What we do

The Antarctic Heritage Trust is active in promoting Antarctic public engagement and supports institutions who have a connection to Antarctic heritage through its collections or through education and outreach.

Antarctica is a superb and inspiring teaching vehicle. Its study embraces history, geography, every known branch of science, environmental issues, international politics and cooperation, international law, and the motivation and performance of man himself in a very hostile setting. This interwoven web of knowledge is unique, continues to develop and can be put to good use.

You can read more about Britain's Antarctic heritage in our booklet.

Download our booklet


The Trust has supported more than 10 UK polar institutions with grant aid of £414,000 towards outreach and education projects. Outside the UK, we have assisted the Mawson’s Huts Foundation, the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust and the South Georgia Museum.

The financial resources generated from the successful shop operation at Port Lockroy have also enabled us to develop a strong public engagement programme. We have given financial assistance of £308,000 to purchase key Antarctic artefacts at auction to safeguard them for the public. These often include iconic items from the heroic age of Antarctic exploration, such as Scott’s sledging flag, Shackleton’s boat compass, Macklin’s journal and Cheetham’s manuscript diaries.

The principles for the Trust’s grant giving are enshrined in its mission statement:

The United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust works to conserve Antarctic buildings and artefacts, and to promote and encourage public interest in Antarctic heritage.

Grant applications are reviewed at the Trustees’ Board Meetings. Each application will be considered and its merit will determine whether or the degree of an award made. If you would like to apply for a grant from the Trust please complete the Grant Application form and return it to the Trust (details contained within form).

The Antarctic Treaty

The use of Antarctica, the only continent on Planet Earth not permanently populated by man, is governed by the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. It came into force 23 June 1961 and is one of the most successful international treaties ever to have been negotiated. The Treaty established Antarctica as a military and nuclear free area devoted only to the cause of scientific research. It does not recognize current territorial claims. It has addressed successfully major environmental issues such as minerals exploitation and wildlife protection. The treaty remains relevant. For more information see www.ats.aq