We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.


Our trustees are unpaid board directors, taking collective decisions on policy and strategy and providing oversight of the executive directors.

We have 10 trustees, and they are legally responsible for overseeing the work towards our charitable objectives.

Allan Leighton, chairman

Allan is a patron of Breast Cancer Care and a keen canal runner.

He was formerly CEO of Asda Plc, chairman of the Royal Mail and holds a number of non-executive chairmanships including Pace Plc, Pandora AS, Lastminute.com and BSkyB. 

He was also chairman of Race for Opportunity and an Ambassador for Prince Charles in Business in the Community. He attended the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard and has Honorary Degrees from Cranfield and an Honorary Fellowship from University of Lancashire. 

Lynne Berry OBE, chair

Lynne is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, Joint Council & Trustees Appointments Committee, and the Nominations Committee. 

Lynne Berry is chair of Glandŵr Cymru,  the Commission on the Voluntary Sector and Ageing; SID at Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust; senior fellow at Cass Business School and sits on the FT’s NED Advisory Board.

Previous appointments include CEO of WRVS, the General Social Care Council, the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Family Welfare Association, CEO of the Charity Commission. Government appointments include the Office of Civil Society Advisory Board and several Better Regulation Task Forces. Lynne is a board member of the International Women’s Forum and co-founder of Women in Public Policy.

Manish Chande

Manish is a member of the Investments Committee. He is also senior partner of Clearbell Capital, a private real estate group that specialises in UK commercial property investment and development. He has been in the real estate business for 28 years. 

Prior to Clearbell, he co-founded Mountgrange; was on the main board of Land Securities plc; chief executive officer of Trillium. Before Trillium, Manish worked at Imry Merchant Developers plc, and was first appointed as finance director, and then as chief executive in 1995.

Manish originally trained as a chartered accountant and has been a member of ICAEW since 1980. In 2003, he was appointed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport as a Commissioner of English Heritage, and in 2007 was appointed a Trustee of The London Clinic, one of the UK’s premier private hospitals. In June 2008, Manish was elected a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. 

Jane Cotton

Jane is a member of the Remuneration Committee. She has also been human resources director and a deputy chief executive of Oxfam for the past 11 years.

Prior to this, she worked in Departments of Transport and Environment in both policy and human resources roles.

In the 1990s, she was resources director of the Charity Commission and human resources director of the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. She brings particular expertise in organisational development and change management; volunteering, fundraising and charity governance. 

John Dodwell

John is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, and the Investments Committee.

John qualified as a chartered accountant before moving into corporate finance and corporate law. He is a former finance director or chair of several property companies (including joint ventures), has been a  trustee of other charities (including dealing with investments). Since 1961, he has been a member of the Inland Waterways Association (of which he was general secretary 1970-73). John is the former chair of the Commercial Boat Operators Association. He owns an historic narrowboat tug in which he has travelled over many parts of the waterways network.

Frances Done CBE

Frances is chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.

She was chair of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales for six years until January 2014.  A chartered accountant for 38 years, Frances worked for KPMG before becoming director of finance and then chief executive of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council. She has also been chief executive of Manchester 2002 Ltd – the company responsible for organising the successful Manchester Commonwealth Games.

Subsequently, she held the post of managing director for Local Government, Housing and Criminal Justice at the Audit Commission with responsibility for the Commission’s audit and inspection work in relation to local government in England. After leaving the Audit Commission, Frances was interim director general of the Royal British Legion. Frances was also chair of The Waterways Trust from 2003–2012 when it merged with Canal & River Trust.

Tom Franklin

Tom is a member of the Joint Council & Trustees Appointments Committee, the Remuneration Committee, the Audit and Risk Committee and the Nominations Committee.

He is chief executive of Think Global, a membership charity that works to educate and engage people about global issues such as climate change and sustainability. He is currently a member of the Independent Panel on the future direction of forestry and woodland policy in England.

He was previously chief executive of the Ramblers, Britain’s walking charity. He was previously a local authority councillor for twelve years, including a period as council leader, and was an expert adviser on ‘Better Public Spaces’ to the Beacon Council Awards Scheme, and was chief executive of Living Streets, a charity promoting better streets and public spaces for pedestrians. 

Ben Gordon

Ben is a non-executive director of Britvic Plc, one of Europe's leading soft drink producers, and of St Ives Plc, the marketing services and printing group. He is also on the Board of Powerleague Ltd, the largest owner of 5-a-side Soccer Centres across the country.

Previously he was chief executive of Mothercare Plc for nine years and SVP and managing director of the Disney Store, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Prior to that he had senior management positions in WHSmith Plc and L'Oreal SA in the UK, USA and France.

Ben has an MBA from INSEAD and is a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. 

Simon Thurley CBE

Simon is a member of the Investments Committee. In 1998, Simon became director of the Museum of London and, in 2003, chief executive of English Heritage. He is a historian specialising in English architectural history and has written many books and presented television programmes on the subject.

Simon was educated at London University where he took an MA and a PhD. After working for English Heritage in the 1980s, he went to be curator of Historic Royal Palaces for eight years. 

Steve Shine OBE

Steve is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, and theRemuneration Committee. Apart from his role with Canal & River Trust he is also the Chairman of Anesco, RTP, UKDN Waterflow and SL Solar. He also undertakes some interim roles and is currently the CEO of Veolia Water.

Steve was Thames Water’s chief operating officer and a member of the Main Board. He started his career with London Electricity Board in 1973 as an apprentice electrician, later qualifying as an electrical power engineer and later took degrees in Management, Marketing and finally a Masters in Business in 1993.

Steve became the MD of London Electricity Contracting and a member of the Executive Board of London Electricity (later EDF) in 1996. In 2000 he worked to form a joint venture between Eastern Electricity and London Electricity known as 24Seven and became the MD.

In 2003 Steve left the electricity sector to become the CEO of SGB UK, part of Harsco Corporation. In 2010, Steve was awarded the OBE by the Queen for services to industry.

Last date edited: 14 January 2016