Watch: Climate change is newest enemy faced by Scotland’s castles

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Scotland’s centuries-old castles are proving vulnerable to the threat of global warming.
Rising temperatures and sea levels coupled with an increase in the amount of precipitation are having a measurable impact on these majestic structures.

Now, castle dwellers and conservationists are preparing for a different kind of battle.

Historical Environment Scotland, a government body of “castle caretakers,” recently published a report saying a majority of their sites were at risk from weather changes.

Ewan Hyslop from the organisation said he had seen “rapid change” in the country since the 1960s, which has had a measurable impact on its monuments.

Scotland gets a quarter more rain than before, temperatures are increasing and sea levels are rising, all of which, the Historical Environment Scotland believes, are affecting its buildings.

To put the problem into perspective there are 330 castle sites looked after by the government in Scotland as well as thousands of others that are considered listed buildings, in fact, a quarter of all buildings in the country are historic.

Interventions to safeguard castles are all time-intensive, expensive and must be subtle.

Responsibility for the sites that the government doesn’t care for falls on the shoulders of private owners.

There are also a number of buildings that aren’t habited or privately owned, and so go unchecked.

“They’re old, they’re vulnerable,” said Hyslop, who thinks these forgotten castles “give us an indication of the sort of effects that might happen to wider society”.

—This story was produced by NBC Left Field, which creates short, creative docs and features, all designed for social media and set-top boxes.

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