The Ramblers chief will join the board of the new charity that will oversee Britain’s canals.
The coalition Government is removing British Waterways from public ownership and setting up a charity – dubbed the National Trust of the canals – to oversee the running of 3,540km (2,200 miles) of canals and rivers.
Ramblers chief executive Tom Franklin has been appointed a member of the board of trustees of the New Waterways Charity.
The walkers’ organisation welcomed the news, saying that the nation’s waterways should be held and operated for public benefit and that, in order to maximise the benefit to the public, access should be free and as extensive as possible.
Adrian Morris, Ramblers head of campaigns, said: “Walkers are actually the biggest group of people who use and access Britain’s waterways, so it’s great news that someone who understands the needs of walkers will be represented on the board of trustees.
“We hope that the move to charity status will allow for greater input from local recreational interests as to the management of the waterways and will see our rivers and canals operated for the benefit of the public.”
Other trustees include: Tony Hales, British Waterways’ chairman; Lynne Berry, narrowboat owner and chief executive of the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service; John Bridgeman, British Waterways board member and leading expert in competition and fair trading; Jane Cotton, change management expert and deputy chief executive and human resources director of Oxfam; John Dodwell, long-term waterways campaigner and chair of the Commercial Boat Operators Association; Nigel Hugill, British Waterways board member and property expert; and Simon Thurley, historian and chief executive of English Heritage.