THE Canal and River Trust has appointed a new chairman to its regional advisory board for the north west.

The charity, which cares for the region’s network of canals and rivers, has named Professor Nigel Weatherill as taking up the voluntary role.

Initially on a three-year term, the appointment comes at a pivotal time as the Trust encourages the thousands of people who live near one of its waterways to get involved with their canal or river.

Nigel is a former vice chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, and will work alongside the region’s management team and help guide strategy and decisions at the Trust.

He has worked at senior levels in academia and community organisations, and has a passion for research as well as a keen interest in the environment.

Nigel said: “It is a great honour to be appointed chair of the North West Regional Advisory Board for the Canal and River Trust, an organisation very dear to my heart, with an outstanding historic network of waterways that is so important and relevant today.

“I very much look forward to working with the team for the benefit of the Trust and local communities.”

Waterways in mid Cheshire include the River Weaver, Shropshire Union Canal and Trent and Mersey Canal.

Canal and River Trust regional director Daniel Greenhalgh said: “I am delighted to welcome Nigel to the Trust. His experience and guidance will be invaluable as we work with local people to realise all the benefits that the North West’s network of waterways have to offer.

“From Lancaster to Liverpool and Rochdale through Manchester to the River Weaver, the region’s waterways flow through some of the prettiest countryside and many post-industrial urban areas where green space is at a premium.

“Connecting the countryside with the city, the Canal & River Trust and our waterways are uniquely placed to help improve people’s lives whether it is encouraging people to go for a walk or a leisurely cycle, picking up a fishing rod for the afternoon, getting out onto the water on a boat or volunteering with the Trust out on the canal bank.

“We know that people are healthier and happier when they visit a canal or river.”