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What could climate change mean for National Trust properties?

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Heat and humidity at Ham House

The rapid increase in heat and humidity experienced means that 40°C days could become commonplace at Ham House by 2040. This prospect has already seen the head gardener apply a “climate change perspective to every single action in the garden”.

In practice, this means altering the types of plants introduced to include those more resilient to high temperatures like cannas and agaves. A Mediterranean diet of outdoor-grown aubergines, chillies and a long tomato season could easily become the norm. The 17th century mansion and gardens at Ham House © Ham House/Twitter As summer temperatures increase, shade will increasingly need to be provided by trees for visitors and garden working patterns shifted to start and finish earlier to avoid the afternoon summer heat. Flooding at Lyme Park

Regular long dry spells followed by heavy downpours have led to increased flooding around Lyme Park in Cheshire, with flooded gardens and water pouring into the property. A major flood in July 2019 caused significant damage, as the lake overflowed and spread over 25 tonnes of debris across the garden.

Fast flowing waters have also caused dry stone walls to collapse and saturated paths to become unnavigable […]

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