Teacher set for Antarctic trip

PUBLISHED: 11:46 07 September 2007 | UPDATED: 15:14 12 May 2010

PREPARATION: Ian Richardson, second left, with some of his colleagues who will also be making the trip. Picture: RUTH HOLLINGER

PREPARATION: Ian Richardson, second left, with some of his colleagues who will also be making the trip. Picture: RUTH HOLLINGER

OVER the past few months The Crow has been following the progress of an intrepid explorer destined for Antartica. Ian Richardson, head of biology at Freman ­College in Buntingford, has completed the last training exercise to prepare him, along with five o

Picture: RUTH HOLLINGER

OVER the past few months The Crow has been following the progress of an intrepid explorer destined for Antartica.

Ian Richardson, head of biology at Freman ­College in Buntingford, has completed the last training exercise to prepare him, along with five other teachers from across the country, for the mamouth expedition.

He said: "This was the last real training exercise before the Antarctic trip.

"We had to carry large quantities of kit, ­including phones and satellite systems which will be used on the real expedition.

"We were camping using the tents we will take to Antarctica, and it was very cold on the glacier.

"It rained a lot, but we really had a great time."

The group of teachers set sail from Newcastle to Bergen in Norway, before travelling four hours North to the Austerdalsbreen Glacier.

The trip, including travelling, took place over nearly a week.

Mr Richardson said: "It was also quite sociable. I got know my colleagues better, and I think we all feel more ready for the trip. We know what we will be doing when we get there."

The group worked through their safety ­procedures in preperation for the sub-zero ­temperatures of Antartica.

Each teacher will be taking on a project when they head out to the world's most southerly ­continent in November.

Mr Richardson will study tardigrades - waterbears - of the Ellsworth Mountains.

These creatures can enter a state of suspended animation called cryptobiosis, in which they can endure the most punishing temperatures with ease.

The trip is being organised by The Fuchs ­Foundation to mark the anniversary of the ­successful Commonwealth trans-Antarctic ­expedition led by Sir Vivian Fuchs.

The teachers needed to raise £10,000 for the trip, as well as buying all the equipment needed.

On October 11 Mr Richardson will be holding an auction at Freman College to raise further funds, with a talk on Antarctica by Peter Fuchs.

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