife habitats such as woodlands and peatlands.
Becky Falkingham, Nature Evidence Officer at the National Trust, said: 'By combining our existing knowledge about climate change and how it affects species distribution and habitats, we can better understand how to target our efforts to conserve nature and wildlife for the future – helping to tackle the biodiversity and climate crises together.'
Tackling the causes of climate change
We’re also 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.
" We can’t find the solutions to climate change without also tackling the biodiversity crisis. They are both inextricably linked to each other and to the future of humanity."
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
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.
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.
Healing Wallington from climate harm
When exploring woodlands, farmland, peatlands and riverside trails at the Wallington Estate it's easy to see why it's such an important haven for wildlife and people. However, climate change, extreme weather and intensive farming have taken their toll on this diverse and varied landscape during the last 50 years.
Damage and devastation
Since Wallington came into our care, we've been working to restore the damage caused by intensive land management and the increased demand for forestry and food production, which have affected biodiversity, reduced water quality and degraded peat soils. These problems have been magnified by the climate crisis and these precious habitats have little resilience to adapt to extreme weather.
In November 2021, Wallington's tree population was devastated by Storm Arwen. Winds of up to 98mph tore through the region and destroyed 40 hectares of trees. Among those lost were a 250-year-old oak, beech trees planted by Walter Calverley Blackett (who bought Wallington in 1688) and larch trees given to the estate in 1738 by the Duke of Atholl.
Looking to the future
But it's not too late to make a difference. At 20 square miles, the Wallington estate provides us with an exciting opportunity to make significant improvements for nature and people.
We're working with the Northumberland Forest project, run by the county council, to replace lost trees and save veteran trees for future generations.To date, 75,000 trees have been planted, creating 12 hectares of new deciduous woodland and more than 10km of hedgerow. Peat bogs, which lock in carbon, are also being restored.
Thanks to over £800,000 of funding from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund, Wallington will also benefit from major work to restore riverside habitats and create wildlife corridors that will support birds, butterflies and red squirrels.
Working with nature and communities
These vital funds mean we can create woodland and hedgerows at the Hart Burn river catchment. We're also looking at creating wetlands and reintroducing beavers. This work will encourage wildflowers, reduce flooding and support white-clawed crayfish, dippers, water voles and eels.
We've employed two apprentice rangers who are finding out how to design and manage large-scale nature recovery plans. Groups at the West End Refugee Service have also been learning about woodland management and how to identify the species that live at Wallington.
" 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.