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Published: 2nd MAY 2024

Celebrating 20 years of volunteering in northeast Wales

Twenty years ago, a group of people came together to help maintain the local cycling routes in and around Deeside. The group has since grown and is still going strong, so Sustrans Cymru held a celebration to acknowledge their efforts.

A group shot of Sustrans staff and volunteers at the celebration event for 20 years of volunteering in northeast Wales.

The volunteering group, Sustrans land maintenance teams and staff came together to reminisce and look forward to the future of the group.

Sustrans Cymru’s Director, Sustrans land maintenance teams and staff joined with volunteers in Deeside to celebrate and say thank you for 20 years’ of looking after and maintaining the National Cycle Network.

The Sustrans North-East Wales Volunteers group has been active for the last two decades, keeping National Cycle Network routes 5, 568, and 84 clean and clear for everyone to enjoy.

Their tireless efforts to improve the area around the paths have involved removing tonnes of litter, planting thousands of trees, and ensuring the nearby wildlife is cared for.

Originally formed by a group of friends, they come together through a love for cycling and a shared sense of wanting to do something to improve routes in their region.

The group has formed a strong sense of identity that both supports long-time members and welcomes new ones.

For the celebration event, the group were joined at their main work site on Deeside by Sustrans Cymru and England North colleagues during one of their weekly workdays, to showcase the habitat creation they have done over the last 20 years.

Sustrans volunteers and Sustrans Cymru Director, Christine Boston, standing with a commemorative tree to mark the occasion of 20 years of volunteering

Sustrans Cymru’s Director, Christine Boston, and founding members of the volunteering group planted a commemorative tree to mark the occasion.

Recognising the efforts of an incredibly dedicated group

Their time and energy have transformed an area of wasteland, surrounded by old railway workings, into a flourishing wildlife haven with woodland, meadow, and orchard areas.

A collective fountain of local history as well, they have turned the former site of bygone industry into a green space that’s constantly being developed with the local nature in mind.

Hundreds of meters of hedges have been planted, ponds have been dug, and they still have plans and appetite for more enhancements.

To mark the occasion, founder members Graham, John, Peter, and David – all of whom are still active members with the group – joined Sustrans Cymru Director, Christine Boston, to plant a commemorative tree.

The longevity of the group is testament to the commitment and enthusiasm of all members and the strong relationships, based on respect and humour, they have built over the years.

On behalf of everyone at Sustrans, we want to say a massive thank you to all those who are and have been a part of this amazing, committed, and dedicated group – here’s to the next 20 years!

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