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    Future climate and environmental change within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

    Howard, A.J. and Knight, D. and Malone, S. and Stein, S. and Queiroz, T. and Coulthard, T. and Hudson-Edwards, Karen A. and Kossoff, David (2015) Future climate and environmental change within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Technical Report. English Heritage. (Unpublished)

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    Current news reports are demonstrating the severe impact that extreme climatic events are beginning to have on infrastructure, communities and the wider environment, including historic assets. Both empirical evidence and computer simulation modelling suggest that these problems will be exacerbated under future UK climate scenarios. In addition to the direct impacts of climate change, empirical evidence, particularly from elsewhere in the upland and piedmont regions of the UK, suggests that the legacy of environmental pollution associated with past base-metal mining, which is itself an historic artefact, may well exacerbate the impacts. In the light of potential future climatic change, exacerbated by the environmental impacts of industrial activities, this project has sought to examine the nature of possible environmental and geomorphological landscape transformations along an approximately 24km stretch of the River Derwent, Derbyshire and the potential impact on the globally important historic assets of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site (DVMWHS) and its designated Buffer Zone (Derwent Valley Mills Partnership 2011, 4). The project has drawn together a range of historical, geomorphological and environmental datasets to assess past landscape change within the valley floor during the last millennium: a timescale encompassing the last two episodes of well-documented major climatic instability (namely the Medieval Warm Period [MWP; c.900-1300] and the Little Ice Age [LIA]; c.1450-1850). This empirical data has been supplemented by numerical modelling of valley floor evolution to identify areas potentially vulnerable to future climate change, with results from both empirical and modelling studies being compared to existing knowledge of historic environment assets amassed in the Derbyshire Historic Environment Record (HER). The outputs of the project have directly informed the developing Research Framework for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site1 and in particular Theme 10 (Landscape and Environment). It has also built upon points raised in Section 13 (Environmental and Climate Change Issues) of the recently developed Management Plan for the DVMWHS (Derbyshire County Council, 2013). The research outputs of this project provide wider generic lessons for the management of historic assets in the light of future climate change, not only associated with World Heritage Sites but also the historic environment more widely.


    Item Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 16:15
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:24


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