Work begins to create Route to the Hills

Work has begun on the creation of a special heritage trail to showcase Malvern’s history and encourage visitors to explore more of what the town has to offer - made possible thanks to National Lottery players.

A sod cutting ceremony was held on Wednesday (7 September) to mark the start of work on the Great Malvern: Route to the Hills.

Over several months a series of specially designed features will be installed to create a trail running from Great Malvern Railway Station, through the town and on to the hills. This will include gateway and welcome signs, map and information panels, wall and floor plaques.

Some creative pieces have also been commissioned from leading outdoor setting designers Outside Studios, which has its work in high profile sites such as Kew Gardens in London and the Thinktank in Birmingham.

Each part of the route will highlight a specific part of Malvern’s heritage including the importance of spring water in shooting the town to fame in Victorian times and the influence the hills has had on writers such as Chronicles of Narnia author CS Lewis.

The project is being mainly funded by a £482,800 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and is overseen by ten key organisations, led by Malvern Hills District Council.

The project also includes a three year scheme to educate and engage people in Malvern’s history. That has already begun with the hosting of the popular Science comes to Malvern exhibition along Church Walk and a series of free family activities held over the summer. A number of volunteers have also been recruited to help with research, photography and promotion related to the project.

Cllr David Watkins, Chairman of the Great Malvern: Route to the Hills Partnership Board, said: “The Route to the Hills will offer a new way to explore Great Malvern. The area has an exceptional range and quality of stories to tell and this scheme, will for the first time ensure this stunning heritage, in all its breadth and depth, is enjoyed by all.”

Cllr Cynthia Palmer, Mayor of Malvern, said: “I’m delighted to see work starting on the installation of the Route to the Hills. This will allow both visitors and residents to experience all Great Malvern has to offer while learning more about the area’s fascinating heritage.”