British Antarctic Territory – wildlife and heritage


British Antarctic Territory – wildlife and heritage

This mini-documentary explores the wildlife of the British Antarctic Territory – a wedge of Antarctica that includes the Antarctic Peninsula. This UK Overseas Territory is home to spectacular landscapes of ice; glaciers, ice bergs and ice sheets. This icy world is a home for leopard seals, many species of whales, penguins and petrels. On land, the flora of the white continent is sparse, and consists mainly of mosses, lichens and a few small flowering plants, but the few rocky outcrops of the Antarctic Peninsula were selected as sites for research bases of several nations. We visit Port Lockroy, a British base established during WWII. We find patriotic penguins trumpeting under the Union Flag, and the Royal Mail’s most southerly outlet. Nearby, we find beaches littered with giant whale bones – the legacy of a century of whaling. North of the Antarctic Peninsula, we visit volcanic Deception Island in the South Shetland Islands. This active volcano is covered with a mix of ash and now, and we find a strange mix of penguins and geothermal hot sands. But how will this unique icy wilderness survive in the warmer world of tomorrow?

Britain’s Treasure Islands mini-documentaries

A series of short documentaries designed for on-line release exploring the wildlife, cultures and history of the UK Overseas Territories.

This film is one of forty mini-documentaries made from the footage not used in the broadcast series.

Visit to view all 40 mini-documentaries free of charge.

Please note: although complementary to the BBC FOUR series, the 40 short mini-documentaries are not commissioned or editorially overseen by BBC.

To discovery the wildlife, history and cultures of all of the UK Overseas Territories, please visit

Britain's Treasure Islands, Simon Vacher's camerawork

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