RGS Bursary

RGS Bursary

The "Land Rover Bursary" was run by the Royal Geographic Society (RGS), which gave a Land Rover Defender and £30,000 for a "challenging journey" that promoted "a wider understanding or enjoyment of geography". Iin 2017 the bursary switched to a Discovery.

2016: The Transcaucasian Expedition (Tom Allen)

The ‘Transcaucasian Expedition’ spent six months helping to explore and map the first long-distance hiking trail across the Lesser Caucasus mountain range of Georgia and Armenia. Supported by the 2016 RGS-IBG Land Rover Bursary and working with a range of partners, the team used GIS technology to survey off-road routes and develop in real-time the resources to hike a 1,000km backcountry trail across the region.


2015: Trail by Fire (Dr Yves Moussallam, Dr Nial Peters, Aaron Curtis, Dr Talfan Barnie, Dr Ian Schipper and Dr Philipson Bani)

Between November 2015 and February 2016 an international team of volcanologists travelled 4,000km through the South American Andes to study more than 15 active volcanoes. Driving from Peru to the southern tip of Chile, the team endured a range of climates, altitudes and terrain to complete the first accurate estimate of volcanic gas emissions along the entire length of the Nazca plate subduction zone.

The Land Rover Defender became a mobile observatory, allowing the team to access and undertake measurements at volcanoes never before studied. Using state-of-the-art equipment the team measured emissions both in situ and remotely, using an array of spectroscopic techniques and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

The data collected by the Trail by Fire expedition will improve our understanding of the volatile gases released by volcanoes; one of the least well constrained parameters in current climate models.


2014: The Grand Alpine Tour (Mark Allan, Dr Mike Lim and Thomas Shaw)

During the summer of 2014 a team of three geographers travelled along the length of the Alps, from the UK to Italy, through France, Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia, to carry out research on the magnitude and frequency of landslides at high altitudes. Using a combination of traditional techniques and state of the art technology, including an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for 3D mapping, the team worked to interpret and better understand the current state of the European Alps by providing new insight into small and frequent landslides. Involving collaboration with an artist joining them on the journey, this project followed in the footsteps of the earliest explorers of the Grand Tour, furthering understanding of alpine landscapes and how they are portrayed.

2013: The Pole of Cold (Felicity Aston, Gisli Jonsson and Manu Palomeque)

The 'Pole of Cold' expedition aimed to chase the onset of winter across Europe and Siberia as far as the Pole of Cold, the coldest place in the northern hemisphere. The expedition focused on winter as a geographical concept by exploring the social, cultural and physical implications of the season on the communities the team met along the way. While enduring testing cold-weather conditions with temperatures regularly below -40°C, the team combined adventure, geography and art to share stories of day-to-day life in extreme climates in order that others might draw inspiration from them to look again at winter and their own lifestyles during the coldest months.

The Pole of Cold expedition took place between November 2013 and March 2014. The team documented their progress using photography and video.


2012: Pushing the Limits (Andy Campbell, Michael Dobson and Steve Locke)

Led by disabled adventurer Andy, Pushing the Limits travelled from the UK to The Black Sea in an expedition which aimed to widen our understanding and enjoyment of the geography on our doorstep. The team sought to demonstrate that the exploration of a diversity of landscapes is within everyone’s reach, whatever their ability.

Beginning their journey in June 2012, Pushing the Limits travelled through Europe following the route of the River Danube. Using a wide range of equipment – including off-road wheelchair, handcycle, kayak and paraglider - and accessing remote off-road areas with the Land Rover Defender 110, Pushing the Limits explored their surroundings by water, land and air.

2011: Glacier in a Greenhouse

A team of Durham University students with a keen interest in glaciology undertook research on the North East outlet lobe of the plateau icefield of Þorisjökull; looking specifically at the subglacial drainage system of the glacier, glacial sedimentary deposits, debris transport within the ice, landsystems mapping and reconstructing glacier growth and decay. These elements of research gave a wider understanding of how the glacial system operates as a whole.


2010: Fault Line Living (Serena Davies, Tamsin Davies and Adam Whitaker)

An arduous 12-week, 15,000 mile journey exploring the realities of life for people living along fault lines. From Iceland to Italy, Greece, Turkey and Iran. The team worked with school students, seismologists and talked to the local people of each country to uncover how different communities adapt to the challenges of fault line living.


2009: Atlantic Rising (William Lorimer, Tim Bromfield and Lynn Morris)

Atlantic Rising’s journey traced what could be the new coastline of the ocean with projected sea level rise in the next century; they explored the places, people and histories that would be lost to the rising tide if climate change continues. The team have developed a programme of talks to both adults and school students.


2008: Latitude (Peter Lovell, Spike Reid and David Smith)

Latitude travelled in a Land Rover Defender along the line of 50° North across Europe through Asia and Canada collecting stories of people's adaptations to their environments.

http://geographyjourneys.blogspot.com/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/our-planet/albums/72157623779068117

Total mileage

114,129 miles

Estimated average
vehicle mileage*

38,043 miles

How many?

7 vehicles in this collection

What is the status of the 7 vehicles in July 2024?

4 Off the road 2 Exported 1 Unknown
Model Year Reg No. Body Steering Colour Dates Notes Last MOT mileage
2008 BP57 BZJ
110 5 door station wagon (SW)
RHD Built 16th Jan 2008
2008: Latitude N/A
2008 BT08 BTX
110 5 door station wagon (SW)
RHD Orange Built 7th May 2008
Registered 21st May 2008
2009: Atlantic Rising 45,526 mi
on 17th Jul 2012
2010 VX10 DGV
110 5 door station wagon (SW)
LHD Silver Built 2nd Feb 2010
Registered 10th Jun 2010
2010: Fault Line Living 2011: Glacier in a Greenhouse 42,824 km
on 14th Apr 2014
2012 VX61 BPY
110 5 door station wagon (SW)
LHD Grey Built 1st Sep 2011
Registered 18th Oct 2011
2012: Pushing the Limits 6,726 mi
on 27th Jun 2019
2013 VX13 HGD
110 4 door utility station wagon (USW)
LHD Red Built 12th Jul 2013
Registered 31st Aug 2013
2013: Pole of Cold 42,400 km
on 22nd Aug 2016
2014 VU14 XUG
110 5 door station wagon (SW)
LHD White Built 20th Mar 2014
Registered 17th Apr 2014
2014: Grand Alpine Tour 2015: Trail by Fire 41,992 mi
on 13th Nov 2019
2016 VO16 KNW
110 5 door station wagon (SW)
LHD Grey Registered 23rd Mar 2016 2016: The Transcaucasian Expedition N/A

Data updated monthly

Latest vehicles for sale

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Defender 110 Heavy Duty - Pick-up, soft top or hard top - Td5 - RHD **03***
Defender 110 - 4 door double cab pick-up (DCPU) - Td5 - RHD **04***
Defender 90 - 3 door station wagon - Td5 - RHD W****

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Data supplied by DVLA, DVSA and eBay

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