I love the Malvern Hills and Commons, and know them very well, continually walking the length of them from my home of 35 years in Lower Wyche Road.
My mother was sent from the East End of London to convalesce in Malvern. She later moved here. My sons attended the Chase School and grew up cycling and sledging on the Hills: one is an ecologist, the other a lawyer who now lives in Chase Ward. The Hills and their surrounds are a very important part of who we are, as they are for so many residents in Malvern.
The Malvern Hills Trust is legally required to preserve the natural aspect of the Hills, protect and manage the trees and plants, prevent unlawful building and quarrying, and keep the Hills open for the enjoyment of the public. It is also required to conserve and enhance biodiversity, sites of Special Scientific Interest, and Scheduled Monuments on all the land in its jurisdiction.
These requirements are especially challenging given the climate and ecological crises combined with increasing visitor numbers to the Hills. We live in changing times. Despite, or indeed because of, these challenges, my passion lies in “conserving and enhancing” the unique ecology of the land in the Trust’s care.
As a social worker and then a psychotherapist in both public and private sector organisations, I understand the importance of making collective and balanced decisions, of listening to everyone involved, and of upholding high standards of public service. I bring experience of facilitating groups, ranging from small families to large groups of volunteers. I appreciate that all of us in the Malvern Hills Trust, both staff and trustees, should respect and listen to stakeholders whilst keeping our sights clearly on the Trusts’ aims and (sometimes complex) legal situation.