SCOTTISH cycling volunteers have been given a big thank you for all their hard work.
Some 70 bike rangers from all over Scotland joined together for a mass bike ride and training event in Perth on Saturday (23rd February).
The Ranger Day, organised by sustainable transport charity Sustrans and supported by Perth and Kinross Council, was also designed to chance to train volunteers who staff the 1,800 miles of National Cycle Network in Scotland.
Some 340 volunteer Rangers help to look after sections of the National Cycle Network across Scotland by litter picking, improving signs, cleaning graffiti and cutting back vegetation. They act as the 'eyes and ears' for the charity, working closely with local authorities to ensure local walking and cycling routes are kept tidy and attractive.
The group began the day with a guided bike ride around the city.
The event also included presentations by Perth and Kinross Council on development for cycling and walking across Perthshire and by artist Jeremy Cunningham on how Sustrans is using artworks and gateways along its routes to enhance journeys.
John Lauder, Sustrans’ national director for Scotland, updated the Rangers on the Connect2 project and how Sustrans will be working with its partners and local communities to make it a reality.
The scheme to create a new cycling and walking bridge from Perth to Scone is one of 79 across the UK included in Sustrans' Connect2 bid which won the Big Lottery Fund's The People's £50 Million contest in December 2007.
The project will receive £1.25 million from Connect2 to help create a new cycling and walking bridge over the River Tay between Perth and Scone, and improve links for cyclists and walkers around the town centres and out into the surrounding countryside.
Derek Mullins, Sustrans' volunteer ranger co-ordinator for Scotland, said: "It's really important to keep our cycling and walking paths tidy and attractive to encourage people to travel to the shops, school or work in healthier and more sustainable way. Rangers are invaluable and this training event provides an opportunity for our volunteers to come together, share their experiences and socialise."
If you would like to find out more about becoming a Sustrans volunteer ranger, visit www.sustrans.org.uk and click on 'Support Sustrans'.