London, Oct 13 : A new study has found that 173 miles of National Trust coastline and 2,105 acres of land in the UK could be affected in the coming decades by sea level rise, coastal flooding and increased erosion.
According to a report in the Daily Star, the National Trust has warned that miles of coastline, ancient monuments, listed buildings, a historic garden and the habitat at Brownsea Island are all at risk of erosion or coastal flooding in the South West.
As part of its work looking at the long-term future of the UK's coasts, the Trust has published a detailed examination of which of its sites and coastline was at risk in the south west of the country.
Trust sites at high-risk include St Michael's Mount, Studland and Westbury Court Garden, a rare example of a 17th century Dutch water garden near the River Severn in Gloucestershire.
The National Trust said the area around Westbury faced a real threat in the future from flooding and sea water inundation, which could fill the garden with salt water and poison the plants.
Brownsea, which is one of the few sites in southern England where there are red squirrels, the lagoon could be flooded, destroying a significant habitat for many species of birds.
According to the National Trust, at least 142 scheduled ancient monuments and 111 listed buildings are in the risk zone in the South West.
Phil Dyke, coastal and marine adviser at the Trust said, "Our coast is changing, even in areas such as the South West where the perception of the coast is that the hard rock might offer us some protection."
"But, we know from our research that some of the National Trust's coastline in the south west is either soft rock - so vulnerable to erosion - or low-lying, so vulnerable to flooding," he added.
"We've woken up to the impact of climate change on our coastal sites, and given ourselves time to prepare for the future," he further added.