The Trust’s Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project (RSHRP) is a long-term, cold climate heritage conservation project to conserve the five sites and associated 20,000+ 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 five 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. Between 2006 and 2015 the Trust has been working year round in Antarctica. On-site conservation work now takes place over the Antarctic summers.
"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.