The National Trust has blamed changes in the weather for damage to historical collections in some of its buildings.
Rare books, stately home gardens and tapestries have all been affected by changing weather patterns, it claimed.
The Trust said that it had seen its insurance claims rise as a result of extreme weather. Monthly claim values had gone up fourfold between 2005 and 2015.
Critics however suggested the real reason the Trust’s claims had gone up might simply be to do with having old buildings.
In particular, claims that mould grew on a rare book collection in Lanhydrock, a country house in Cornwall, would appear to be contradicted by a report by one of the Trust’s staff that blamed a ‘problematical’ Victorian heating system.
At The Vyne, a Tudor mansion in Hampshire, the Trust said intense rainfall resulted in water damaging six tapestries, which cost £60,000 to repair.
Helen Ghosh, director-general of the National Trust, said: ‘The impacts of climate change are clear to see, whether from increasingly erratic weather events or from long-term changes in temperature and rainfall distribution … the risk of permanent damage to landscape and heritage as a result of not planning for a future with a radically different climate is ever increasing.’
But Benny Peiser, of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said blaming mould on climate change was ‘very simplistic’ as there ‘could be ten different reasons for that’.