TV wildlife presenter Kate Humble made a surprise visit today to Wales to congratulate Sustrans’ Connect2 staff and supporters on winning a National Lottery Award. Connect2 has created new routes across Wales and the UK.
The charity saw off stiff competition from six organisations to get 10,362 public votes to be crowned the nation’s favourite Environment project in this year’s National Lottery Awards - the annual search to find the nation’s favourite Lottery-funded good causes.
Kate presented the award to Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans Chief Executive, on Pont-y-Werin (the People’s Bridge), which connects Cardiff Bay and Penarth. She surprised them with their award during their Pedal On UK celebrations. She also spoke to local people who use the bridge regularly, such as runners, dog walkers and commuters.
During her visit Kate Humble said: “It is heartening to see Sustrans’ Connect2 winning this award and being recognised for the important work they do with Lottery funding. Connect2 has enabled millions of people across the UK to make everyday journeys by foot or by bike, helping them to choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper journeys. I hope this award encourages people to get out and connect with our beautiful environment.”
Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans’ Chief Executive, was surprised to see the TV presenter arrive at the charity’s Pedal On UK event this morning. He said: “I’m so thrilled to be holding this award, and it was wonderful to meet Kate today, as she is so aware of the massive difference this Network is making.
“National Lottery funding has allowed us to undertake this ambitious project and it was only made possible through people buying Lottery tickets, so I’d like to thank the general public as they make a real difference to organisations like ours by playing the game every week.
“The award is also fantastic public recognition of the many hundreds of people who have worked or volunteered in their local communities to help deliver this award-winning project. To show our gratitude to these local communities, Sustrans will use the prize money in addition to other funds, to award local grants to the communities near the routes who have helped make cycling and walking easier and safer to further encourage travel on foot and bike in their area."
Kate Humble, who lives near Usk, Monmouthshire, is best known as a wildlife presenter on programmes including Springwatch, Autumnwatch, Wild in Africa and Sea Watch.
About the project:
Sustrans’ Connect2 project has transformed everyday travel for communities across the UK by enabling people to choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper journeys.
National Lottery Funding of £50 million has helped the project create new bridges and crossings that overcome busy roads, rivers and railways. These link to networks of walking and cycling routes, making it easier for millions of people to walk and cycle for everyday journeys to shops, work, schools and to each other.
Sustrans’ Connect2 project has created 84 individual new walking and cycling networks in England, Wales and Scotland, with 80 major new safe crossings of roads and over 100 brand new or renovated bridges, delivered over five years from 2008 to 2013. In each case Sustrans has worked with local authorities, the local community and many other partners to identify, design and build the schemes to meet the needs of their communities. Many of the new bridges and crossings have become landmarks celebrating local identity and culture, and bringing communities together.
About the Awards:
National Lottery players raise over £35million a week and that money goes to support people and projects across the UK. The Awards are a great way to show Lottery players where their funding has gone and the life-changing difference playing the Lottery every week is making to communities across the UK.
There are seven categories in the Awards, reflecting the main areas of Lottery funding: arts, education, environment, health, heritage, sport, and voluntary/charity.
Sustrans’ Connect2 and the six other winners will be celebrated at a special star-studded ceremony broadcast on BBC One on the 11 September. Winners receive a £2,000 cash prize to spend on their project as well as a coveted National Lottery Awards trophy