Are we the Seithenyn generation? – Climate Change and the historic environment of Wales

PorthdinllaenSeithenyn refers to the legendary character who turned a blind eye to the weakness of his sea defences and a deaf ear to warnings of a catastrophe, and by his apathy and negligence brought about the drowning of the town of Cantre’r Gwaelod (the Lowland Hundred).

In order to ensure that we in Wales do not repeat these mistakes the Historic Environment Group  consisting  of the National Trust Wales, Cadw, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, Natural Resources Wales, Historic Research Wales,  the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and the Heritage Lottery Fund was tasked to advise the Welsh Government on priorities for the historic environment.

In 2012 a report on a strategic approach for assessing and addressing the potential impact of climate change on the historic environment was produced by the University of Gloucester and Dyfed Archaeological Trust on behalf of the Historic Environment Group.

A summarised report on these impacts is now available for you to access:

Climate change and the historic environment of Wales – A summary of potential impacts

Bodnant The next stage of work is to address the need for an improved and locally accurate evidence base of which historic assets could be at risk and where. Spatial mapping work with specialist and technical resources will produce a more accurate visualisation of risk areas.

This work will focus on four of the principal areas identified from the report:
1. Areas below the one metre contour, affected by predicted sea-level rise
2. Coast edge and foreshore
3. Floodplains and valley bottoms
4. Peats

All of this work will help develop a plan for how the historic environment can adapt to a
changing climate and this in turn will provide a framework for managing future change.

In the story of Cantre’r Gwaelod the church bells rang out to warn that all was lost and evacuation was the only hope. Can we wait until we hear the bells toll?Ancient landscape

 

 

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