In the foreground is the pitched roofs of local houses, whilst in the background is Totnes Castle on a small hill, an example of a Norman motte and bailey castle. Rolling hills and woodlands can be seen in the background. Photo is taken in late spring or early summer.
View across the town to Totnes Castle in Devon © Historic England Archive.
View across the town to Totnes Castle in Devon © Historic England Archive.

Heritage and the Environment

'Heritage and the Environment' collates qualitative and quantitative evidence on how the historic environment contributes to environmental outcomes considering climate change, energy efficiency and carbon emissions.

This section currently focuses on the built historic environment and evidence on climate change mitigation. 

Climate change mitigation and adaptation 

Mitigation involves taking action to increase energy efficiency and sustainability. Improving these will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and heighten our ability to manage additional mean global temperature rise.

Adaptation means anticipating the adverse effects of climate change and taking appropriate action to prevent or minimise the damage they can cause. Early action will build in safeguards that will help to protect heritage around the country.

The existing evidence base on adaptation and mitigation in the built environment is vast and growing but incomplete. Much of the knowledge base relates to the built environment in general and less to the historic environment specifically.

For the historic environment, the literature includes a very rich technical evidence base and guidance, which are outside the scope of Heritage Counts (for advice and guidance, visit technical guidance and information).

Heritage Counts will be expanded over time to include the natural and marine historic environments and emerging evidence on climate change adaptation. The evidence is currently structured within a circular economy framework and begins with a discussion on this topic.