A FREE 12-week programme is aimed at encouraging over-55s to get active by the canal.
Canal & River Trust is inviting people in Cheshire to get involved in the new project.
Active Waterways Cheshire (one hour per week) is designed to get people up and about while learning about local history and nature and meeting new friends.
The programme will be led by Active Waterways colleagues and volunteers who will lead walks along Cheshire’s beautiful canals and rivers.
It is aimed at all levels of fitness and all routes are easily accessible to people who may need walking aids and wheelchair access. Participants can walk at their own pace and ability.
The trust will be giving everyone who takes part a free pedometer and will provide support and guidance on how to improve health and wellbeing over the 12 weeks.
The first phase of the programme will run from February to May.
Anika Neill, Active Waterways project manager with the Canal & River Trust, said: “We know our canals already offer great ways to enjoy the big outdoors for walkers, boaters, joggers, anglers, cyclists and paddle boarders. This is a fantastic project for people who are feeling they would like to improve their health and wellbeing and enjoy their local natural environment by taking part in guided walks.
“We hope this project will reach people who are not used to being active on a regular basis. Life truly is better by water and Cheshire has some of the most beautiful rural waterways in the country.”
Supported by £222,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England and in partnership with Active Cheshire, the new project is a key initiative within Sport England’s plan ‘Towards an Active Nation’ and will make use of the county’s many beautiful waterways.
Sport England research shows that inactivity among people over 55 is responsible for just as many deaths as smoking. In Cheshire and Warrington just over 40% of the population (370,000 people) are over 55 and of these 53% (nearly 200,000) do less than two and a half hours of gentle exercise per week. Active Cheshire research indicates the main reasons for inactivity are health (54%), work and family commitments (26%) and lack of interest (15%).
The River Weaver Navigation, Trent & Mersey, Shropshire Union and Macclesfield canals will all be involved in hosting activities for the project.
For more information or to get involved, go the Canal & River Trust website www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/activewaterways or contact Anika Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or Emma at email@example.com mobile 07990 612700.
Guided walks for the over-55s
Macclesfield (Fairways Garden centre, Sutton): Friday, February 28 – Friday, May 22, 11am to noon.
Audlem (Shroppie Fly pub): Thursday, February 27 – Thursday, May 14, 1.30pm to 2.30pm.
Ellesmere Port (National Waterways Museum): Thursday, February 27 – Thursday, May 14, 1.30pm to 2.30pm.
Northwich (Anderton Boat Lift): On now until Wednesday, May 13, 11am to noon.
Congleton (Meet at Derwent Drive, Congleton): On now until Monday, May 18, 1pm to 2pm.