The South Georgia Heritage Trust (SGHT) aims to work with all who wish to preserve the island’s natural and historical heritage for future generations – to redress the damage to its environment done in the past, and to preserve the human heritage of the island which so clearly shows the best and worst of humanity.
What is special about South Georgia?
The island of South Georgia is a unique place; it is one of nature’s paradises and yet it is also rich with historical heritage.
South Georgia is positioned in the Southern Ocean between the cold southern Antarctic waters and the warmer waters to the north. These contrasting influences contribute to the island’s exceptional natural beauty, creating a unique environment that supports an abundance of marine and terrestrial wildlife.
This same abundance attracted humans to South Georgia, which became a centre for the unsustainable sealing and whaling industries. The island was also the gateway to the Antarctic for heroes of polar exploration including Sir Ernest Shackleton. With its legacy of scientific research undertaken during the Discovery Investigations, its deserted whaling stations once home to communities of British and Norwegian whalers, and its pivotal role in the history of the Falklands war, South Georgia has a diverse, conflicting, and yet fascinating human heritage.
While sealing and whaling practices have now ceased, South Georgia continues to suffer from the long-term impact of human inhabitation – the ongoing devastation of South Georgia’s bird population by the introduced Norway brown rat.
The groundbreaking SGHT Habitat Restoration Project is already resulting in signs of recovery to natural life on the island.
Our work for the island has three main strands Environment, Heritage and the South Georgia Museum. You can read more about them in this section.