Published: 7th SEPTEMBER 2020

Go the extra mile: Charity calls on public to get moving for National Cycle Network’s 25th birthday

We're calling on members of the public to take part in the #NCN25th Challenge to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the National Cycle Network. Find out how you can get involved and go the extra mile today.

Our NCN 25th Challenge Promotional Image showing different users moving on a route

The challenge invites participants of all ages and abilities to walk, run, wheel, cycle or even hop, either 25, 50, 75 or 100 miles of the Network over 30 days.

Launching on 3 September 2020, it is open for registration until 31 October 2020.

Where the Network all began

The National Cycle Network was founded by Sustrans, with the help from local communities, partners and the National Lottery grant awarded in 1995.

It’s a UK-wide network of signed paths and routes and a critical part of the UK transport infrastructure.

Every year over 780 million journeys are made on the Network by people walking, cycling, wheeling or exploring outdoors.

In 2017, those trips prevented 630 early deaths and averted nearly 8,000 serious long-term health conditions.

The Network today

As custodians of the Network, we work with volunteers and partners to maintain and improve it whilst championing a long-term vision for its future.

Evidence suggests that the change to daily travel habits during the Covid-19 lockdown resulted in more people cycling than before, therefore it is crucial that we can continue to improve and maintain the Network to support the increase in active travel across the UK.

Why the challenge is so important

Aside from raising funds for the Network, the #NCN25th Challenge is a fantastic opportunity to embed physical outdoor activity in everyday life.

Research shows that adults who walk or cycle regularly have fitness levels of someone up to 10 years younger.

Making essential improvements with your support

Xavier Brice, CEO at Sustrans said:

“We’re delighted to be celebrating the 25th birthday of the National Cycle Network, a much-loved national and local asset enjoyed by over 4 million people across the UK each year.

"The ongoing Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the positive impact of the Network on people’s lives, providing us with the space to get outdoors, explore our local area, and exercise during these uncertain times."

“Now, more than ever, it is vital that we can maintain and improve the National Cycle Network, as many more of us are looking for physically distanced ways to move around.

"With the invaluable support of people like you taking part in the #NCN25th Challenge, we can continue to make essential improvements to paths across the UK, ensuring the Network is accessible to everyone, for the next 25 years.”


About the challenge

Registration to the challenge costs just £10 per person, and the money raised will go towards funding the National Cycle Network.

Participants are also encouraged to fundraise as little or as much as possible to help Sustrans maintain and improve the network for the next 25 years.

What you'll get

Those taking part in the challenge will have access to a virtual map of the National Cycle Network, featuring their individual avatar and key landmarks which come to life as they travel along the Network.

Alongside the virtual map, participants have the option to sync their personal Strava account and are encouraged to track and share their progress on social media over the 30 days, using the hashtag #NCN25th.

On completion of the challenge, all those who take part will receive a 20% discount for Sustrans’ online shop and a personalised certificate.

As a special thank you from Sustrans, participants who fundraise over £50 will receive a free pocket map.

Those who raise over £150 will receive a free Sustrans pocket map of their choice.

And participants who raise any amount over £300 will receive a free limited edition Sustrans t-shirt.

Launching on 3 September 2020, the challenge is open for registration until 31 October 2020.

Once registered, participants have 30 days to complete.


For more information on how to register to take part in #NCN25th Challenge, please visit our challenge website.

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