Warning of threat to Scotland's historic sites by climate change

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) (Scottish Gaelic: Àrainneachd Eachdraidheil Alba), is the agency that oversees over 300 sites of national importance. They include Scotland’s most noted Neolithic structures, castles, abbeys, and ruins. Now, for the first time, HES has issued red warnings for almost a fifth of its sites placing amber, high risk warnings against another 70%. 

According to the new report, Climate Change Risk Assessment, HES aims to point to the scale of the problem and better protect and preserve the sites for the future. The report points to increasing temperatures and rainfall levels as well as rising sea levels and coastal erosion that have adversely affected historic buildings across Scotland. Many such sites are situated in landscapes that are susceptible to natural hazards, like that of Skara Brae in Orkney

Sites at "very high risk" of at least one of six hazards have been mentioned by Historic Environment Scotland. They include:

Biggar Gasworks (flooding)

Bonawe Iron Furnace (flooding)

Brough of Birsay (coastal erosion)

Cambuskenneth Abbey (flooding)

Castle Sween (coastal erosion)

Dundonald Castle (slope instability)

Eileach an Naoimh (coastal erosion)

Elcho Castle (flooding)

Fort George (coastal erosion)

Hackness Battery and Martello Tower (flooding)

Inchcolm Abbey and Island (flooding and coastal erosion)

Innerpeffray Chapel (flooding)

Kisimul Castle (flooding)

Mavisbank Policies (slope instability)

Ness of Burgi (coastal erosion )

Newark Castle (coastal erosion, flooding)

Quoyness Chambered Cairn (coastal erosion)

Seton Collegiate Church (flooding)

Spynie Palace (slope instability)

St Blane's Church (slope instability)

St Serf's Church, Dunning (flooding)

Stanley Mills (slope instability, flooding)

Tealing Dovecot (flooding)

Torphichen Preceptory (flooding)

Tullibardine Chapel (flooding)

Whithorn Priory (and museum) (flooding)

Wideford Hill Chambered Cairn (slope instability)


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