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Caring for the Malvern Hills

The Malvern Hills Trust is celebrating its 140th anniversary. During March, an exhibition of old photographs of the Hills took place along Church Walk near Waitrose. It featured some of the work, achievements, and history of the people who have worked for so long to protect our local landscape. They have just appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, and here they tell us more. 

The Malvern Hills Trust is pleased to welcome our new CEO, Deborah Fox, to lead the Trust through the next phase in our history.  Deborah joins us from a senior position in Surrey County Council, but is no newcomer to the Malvern Hills - she has visited regularly over the last 15 years and lived in West Malvern whilst working for the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Deborah joins the Trust at a crucial point in our journey towards modernising our organisation.  We were first formed by Act of Parliament in 1884 to protect the Malvern Hills and Commons. 140 years, and four Acts later, the Malvern Hills Trust is still working to conserve and care for this much-loved landscape for people and wildlife.

Looking towards the next 140 years, it is clear our Victorian foundations are unfit for the modern world.  So, the Trust is putting forward proposals for a new Act of Parliament to bring the charity into the 21st century and ensure it can continue its vital work.  

Our proposals are the culmination of 10 years consideration, including a public consultation in 2019, and will also address the electoral boundary changes of 2023. The charitable objects, duties and responsibilities of the Trust will remain, but the new Act will update our governance to enable the charity to operate in the modern world.  Levy payers will still be able to elect Trustees to the Board and the overall levy-paying area will not change.

Sadly, the costs of managing the hills and commons are rising due to increasing recreation, the costs of ash dieback and the impacts of climate change, especially heavy rainfall.  We recognise that levy payers are under pressure from cost of living increases, and aim to keep the levy at a reasonable level, but given the rising costs of caring for the hills, we have asked for a 5% increase this April.  We will fund additional works this year from our financial reserves.

We will be holding a full public consultation over the new Act in the summer.  We hope that as many of you as possible will consider how this will benefit you, and the hills and commons, and confirm your support for this modernisation.

For an introduction to the governance changes, visit and further updates on how you may contribute to the future of the Malvern Hills and Commons.