Carole Mills
Carole Mills

A group working to restore the Lichfield Canal has appointed a new chair.

Carole Mills has taken on the role with the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust following Christine Bull’s decision to step down after five years in the post.

She joined the trust during lockdown and soon became a part of the green and grounds team before joining the board as an advisor and being co-opted as a trustee.

Carole, who has previously worked as a local authority CEO and finance director as well as in the NHS and financial services sector, said:

“I am excited by this new role and look forward to working with all those who do so very much for the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust.

“Our supportive members, brilliant volunteers and hardworking trustees are doing all they can to restore, reconstruct and reconnect the canals to the national network. 

“We are so grateful to them and members of the public who are so generous with their time and resources and without whom we would not have made such good progress nor be able to achieve our future plans.

“I’d particularly like to thank Chris, who has dedicated so much of her time to the trust. Under her leadership we have made huge progress with the restoration – she will be a very hard act to follow.

“I’m also immensely grateful for the thorough handover and excellent support she’s provided to me as I’ve been preparing to become chair.”

Carole Mills

Christine said:

“I took on the role of chair five years ago on the basis that I would do it for two years and I have enjoyed it, but it has taken its toll on my time and other interests.

“My enthusiasm for the canal meant I was reluctant to simply walk away from the role until I had found someone willing and able to take on co-ordinating what is now a huge project.

“To my delight and relief, Carole is prepared to become chair and I will continue to be the environment trustee and do the things I enjoy most, including being out on site with our green and grounds team and Duke of Edinburgh volunteers.”

Christine Bull

For more details on volunteering with the trust visit

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  1. Let’s hope she can get the muppets who are playing with their diggers in order ? Despite many promises to resolve the mess they created at Canal Cottage months ago nothing has been done ? Why on earth can they not simply finish 1 section before destroying another is beyond me ?
    No planning whatsoever or respect for the people affected by their actions.

  2. @Mr Mr : totally agree along Falkland Road they have dug the grass up and then just left it. Nobody has been working there for months it looks a right mess. I have no problem with the team building the canal but why can’t they finish one section at a time.

  3. Agree it would be great to get a section finished as a priority. This would really help start to build more momentum behind the project as people would see how much beauty and joy a well maintained canal can bring. Good luck Carole!

  4. To Mr Mr.
    I’m not sure which Canal Cottage you are referring to, but I’m guessing it’s the one by Lock 18, where the next stage is to build a culvert under the road and continue the canal over to the other side of the road. We always speak to residents of affected neighbouring properties to make sure they are aware of what we are doing and to make sure that we cause as little inconvenience as possible.

  5. To belleview
    Sorry you feel that way about Falkland Road. We are waiting for the land to be transferred to us by Staffordshire County Council and a condition of the transfer was that we should make sure the site was secure to prevent any unauthorised vehicular access on it. To do that we built the environmental bund with hedging, wildflowers and trees to secure the site but also to increase the biodiversity and allow the hedging to start to grow. The next step is for the transfer of land to happen and for us to get planning permission so that we can continue. We’re as eager as anyone to be able to continue work there.

  6. Hi Stevo
    We would also like to complete one section at at time but alas there are sometimes constraints that prevent this from happening. Our work is, in the main funded by donations, membership subscriptions and fundraising but we also apply for grants whenever we can. Each funding bid will be for a specific reason and outcome. So, it follows that we work where we have succeeded in getting access and funding. In all cases of funding bids, we submit the bid and wait several months to hear whether we are successful or not. When we are successful, there is always a time limit within which the funds must be spent. This can result in looking like our work is “piecemeal and unplanned”, but it is far from it. Each section of canal being restored is also constrained by the construction sequence within each section. We are keen to use recycled materials where possible for environmental reasons, on heritage grounds and on cost grounds. The various sections available to be worked on are therefore often linked by the availability of materials from other sections being restored, but our priority is always to open new and maintain existing sections of the Heritage Towpath Trail and Nature Trails for the community to use, observe the progress of the ongoing restoration works and enjoy the emerging canalscape. We admit that some of our past work could have been left in a better condition and to this end we now always plant trees, hedging, wildflowers and grass seed to make all sites look better and also improve the biodiversity of the area as we go.

  7. Please keep up the brilliant work you are doing and don’t be deterred by the few negative comments. You’re recreating a great recreational facility and wildlife environment and I admire your vision and efforts.

  8. I’m referring to Canal Cottage in the Fosseway…
    “ I’m not sure which Canal Cottage you are referring to, but I’m guessing it’s the one by Lock 18, where the next stage is to build a culvert under the road and continue the canal over to the other side of the road. We always speak to residents of affected neighbouring properties to make sure they are aware of what we are doing and to make sure that we cause as little inconvenience as possible.”
    You don’t own the land on the other side of the road?….but your not answering the question about putting right the harm and destruction by the cottage ? You couldn’t care less about what affect your so called work has on the residents.

  9. DH you obviously don’t have any idea what your talking about ? Let’s hope someone comes along and destroys your way of life with a digger and see how you like it !!!

  10. Mr Mr, the contrast between your spelling mistake-strewn and abusive comments and the civilized, easily-understood reply from LHCRT speaks volumes.

    Maybe go and speak to them face to face next time you see them working hard. They’re clearly reasonable and intelligent people. You never know, you might learn something.

  11. @ Mr Mr, are you speaking from personal experiance or asking for a friend, can you be more explicet and explain in more detail how it is destroying yours or friends life, has it had an impact on the cottage itself or is it the surrounding ground, lets have more detail to your very strong comments, just asking as I do not know the area

  12. Watta Kerr-Mudgeon Go jump in the canal….ohhh wait there no water in it !!!.
    We have spoken to them and they promised they would resolve the issues but they couldn’t give a damn about anyone but themselves. My spelling is no concern of yours.

  13. Mr Mr, feel free to carry on with the rudeness and spelling mistakes. You’ve not revealed how your “way of life” has been “destroyed by a digger” yet though. Please do share.

  14. Literate Lichfeldian I don’t answer to your type, you can try the canal jumping as well. Only rudeness here is the canal muppets are their approach to the project which is going nowhere !!!

  15. The project that has:

    Re built Cappers Lane bridge and has the channel to Darnford Lane.
    Darnford Park cutting works.
    Tamworth Road restoration part in water and restoration progressing to London Road.
    Tamworth Road to London Road channel alongside new housing and bypass.
    Culvert under Birmingham Road.
    Work to start on Birmingham Road along Falkland Road.
    Falkland Road to Fosseway restoration under way.
    Boat Inn to M6 toll partly restored.
    New aqueduct over the M6 toll.

    Hardly going nowhere. It is about joining the dots when possible by getting the funding for the road crossings. Then Lichfield will have a canal round the Southern side again which will be a brilliant nature and leisure asset for visitors and residents.

    Keep up the good work all involved.

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