Peter Batey - Chair

Peter Batey has been the Lever Professor of Town and Regional Planning since 1989. A graduate in geography, Peter also holds a masters degree in planning (MCD) and a doctorate in regional science. Peter worked in local authorities in the North West (Lancashire and Greater Manchester) before joining the Department of Civic Design at the University in 1975.

A former Fulbright Scholar, Peter has an international reputation for his work in urban and regional analysis, particularly in the fields of demographic-economic modelling and geodemographics. In 1997-98 Peter served as World President of the Regional Science Association International and in 2000 he was elected an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.

He serves as an editor of the Town Planning Review and he has played an active role in urban and regional affairs, notably as government-appointed independent chair of the 25-year Mersey Basin Campaign, one of the North West's most successful cross-sector partnerships, 2004-2010.

Since 2011 he has served as Director of the North West Doctoral Training Centre that organises and funds PhD research in the social sciences in Liverpool, Lancaster and Manchester universities. Also in 2011, Peter was elected Chairman of Governors at Merchant Taylors Schools, Crosby.

Peter has chaired the Mersey Estuary Forum since 1997.

Keith Hendry - Vice Chair

Dr Keith Hendry is an aquatic scientist with many years’ experience in water quality and fisheries management in rivers, estuaries, lakes, reservoirs and canals, gained from numerous projects throughout the UK. For the past 26 years he has been managing director of science based aquatic consultancy, APEM, the firm he began in 1987. APEM now employs over 150 scientists across the UK.

Keith works for private organisations ranging from large multi-nationals and water utilities to local angling clubs, as well as public bodies ranging from local government to national regulators such as the Environment Agency.

For almost 30 years Keith has been heavily involved in the successful clean-up of the Manchester Ship Canal and Salford Quays, with APEM instrumental in several innovative projects to improve the water quality in the canal, which continue to this day.

He is the chairman of the North West branch of the Institute of Fisheries Management and a member of the organisation’s national executive and council. Keith is a scientific advisor to the Mersey Rivers Trust and was previously an advisor to the Mersey Basin Campaign.

Formally he held the position of honorary biologist and scientific advisor to the National Federation of Anglers, advising on issues ranging from national policy to pollution. He was a member of the government’s Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries legislative review committee, which contributed to the landmark 2009 Marine Act and other fisheries legislation and regulatory changes. Keith has also sat on various Environment Agency advisory committees.

Eric Harper - Trustee

Eric Harper entered the water industry in 1962 after a brief spell in industry where he helped establish reality to a wildly optimistic research programme. He quickly learned of the problems of pollution control in the North West whilst working in the laboratory of Mersey and Weaver River Authority. The analytical results proved the Mersey at Howley Wier in Warrington was, on average, twice as bad as “Royal Commission Standard” for the discharge of sewage effluent. The challenge such problems posed fired his enthusiasm to contribute to their solution. After gaining experience as a river inspector in Lancashire, working in liquid and solid waste management at Oxford and Jersey, he returned to the North West in 1969.

He accepted greater responsibilities over the years, with several major reorganisations. At privatisation he was North West Water’s Chief Scientist responsible for policy formation and research on all scientific matters related to surface, ground and marine waters. He was also responsible for the line management of the field forces for pollution prevention, hydrometry, and hydrogeology throughout the North West. In 1989 he was responsible for the split of these resources between the NRA and North West Water Group Plc.

In the private sector he was promoted to the board of North West Water Ltd (owned by United Utilities) and in that capacity helped to form the HWT. He became a founder Trustee. He served on many national committees, has given evidence to parliamentary committees, served on REPAC, and was a member of Council of the Mersey Basin Campaign until it was wound down in 2010. He retired from United Utilities in 1997.

He considers the return of salmon to the Mersey as the fulfilment of what was a seemingly impossible dream.

Clive Gaskell - Trustee

Clive Gaskell is retired from his former existence as Regional Water Manager for the Environment Agency. He is (still) a member of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, has an Honours Degree in Zoology and a Diploma in Management Studies. Apart from that he likes fishing and travelling. He is one of the founding Trustees of the Mersey Rivers Trust.

David Crawshaw - Trustee

David Crashaw has 40 years of experience as an environmentalist. He was United Utilities’ first Environment Manager and was a keen supporter of the Mersey Basin Campaign, with which he was closely associated from its inception in 1985 through to its conclusion in 2010. For 5 years of that time he was on the Board of the Mersey Basin Business Foundation.   He has been a Trustee of the Healthy Rivers Trust for approximately 10 years, the last four of which have been as an independent member.

For the last five years of his career with United Utilities he was Head of Environment and Community. In this latter role he was responsible for land management on the 57,000 ha of land owned by the company for water gathering.

In 2005 he was nominated as North West Environmental Champion in the North West Business Environment awards, and later in the same year he was awarded an MBE for services to the water industry.

Since leaving UU in 2008, he has worked part time with Lancashire Wildlife Trust, initially leading a successful campaign against peat extraction on Chat Moss near Manchester. Currently he is co-ordinating the Great Manchester Wetlands Partnership – a locally designated Nature Improvement Area.

Chris Findley - Trustee

Chris Findley is Assistant Director of Planning at Salford City Council and Planning lead within the Greater Manchester (AGMA/Combined authority) arrangements. He is also a trustee of the Mersey Rivers Trust.

Over the years, because of Salford’s location, he has had to deal with a variety of water based issues – including at Salford Quays, in connection with the Manchester Ship Canal and Bridgewater Canal, and around the River Irwell and the incipient section of restored Manchester Bolton Bury Canal. With other colleagues he is also working through the responsibilities arising from the Flood and Water Management Act for lead local flood authorities in Greater Manchester.

Richard Knight - Trustee

Richard Knight is a chartered town planner with The Peel Group. His role as Senior Development Planning Manager in the company’s Land and Property division involves policy and partnership work across the company’s portfolio. He is also project manager for a number of commercial, housing and leisure sites, including a Garden Village and Marina project on the Bridgewater Canal.

Before joining Peel, Richard worked in planning consultancy in Manchester, at Turley Associates and with GVA and Savills. His consultancy experience included a range of mixed use, regeneration and infrastructure projects including the outline masterplan for Wirral Waters and the Ocean Gateway prospectus. Prior to that, Richard worked in local government development control.

As a planner working in the private sector, Richard has a strong interest in how investment and regeneration can help our waterways. Richard also engages Peel’s various waterway and land interests in the Trust’s activities. 

Phil Clayton - Trustee

MRT Trustee

Nick Carter - Trustee

MRT Trustee

Sarah Jenner - Trustee

MRT Trustee



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