A GWENT man is flying the Welsh flag in Antarctica to mark St David’s Day.

Christian Brown, OBE, of Llanvihangel Gobion, is visiting the British base at Port Lockroy on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Mr Brown, 48, is there with Usk-based charity the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust which opens the base every year as a ‘living museum’ and runs the world’s most southerly post office on behalf of the British Antarctic Territory. Around 70,000 cards are posted each year from the post office by visitors to over 100 countries.

He said: “I am delighted to say I am flying the Welsh flag here in Antarctica at British Base A at Port Lockroy on the Antarctic Peninsula in preparation for St David’s Day.”

The hot-air balloonist, who was awarded an OBE last year for his voluntary and charitable services to the community in Monmouthshire, is assisting the BBC Natural History team in filming a documentary called The Penguin Post Office to be shown next Christmas.

“Wales has always played a historic role in the Antarctic story and this is especially true in Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 100th Trans Antarctic anniversary year,” he said.

“As an Abergavenny boy I am proud a great deal of Antarctica’s historic heritage is Welsh and the Port Lockroy postal staff are trained in the Bryn community post office, near the charity headquarters in Monmouthshire.”

The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust was set up in 1993 to conserve early British scientific bases on the Antarctic Peninsula. It works closely with many organisations worldwide to safeguard buildings, artefacts and oral testimonies which tell the story of Britain’s Antarctic heritage.