In the oddest jobs in the world, four women have been selected to run the world's most remote post office in Antarctica and count penguins.
As many as 6,000 people applied for the four jobs on Goudier Island in Port Lockroy and among them, four women, Clare Ballantyne, Mairi Hilton, Natalie Corbett and Lucy Bruzzone, will form a team to run the historic port.
The team, picked by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust charity, will travel 9,000 miles from the UK to reopen the bay for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.
Hilton will be in charge of monitoring the island’s colony of 1,500 gentoo penguins. Hilton, 30, from Scotland, has spent four years completing a PhD in conservation biology in Australia.
Bruzzone, 40, from London, will be the base’s leader and previously she spent three months in Svalbard as chief scientist on an Arctic expedition.
Ballantyne, 23, from Lincolnshire, has just completed a master’s in earth science at Oxford University. She will deal by hand with approximately 80,000 cards, which are mailed each year from the site to more than 100 countries.
Corbett, the 31-year-old newlywed, is from Hampshire, where she runs a pet accessories business. She will be in charge of running the gift shop in the oldest permanent British base on the Antarctic peninsula.
The site, which has been inoperative for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, generally welcomed about 18,000 visitors between November and March, the Antarctic summers.
For the first 10 weeks, the team will be assisted by 42-year-old Vicky Inglis, from Aberdeenshire, who was a UKAHT general assistant in the 2019/20 season.