Background SC

Our Background

The National Trust (NT) purchased parts of Orford Ness from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 1993 and, after two years of investment, making the site safe and creating displays, opened the Ness (or ‘Island’) to the public in 1995.


NT sees Orford Ness as a National Nature Reserve (NNR) prioritising its flora & fauna activities to its visitors, with ornithological demands determining the Island’s opening dates and accessible areas.


A number of the volunteer Rangers, whilst enjoying the ‘flora and fauna’ of Orford Ness thought that greater emphasis should be given to its military history and its unique buildings.


IRGON’s military research was significantly helped by the Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston when provided more than 800 declassified documents to help with its Orford Ness research.


In July 2020 IRGON was invited to give the opening presentations to the King's College London’s biennial Nuclear History Conference.