You can catch up with what is going on now at the museum by reading the Port Lockroy diaries.

Port Lockroy

Port Lockroy is on Goudier Island (64º49’S, 63º29’W) in the Antarctic Peninsula. Following a conservation survey in 1994, British 'Base A' - Port Lockroy was recognised for its historical importance and designated as Historic Site and Monument No. 61 under the Antarctic Treaty. The base was renovated in 1996 by a team from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and since then opened to visitors during the Antarctic summer. The Trust operates the site as a ‘living museum’. This is made possible only by the proceeds of the small gift shop. Any surplus from the shop proceeds goes towards renovation of other historic sites in Antarctica.

Port Lockroy is not only an important natural and historic environment, but also a destination for many from around the world who want to come and learn more about the Antarctic. One role of UKAHT in this is both as monitor and regulator.  We consistently monitor through a long-term environmental study, now running for more than a decade, the impact of visitors to the site; and, in conjunction with that study, we regulate the number of visitors and ships visiting the area, as well as, in accordance with the Antarctic Treaty, imposing strict site guidelines to ensure the environment is properly cared for.

Port Lockroy.  Photo: R. Morgan

The Trust also runs the post-office at Port Lockroy on behalf of the Government of the British Antarctic Territory which donates a proportion of the Post Office revenue to the Trust. Around 70,000 cards are posted each year for over 100 countries. Mail usually takes 2-6 weeks to arrive. There is no express service available!

The Trust's Patron, HRH The Princess Royal cuts the ribbon to hand over operation of the historic site of Port Lockoy to the Trust.  She iswatched by Trust Chairman, Philippa Foster Back and Station Leader, Rick Atkinson, credit, Kelly Whybrow, LAPHOT, HMS Endurance

In January 2007, the Trust's Patron, HRH The Princess Royal visited Port Lockroy as part of an official visit to the Antarctic arranged by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office Polar Regions Unit.  The Princess travelled on the Royal Navy's ice patrol vessel HMS Endurance which was assisting the Trust and the British Antarctic Survey in making a conservation survey a number of historic British sites on the Antarctic Peninsula.  The Royal visit took place on the eve of International Polar Year (2007-08) - 50 years on from International Geophysical Year (1957-58) when, her father, the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Antarctic Peninsula.

The Princess was accompanied by the Trust's Chairman Philippa Foster Back who was making her first visit to the Peninsula. Philippa has visited the Ross Sea Huts, where her grandfather Frank Debenham was a member of Captain Scott's last expedition. Debenham went on to found the Scott Polar Research Institute.

Penguin and Chicks.  Photo: R. Atkinson

Visitors to Port Lockroy are expected to adhere to the new Site Guidelines. The gentoo penguin population on Goudier Island has been monitored since the base was re-opened in 1996. Analysis of gentoo populations elsewhere in the Scotia Sea show that regional environmental factors are the major influence driving gentoo penguin population dynamics. The data, now spanning more than a decade, will help improve our knowledge of such factors and will also contribute towards improving understanding of other human pressures on Antarctic penguin populations.

We are grateful for the close continuing co-operation with the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), the British Antarctic Survey and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office .

You can catch up with life at the museum through reading the Port Lockroy diaries.  Find out how you can support the work of UKAHT.

Below is the new sign at Port Lockroy which was unveiled by the Trust's Patron, HRH The Princess Royal


Link:    New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust

Banner Photo: N. Cobley