A NEW project is encouraging people over 55 to get active and healthy while enjoying the waterways – with Northwich and Middlewich among six hubs in the area.

The Canal and River Trust is leading the 'Active Waterways' scheme, backed by £222,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England and in partnership with Active Cheshire.

Project leaders Anika Neill and Emma Hicks will be working hard over the next 21 months to recruit new Active Waterway volunteers to get involved with supporting and initiating activities.

They will also be setting up a range of health and wellbeing events and groups in the six hub locations of Northwich, Ellesmere Port, Middlewich, Macclesfield, Congleton and Audlem.

The project will also reach out to existing community groups to increase their activity levels.

Sport England research shows that inactivity among people over 55 is responsible for just as many deaths as smoking.

Anika Neill, Active Waterways project manager, said: “This is a wonderful chance for us to provide new health and fitness opportunities for older people in Cheshire.

"We know our canals already offer great ways to enjoy the big outdoors for walkers, boaters, joggers, anglers, cyclists and paddleboarders.

“We hope this project will reach people who may not be used to being active on a regular basis. Life truly is better by water and in Cheshire we have some of the most beautiful rural waterways in the country.”

See the Canal and River Trust website, email anika.neill@canalrivertrust.org.uk or emma.hicks@canalrivertrust.org.uk or call 07990613700.