Hidden Earth was attended by a good number of Dudley Club members. At the end of the weekend the annual presentation of the Giles Barker Award was made. For 2011 the award, a hand-crafted statue of a cave photographer made by Ceris Jones, went to Brendan Marris. Brendan has become known for a consistently high standard of underground photography and, since 2008, publishing regular updates on his website at ogof.org.uk As part of a personal online project, he is documenting the caves of South Wales, logging the results against digital maps. Both the quality of his work and his comprehensive approach make Brendan a worthy winner.
South Wales has been a regular venue for many cavers from Dudley Caving Club and the South Wales Cave project was born out of a passion for the caves of the area.
To embark on such a project was quite ambitious and could only be undertaken with the support of an equally dedicated team. Some spectacular locations have been visited on trips that would have been a challenge to simply reach without the added burden of photographic equipment. During this time I have been grateful for the level of support and commitment in visiting a range of places from the Out of this World to the quite simply horrid. I would like to express particular thanks to Keith Edwards who has offered consistent support and encouragement, and although he only appears in selected photographs, is generally around the corner out of sight, waist deep in water providing the lighting that is key to the photographs.