A historic Norfolk hall could crumble if climate change continues at its current rate.  

The National Trust has called for the UK government to introduce new legislation to make buildings - like Blickling Hall in north Norfolk – as well as coastlines and countryside able to cope with the effects of climate change.

The trust says “urgent and unswerving attention” on the issue is desperately needed, and a ‘Climate Resilience Act’ would set out legal duties and targets for climate adaptation.

Blickling Hall, located near the River Bure, has become more at threat of flooding in heavy rainfall in recent years.

Its ornamental parterre garden has been flooding to the point where the walls of the moat could collapse, the trust outlined in its ‘A Climate for Change’ report.  

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North Norfolk News: Blickling HallBlickling Hall (Image: Archant)

The 17th century estate is built on a seam of clay which follows the line of the Silvergate Stream – a tributary of the Bure. Clay is sensitive to changes in moisture, so in wet weather it swells and in a drought it shrinks and hardens.

The charity has been closely monitoring the building and has seen signs of movement which it says could cause the hall’s external walls to crumble.

Its old gutters also cannot cope with volume of rainfall seen in recent years, and the charity recently had to replace rotten timbers and severe damage to the building caused by deathwatch beetles – an infestation likely to have happened because of damp.

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The National Trust is the UK’s largest conservation charity, caring for 250,000 hectares of land, 780 miles of coastline and 220 gardens and parks.

The ‘A Climate for Change’ report says that about 70pc of the places it cares for could be at “medium or high risk” of climate hazards by 2060.

Patrick Begg, outdoors and natural resources director at the National Trust, said: “Climate change presents the single biggest threat to the places in our care and the single biggest challenge to our mission – to look after places of nature, beauty and history for everyone to enjoy, now and in the future.”