Ravenstonedale Kirkby Stephen Cumbria

Welcome | Paul | Mike | Martin 1 | Martin 2

Our Men in Antarctica

It is unusual for a small village and its surroundings to have 3 people who have travelled to the Antarctic. This small area of Cumbria enjoys this distinction. Mike, Paul and Martin have all been there. Each worked for BAS, the British Antarctic Survey, around the time of the millennium.

All are engineers who have helped to maintain the British bases in Antarctica. Martin achieved the level of base commander for which he received the Queen's medal. Each has a tale to tell and their tales are recorded here. To read about their experiences click on their name - Mike - Martin - Paul

Paul in the Antarctic
Seal in Antarctic


Antarctica is the only continent without a native population, free from war and entirely lacking in manufacturing or mining industries. It has no universally recognised national government and its temporary inhabitants are principally concerned with scientific research or supporting science. Twenty-six countries carry out scientific research in Antarctica with up to 10,000 scientists and support staff working there during the summer, but only about 1,000 in winter. British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is responsible for all the British Government's scientific research in Antarctica, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The rules governing the people in these isolated research stations are largely derived from a unique international treaty.

Aurora in Antarctic

Antarctic Treaty

The treaty was set up by twelve countries on 1st December 1959 and came into force on 23rd June 1961. The treaty is signed by all countries carrying out scientific research there. It reserves the continent for peaceful purposes and all military and industrial activities are banned. The treaty has been extended in scope over the years and may be modified at any time, but only by unanimous agreement. It designates Antarctica as a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science.

Ice Breaker
Halley sunset
Halley legs

Countries supporting the Antarctic Treaty

Consultative Parties - Countries active in research that may vote at Treaty meetings

Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea (South), Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay

Acceding States (Countries that formally accept the Treaty)

Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Cuba,Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Korea (North), Papua New Guinea, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine.