England's National Trust is holding a photography exhibition showing the impact of climate change on its properties. The Trust maintains and opens to the public over 300 historic houses, gardens, forests, nature reserves and beaches in the country. Given the wide-ranging scope of the holdings, they have intimate and current information on the effects of climate change across the country. Twelve photographers were commissioned to photograph the devastation and, in some cases, pleasures of global warming.
Several different themes were examined: shifting shores, storm warnings, rainforest, roofs and rain, seasons, peat and inside story. Photos depict the impact of rising sea levels which will squeeze out nesting and breeding space for birds such as cormorants. Salt marshes, home to birds, are disappearing and flooding means loss of sand dunes. Other photos show new tropical plants growing in unusual places due to warmer temperatures. The magnolia leaves (pictured) are under attack from a virus; the result of the arrival of more exotic diseases. Some trees such as beeches are stressed because of the changing weather: they are losing their leaves earlier in the season and can't survive hot summer heat without them.
The photos show how the insides of the historic houses are being affected. Milder winters mean that more insects and pests are infesting the houses and causing damage to priceless wooden furniture and paintings. Many of the houses were not built to survive torrential rains and the walls and basements are becoming moldy and damp. Mountain tops are affected too--no longer is there snow on the peaks in Wales. The images highlight the richness of the country's heritage and the need to conserve it.
:: National Trust