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People of Welsh village will be first climate change refugees in UK says meteorologist Laura Tobin

01 Apr 2022 2 minute read
Laura Tobin’s book Everyday Ways to Save Our Planet. Fairbourne picture by Velella (CC BY-SA 4.0).

The residents of a Welsh village will be the first climate change refugees in the UK, according to ITV meteorologist Laura Tobin.

Writing in her new book Everyday Ways to Save Our Planet she points to the village of Fairbourne in Gwynedd as the first that will be consumed by rising sea levels.

“It’s easy to think that these changes are so far away from us that we won’t be affected, but Britain is soon to have its first climate change refugees,” she says.

“The people of Fairbourne, a village in Gwynedd, Wales, have been told that by 2054, their village will be ‘decommissioned’ because of the threat of sea-level rise and coastal flooding.

“It has proven too costly to maintain and increase flood defences, so the locals will have to leave their homes before the 450 houses, a pub, post office and several shops are dismantled.

“The people of Fairbourne may be the first people in the UK going through this, but it’s likely that they won’t be the last.”

Its impending doom does not seem to have dampened Fairbourne’s property prices, with Rightmove saying that prices shot up by some 35 per cent there in 2021.

Laura Tobin also pointed to the Isles of Scilly as a community that will be massively impacted by climate change, with one island due to split into three within the next century.

“I was lucky enough to visit the Isles of Scilly to report on climate change in 2021. It is the most beautiful place, but if the projections of a one-metre sea-level rise happen by 2100, then the main Island of St Mary’s would be split into three,” she explained.

“They will be the place that is most impacted by climate change in the UK.”


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John Rogers
John Rogers
5 months ago

Fairbourne was created on land claimed from the sea. Ms Tobin does not seem to realise that nature eventually gets her revenge. Nothing to do with climate change, just things going full circle.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago

The irony of this is that during the last few years of floods Fairbourne itself was the only place on the coast to escape any flooding, bar the small caravan site to the south…

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