The remote British island of South Georgia is on the edge of the Antarctic Ocean. In the first half of the 20th century it was the centre of the global whaling industry. A number of abandoned whaling stations remain there, off-limits to visitors due to their dilapidated state and huge amounts of asbestos. We were given special access for the filming of  Britain's Whale Hunters .

The remote British island of South Georgia is on the edge of the Antarctic Ocean. In the first half of the 20th century it was the centre of the global whaling industry. A number of abandoned whaling stations remain there, off-limits to visitors due to their dilapidated state and huge amounts of asbestos. We were given special access for the filming of Britain's Whale Hunters.

 Leith Harbour whaling station on South Georgia was established by a British whaling company in 1909, and operated until the 1960s. Itwas the biggest whaling station in the world at its peak, housing hundreds of workers on the edge of the Antarctic Ocean and servicing a huge fleet of whaling ships

Leith Harbour whaling station on South Georgia was established by a British whaling company in 1909, and operated until the 1960s. Itwas the biggest whaling station in the world at its peak, housing hundreds of workers on the edge of the Antarctic Ocean and servicing a huge fleet of whaling ships

 A stream erodes away a deep mound of whale bones and detritus at Leith Harbour

A stream erodes away a deep mound of whale bones and detritus at Leith Harbour

 Every winter the whaling ships were repaired and provisioned at Leith Harbour

Every winter the whaling ships were repaired and provisioned at Leith Harbour

 Thousands of barrels of whale oil were extracted, processed, stored and shipped from South Georgia over six decades - mostly destined for soap and margarine

Thousands of barrels of whale oil were extracted, processed, stored and shipped from South Georgia over six decades - mostly destined for soap and margarine

 Steam-powered saw for cutting through whale bones

Steam-powered saw for cutting through whale bones

 Frozen whale meat was a later innovation on South Georgia

Frozen whale meat was a later innovation on South Georgia

 Office, Leith Harbour - the whaling industry was a fastidiously organised enterprise

Office, Leith Harbour - the whaling industry was a fastidiously organised enterprise

 Tally, presumably the number of barrels of whale oil produced at Leith Harbour

Tally, presumably the number of barrels of whale oil produced at Leith Harbour

 A worker's bunk with pinups

A worker's bunk with pinups

 Today the whaling stations are over-run by fur seals in the summer. Their vicious fights for territory can be fatal.

Today the whaling stations are over-run by fur seals in the summer. Their vicious fights for territory can be fatal.

 A reindeer that had entangled itself in a rope and starved to death. Reindeer were introduced by the whalers for food, and were eradicated from South Georgia in the last few years to protect native wildlife.

A reindeer that had entangled itself in a rope and starved to death. Reindeer were introduced by the whalers for food, and were eradicated from South Georgia in the last few years to protect native wildlife.

 In spring, aggressive bull fur seals are the first to colonise the whaling station, staking out their territories

In spring, aggressive bull fur seals are the first to colonise the whaling station, staking out their territories

 A king penguin walks past the manager's villa

A king penguin walks past the manager's villa

 Elephant seal in one of the oldest buildings at Leith Harbour

Elephant seal in one of the oldest buildings at Leith Harbour

 South Georgia Shags nesting on a jetty

South Georgia Shags nesting on a jetty

 King penguins on the outskirts of Husvik whaling station

King penguins on the outskirts of Husvik whaling station