Antarctic heritage and conservation

In the early years of the last century, Antarctica was the last great goal for explorers, who raced each other to be the first to reach the South Pole. Their legacy remains to this day in the form of the pre-fabricated huts used as bases for their journeys, and the possessions they left behind in them.

Watch the video, introduced by Sir David Attenborough, about Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s hut at Cape Evans. Seemingly frozen in time since 1912, it offers a tangible reminder of the endeavours of the intrepid explorers who lived there. 

Antarctica’s harsh environment has preserved the explorers' huts but they remain at risk and in need of care. In a world first for conservation, conservators are working year-round in Antarctica conserving the expedition base built by Captain Robert Falcon Scott for his 1911 expedition to the South Pole.

Visit the conservators' blog

This work is part of the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project. The restoration work undertaken by the trust should ensure that this heritage from the heroic era of exploration is preserved for future generations.

  • Shackleton's Hut, Cape Royds as it is today
    History of the huts

    Scott, Shackleton and Borchgrevink each left huts and provisions which have survived the years to bear poignant witness to the trials the early explorers underwent.

  • A conservator removing corrosion from the acetylene tank at Cape Evans
    Conservation in Antarctica

    Learn about the work on Scott's hut at Cape Evans, which he used as his base in the race for the pole, and which has been listed as one of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World.

  • Members of the Antarctic Heritage Trust surveying the hut at Cape Evans
    About the Antarctic Heritage Trust

    Find out about the Antarctic Heritage Trust and its project to protect the heritage of the explorers' huts on Antarctica's Ross Island.

  • Inside the biology lab at Cape Evans
    Dilemmas

    Find out more about the issues involved in ensuring that this heritage is preserved for the future as the materials themselves reach a point of irreversible decay.

  • Antarctic conservation blog
    Antarctic conservation blog archive

    What's it like spending the winter in 24 hours of darkness? Read about the daily lives of the Antarctic Heritage Trust's conservators working at Scott Base and other sites in Antarctica from 2006-2010.