2017 marks 40 years of Sustrans and we're really proud of what we've achieved so far. As we celebrate our birthday this year, it's a perfect chance for us to look back on where we've come from and plan ahead for the future.
Take a look at some of the lovely birthday messages we've received from our partners, volunteers and high profile supporters.
"Happy birthday Sustrans! Thank you for bringing cycling into the heart of communities across the UK.
May you continue to inspire generations to get onto their bikes for many years to come!"
Photo credit: Rebecca Reid
"Over the past 40 years Sustrans' enthusiasm and expertise with developing and maintaining cycleways and cycle routes is impressively comprehensive and far-reaching.
With their excellent routes and maps Sustrans has encouraged millions of cyclists of all ages to get on their bikes and ride in a quiet and safe environment. Roll on the next 40 years!"
"As a society we are living longer but sadly on the whole eating more and doing less! We have to take responsibility for our own health and the health of our families. Being more active is even more important today in this techno world we live in. Walking, running, swimming or riding our bikes have to become part of our everyday lives. Teaching our children to be active and fit is a precious gift they will have for a lifetime. Simple things like the way to get to work and school every day can make so much difference.
Well done Sustrans on the work you have done over the last 40 years. Here's to the next 40..."
2017 marks 40 years of Sustrans and we’re immensely proud of what we’ve achieved so far.
"Happy, happy birthday Sustrans and chapeau! Four decades at the forefront of sustainable transport advocacy is a terrific achievement.
Some of the happiest days of my adult life have been spent cycling on the National Cycle Network. For that alone, we all owe you a great debt of gratitude."
"Many happy returns to Sustrans - 40 fantastic years of helping to make people’s journeys by bike and on foot safer, empowering people to make healthy choices about their travel and creators of the National Cycle network.
Here’s to another 40 years - and let’s hope we can get more people out of their cars and onto their bikes!"
"Happy Birthday @Sustrans! Come and celebrate on our towpaths anytime. #Sustransat40 #ShareTheSpace"
- Canal and River Trust
"Happy birthday to one of our incredible partners @sustrans #SustransAt40"
- People's Health Trust
"Happy birthday to one of our favourite campaign partners! (though obviously we like all our partners equally)."
- Healthy Air UK
"Happy 40th Birthday, Sustrans. And may you celebrate many more.
For me, the art of Sustrans in creating the National Cycle Network is the discovery of challenge, adventure and finding some of the UK’s finest scenery by bike on quiet roads relatively undisturbed by motor traffic.
The bike offers something that cars can never do as we can find ourselves immersed in the countryside listening and feeling the sounds of nature. Somehow the Network is now slowly and quietly finding its way into the urban environment too, with dedicated paths creating a simple means of travel away from traffic.
I have many happy and ongoing memories of the National Cycle Network. It has taken me from Lands End to the Shetlands, around the remote and beautiful North West Trail in Ireland, across Wales, over the Pennines and numerous occasions around my home county in Devon."
Stephen is one of our brilliant volunteers in Suffolk. He reminisces about one of his favourite Sustrans moments...
"I am now in to my 23rd year as a Sustrans volunteer ranger and the highlight for me was the Longest Ride on the Longest Day on 21 June 2000.
The ride celebrated the opening of the first 5,000 miles on the National Cycle Network. Rides were led all over the country at the same time under ‘ride the net’ and a superb book called 'Millennium Miles' was produced by Sustrans to mark the event.
Reception points along the routes were arranged and we met local dignitaries and the Mayor of each place. We had the large flags that became famous and which acted as a sail on the river crossings! I led the ride to Harwich from Ipswich, via Hadleigh and Colchester."
"Looking back over my six years of Volunteering on the National Cycle Network much has been done.
It's just that much of what has been done, the cutting back of vegetation, the cleaning and refreshing of signs and the painting of Mileposts needs to be done again and again and again. There's always more left to do.
Smiles on the faces of people using the Network, blissfully unaware of the effort it takes, are thanks enough to carry on with the task.