East Grinstead resident gets Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award for work capturing the British landscape

An East Grinstead resident has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award, which recognises outstanding people in the community.

The daily award is given to individual volunteers and people whose work makes a positive difference.

Barry Hunter is a long-term developer of Geograph, a national archive charity that collects geographically representative photographs and information about every square kilometre of the UK and Ireland.

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This helps capture changes in British society and the impact of weathering events on the landscape.

Barry Hunter, a long-term developer of Geograph from East Grinstead, has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award.

“I’m amazed to be recognised for this, it’s an honour,” said Barry.

“My enjoyment comes from the dedication and passion so many people give to the project,” he said.

“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,” said Barry.

“We are hoping to build a collection that will be useful for years to come,” he added.

Since 2005, more than 13,000 contributors have submitted seven million pictures covering 281,000 Ordnance Survey grid squares to the project.

This is the equivalent of about 85 per cent of the British and Irish land mass.

The images uploaded by volunteers cover landmarks, rural landscapes, urban environments, roads and building sites.

They show how new construction and infrastructure, like motorways and housing estates, have changed areas of land, alongside the effects of floods, fires and erosion.

This unique historical resource is free to access online at m.geograph.org.uk.

Mid Sussex MP Mims Davies 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,” she said.