The Trust’s Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project (RSHRP) is a long-term, cold climate heritage conservation project to conserve the four sites and associated 15,000+ artefact collection. The project presents many technical challenges including environmental issues such as katabatic winds, high relative humidity, temperature change, salt damage and light levels.
Conservation Plans have been prepared for each of the four sites. The plans (reviewed by relevant international agencies) provide the proposed conservation for the sites and are, to our knowledge, the most comprehensive heritage conservation documents ever produced for a polar heritage site.
All conservation work (while recognising the realities and constraints of working in Antarctica) follows international best practice and the ICOMOS Charter (Venice Charter 1964). Work is also carried out in line with the Antarctica Environmental Protection Act (Madrid Protocol 1991) and work is permitted through the New Zealand Government.
The physical conservation of the sites began during the summer of 2003/04 and since 2006 the Trust has been working year round in Antarctica. Work to secure Sir Ernest Shackleton's base and the 6,000+ artefact collection is all complete and work is now focused on saving the base associated with Captain Scott's 1911 attempt for the South Pole.
"I consider them the most evocative historic buildings in the world. No other continent retains the physical evidence of man’s first attempt at settlement."
Sir Simon Jenkins, Chairman, National Trust.