Meet George and Marian, volunteer rangers in County Durham

George and Marian collecting litter along the National Cycle Network

George and Marion have been volunteering with Sustrans since 1999

As we celebrate 40 years of Sustrans, we caught up with some of our volunteers who have been with us since the beginning.

George and Marian have been volunteering with Sustrans since 1999 – just a year after the volunteer programme officially launched. They are a volunteer ranger duo looking after a section of National Route 7, part of the famous Sea to Sea (C2C) route.

George recalls the opening of the C2C:

“Before volunteering with Sustrans, I used to cycle along a very busy road to get to work which was very scary. Then Sustrans completed the C2C which meant I could cycle to work safely.”

It wasn’t long after the opening of the C2C that both George and Marian began volunteering with Sustrans. They’re now making the most of their retirement – volunteering, going dancing together four times a week and enjoying getting out on their bikes.

What do George and Marian do?

As volunteer rangers, they help to keep their section of the National Cycle Network in top condition. George says:

“Litter picking is our main concern along the route and we try to get out at least once a week to spruce up the pathway. We cut back vegetation, give the National Cycle Network signs some TLC, and report any major problems with the route back to Sustrans.”

“We also like to join the Sustrans North Volunteer Co-ordinator and other Sustrans volunteers on an organised task day on the Network, so we can pitch in as a group to tackle a bigger task on the route.”

Memorable moments

George and Marian have made lots of memories whilst volunteering over the last 18 years:

“Our most memorable moments include tackling some of the long distance routes on our tandem whilst using Sustrans maps for navigation. We’ve also joined many fellow volunteers for the trailblazing rides at the opening of some of Sustrans’ new routes.”

What volunteering with Sustrans means to them

“When volunteering on the path it’s really satisfying when people come up to us and say what a great job we’re doing. It’s these comments that make looking after our section of route worthwhile and one of the many reason why we started volunteering with Sustrans.”

“We volunteer with Sustrans because we believe we can make a difference to the environment. We want to help make cycling and walking a pleasure for everyone”.

Take a trip down memory lane and see our journey over the last 40 years.

We're always looking for an extra pair of helping hands and we'd love you to join us. Find out how you can become a volunteer today.