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Four in five of Britain’s heritage attractions are unprepared for the climate emergency.
New research1 from specialist heritage insurer Ecclesiastical has revealed four in five (78%) heritage leaders believe their organisation is unprepared for the climate emergency.
The survey of 500 decision makers working for heritage organisations in the UK discovered three quarters (76%) are concerned about the impact climate change will have on their organisation in the next 12 months.
Managing heatwaves (33%), storm damage to grounds (33%), and flooding of property (32%) are the biggest climate change concerns for heritage organisations.
Three quarters (76%) of those surveyed feel there is growing pressure on the heritage sector to be more sustainable.
And with rising inflation and the soaring cost of living, nine in 10 (90%) of Britain’s heritage organisations are concerned about their energy consumption.
Further research2 from Ecclesiastical found three in 10 (28%) heritage organisations believe they are already net zero, while two thirds (64%) are setting targets to become net zero, with the majority aiming to be net zero over the next five years.
Despite this, seven in 10 heritage leaders believe their organisation does not have enough support to reduce its carbon footprint (69%).
The impact of climate change, such as rising sea levels and coastal erosion, is having a huge impact on Britain’s heritage. Tintagel Castle3 in Cornwall is one of a number of castles at risk due to the accelerated rate of coastline erosion. Parts of the cliff directly in front of the visitor centre at Tintagel have recently been lost to erosion, eating into a viewing area and coastal path.
Faith Kitchen, Customer Segment Director at Ecclesiastical Insurance, said: “As the UK’s leading insurer of Grade I listed buildings, we’re passionate about protecting Britain’s heritage. Our latest research has found the majority of heritage leaders are concerned about how climate change may impact their organisation and four in five feel their organisation is unprepared for the climate emergency. The climate emergency presents serious risks to heritage organisations and the impact of extreme weather on heritage properties and grounds are key concerns for management. We’re encouraging heritage organisations to think about the risks they face and how best to protect their organisations for the future.”
Ecclesiastical recently launched its Heritage Risk Barometer 2022 which explores the top risks within the heritage sector and focuses on key areas of concern including the impact of the cost of living crisis, attracting local visitors, the recruitment crisis, responding to climate change, and crime.
1 The survey was commissioned by Ecclesiastical Insurance and conducted by OnePoll with 500 decision makers in UK heritage organisations. 100 museums, 100 galleries, 100 theatres, 50 heritage hotels, 50 castles or palaces, 50 stately homes and / or gardens and 50 other heritage organisations. Between 27 June 2022 and 13 July 2022.
2 The survey was commissioned by Ecclesiastical Insurance and conducted by OnePoll with 305 decision makers in UK heritage organisations. August to September 2022.
3 Tintagel among castles at risk unless England can hold back the tide | Heritage | The Guardian