1832. Barry Hunter
Barry Hunter, from Gwynedd and based in East Grinstead, is the long-term developer of ‘Geograph’, a national archive charity which collects geographically representative photographs and information about every square kilometre of Britain and Ireland, helping to capture changes in UK society and the impact of weathering events on the landscape.
Since 2005, more than 13,000 contributors have submitted seven million pictures covering 281,000 Ordnance Survey grid squares, the equivalent of approximately 85% of the British and Irish land mass. Images uploaded by volunteers cover landmarks, rural landscapes, urban environments, roads and building sites, capturing how new construction and infrastructure such as motorways and housing estates have changed areas of land, alongside the effects of floods, fires and erosion, helping to provide a unique historical resource that is free to access online.
In a personal letter to Barry, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I was inspired to learn about ‘Geograph’ and how you are capturing the UK’s beautiful landscape through a digital archive. Your project is a love letter to the British countryside, telling the story of our land over the years and creating a wonderful record of our heritage for years to come.
“With over seven million pictures from thousands of contributors, your project has already reached an exceptional scale. I wish you well as you continue.”
Mims Davies, Barry’s local MP for Mid Sussex, said:
“I am so delighted Barry’s fantastic volunteering achievement has been recognised. He has undertaken really wonderful and dedicated work over the years, documenting this fantastic geographical diary of the changing landscape of Britain and Ireland. This will be a truly invaluable record for the future for many people. ”
“Amazed to be recognised for this, it’s an honour. My enjoyment comes from the dedication and passion so many people give to the project, so my contribution comes from trying to make something worthwhile from everyone’s effort. The project is so diverse, and has put me in contact with so many different people, I never know where it’s going to lead. We are hoping to build a collection that will be useful for years to come. It’s so interesting seeing what others do with our images.”