Painted rocks travel to 'almost 200 countries' in memory of father

An image of Izzy, her dad and brother on a beach abroad
"He loved travelling, he would go anywhere, he was such an adventurous person." [Izzy Barnes]

Two children have come up with an initiative to send painted rocks around the world in memory of their late father.

In July 2023, Griff Barnes, 54, died following an aortic aneurysm.

Izzy Barnes, 18, and her younger brother Nathan, began painting messages on stones - directing those who find them to their Facebook page - where they are invited to post a photo of their rock and leave a note in the group.

The online page now has almost 1,000 members with rocks having travelled to "nearly 200 countries".

An image of a rock with a sticker on directing people who find it to go to the Facebook page
Ms Barnes said that the page has brought "comfort" to her family at a time of grief [Izzy Barnes]

The rocks have been passed on by hundreds of people all over the world with the idea that when one is found, it is taken to a new location and left for someone else to discover.

As well as in numerous locations around the UK, some stones have reached as far as Australia, Yemen, Ukraine, the Arctic, Tokyo, and New York - totalling almost 200 countries.

Ms Barnes said she was recently contacted by someone who works away on deployment on a submarine saying that he'd "like to have a rock in the submarine and leave one at the bottom of the ocean."

Once photos have been posted in the Facebook group, the family from Portsmouth mark the countries on a map.

Three huskies in the back of a car with a painted rock in front
Griff and three Huskies heading towards the French Alps via the Channel Tunnel [Izzy Barnes]

Ms Barnes hopes that the initiative will give her dad "one last adventure".

Fifteen-year-old Nathan Barnes, said: “We paint them in his memory and we want to get them as far and wide by whoever can take them.

It’s just about remembering him really and giving him the chance to visit all the countries that he didn’t get the chance to go to but would’ve loved to go to.”

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