News article created on 18 August 2020

New health and fitness programme launched in Cheshire

We have launched a new free 12 week health and fitness programme of weekly waterside walks and online support for Cheshire residents aged over 55.

Man walking on towpath towards a stone bridge Active Waterways Cheshire

Active Waterways Cheshire

Active Waterways Cheshire aims to encourage less active people to increase their fitness levels and improve their health and wellbeing by taking part in weekly guided walks in Northwich, near the River Weaver and Trent & Mersey Canal; Macclesfield and Congleton near the Macclesfield Canal; and Chester, Nantwich and Ellesmere Port near the Shropshire Union Canal.

For older residents who are still self-isolating or reluctant to leave home, a weekly one hour Zoom call is on offer, packed full of useful advice, top health tips and mindfulness sessions to encourage people to get back into activity in their own time.

All levels of fitness are catered for and every waterside walk will have a guide and a maximum of five walkers, allowing the group to comply with current social distancing guidelines. Routes will be chosen to provide easy access for people with limited mobility.

Encouraging you to get active again

Anika Neill, our Active Waterways project manager, said: “We recognise many people have lost confidence in going out and about as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly if they have underlying health conditions.

“This new series of weekly walks and online Zoom sessions is designed to encourage older people to get active again and benefit from the wonderful, relaxing, calm environment offered by Cheshire’s beautiful waterways.

“The walks will be tailored to meet the needs of the group and offer people a chance to make new friends and appreciate the inspiring natural world along the county’s canals and rivers. Research shows us that life truly is better by water so we would encourage anyone who wants to improve their health and well-being to get in touch and join us.”

Becoming an 'Active Nation'

Supported by £222,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England, Active Waterways Cheshire is a key initiative within Sport England’s plan ‘Towards an Active Nation’, and focuses on the county’s many beautiful waterways – part of the 2,000 miles of canals and rivers cared for by us.

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 (c.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%).

Dates and times of Active Waterways Cheshire walks


Date: Thursday 27/08/20 – 12/11/20

Time: 10:00 – 11:00  


Date: Friday 28/08/20 – 13/11/20

Time: 10:00 – 11:00

Ellesmere Port

Date: Wednesday 26/08/20 – 18/11/20

Times: 11am-12pm and 1-2pm


Date: Monday 24/08/20 – 16/11/20

Times: 12.45pm – 1.45pm, additional times TBC dependent on demand

Northwich (Anderton)

Date: Friday 28/08/20 – 20/11/20

Times: 10am – 11am, additional times TBC dependent on demand