THE canal passing through Ellesmere Port, Chester and Nantwich is in the running to be named the nation’s favourite conservation area.

And people in Ellesmere Port and Chester are being urged to vote.

The Chester Canal runs from Ellesmere Port, through Chester and out to Nantwich. In January this year the whole length was made a Conservation Area. This will help preserve its special features and encourage developers to improve the quality of design of new buildings alongside the canal.

The Chester Civic Trust has decided to nominate it for the Nation’s Favourite Conservation Area award which is organised by their national body Civic Voice.

Out of 249 entries it has already reached a short list of 18. The final decision will be made by a people’s vote.

Christine Russell, Chairman of Chester Civic Trust, said: "The canal is a tremendous asset for local people and visitors. Not only boaters benefit, but also those who walk, jog, cycle, fish and enjoy the wildlife along the towpath.

"I’m sure our Chester Canal deserves to be the “Nation’s Favourite Conservation Area."

People can vote simply by visiting and clicking the link to the vote at the top of the Civic Voice home page. Scroll down to find the picture of the canal boats in Northgate Locks and click on the small heart.

Supporters will need to hurry as voting closes on Tuesday, October 16, at 5pm.

Laura Sandys, vice-president of Civic Voice who had the idea for the campaign, said: "We have over 10,000 conservation areas in England which reflect the rich built heritage of the nation. As well as encouraging people to nominate and vote, we want to raise awareness of the importance of our conservation areas and call on more communities to celebrate, our rich and varied heritage.

£With 249 conservation areas being nominated, it shows that people are proud of where they live. These 18 conservation areas have been selected by Civic Voice to ensure that as wide a range of conservation areas were as shortlisted as possible. What the shortlist shows us is that conservation areas are real places loved by real people."

She added: “The winner will be announced at the Civic Voice conference in October and we will be awarding a trophy and certificate to the winning conservation area.

“I look forward to seeing what is named "England's Favourite Conservation Area".