Notice relating to COVID-19

Issued: 1pm Tuesday 31st March 2020

Please find below further information relating to COVID-19.  This page will be updated as the situation changes.

 

Car park closures

We have made the decision to close our car parks on the Malvern Hills in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

We've made this difficult decision in line with the Government guidance against any unnecessary travel and following consultation with West Mercia Police as the force work to prevent the public congregating at tourist hotspots.

Similar closures have already been put in place by organisations including the National Parks, National Trust and the RSPB as the Government has instructed people to 'Stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives'.

Spokesperson for the Trust said “Please take heed of the closure notices at our car parks and follow the Government’s advice. These measures have been put in place for your safety as well as the safety of our staff, other visitors and the wider community.”

The Trust urges people to follow the Government’s advice to ‘stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.’

Further updates relating to how the COVID-19 virus is affecting the Malvern Hills and Commons can be found here Any announcements relating to the car park closures will be posted on the website.

 

Access to the Hills

Please think of yourself and others when visiting.

During these challenging times, we are urging all visitors to follow Government guidance:

  • Take one form of exercise a day
  • Walk alone or with members of your household
  • Do not congregate at beauty spots
  • Observe social distancing by staying at least 2 metres away from others
  • Do not travel to exercise but take a local walk/run/cycle directly from your own home

Full Government guidance can be found here

The Malvern Hills and Commons will remain open to the public unless Government guidance orders their closure.  The wide, open spaces of the Hills and Commons are an important part of people’s lives and access to nature is essential to keep people physically and mentally well.  We are urging people to take a local walk or cycle from their homes to stay healthy but do not travel.

 

Malvern Hills Trust Office public desk closure

Following yesterday's official Government advice (16th March), we have made the difficult decision to immediately close the front office/reception area to the public until further notice.  The health and safety of our staff and visitors is of great importance and we are taking these measures to protect the wider community.

We do not have a date for reopening and will be following further guidance from the relevant Government and Public Health authorities as the situation develops.

 

Contacting the Trust

You will still be able to report issues on the Hills and Commons by calling 01684 892002 and following the advice on the switchboard message.  Staff will attend as required.  Please always call 999 in an emergency.

Staff can be contacted by email although some staff may be working from home with flexible working times.

 

Residents' and Annual Car Park passes

We are grateful to the numerous people who buy parking passes for our car parks, which supports the conservation of the Hills and commons. Sales of all car park passes have been suspended and to try to assist with stopping the spread of Covid-19, all of the Trust’s car parks were closed on Friday 27th March 2020.  At this stage we don’t not know how long the closure will last.

New residents’ passes for the year ending 31st March 2021 have been on sale since 1st March 2020 and a large number had been sold prior to the closure.  Due to the low price of these passes and the high number issued, we are unable to issue a refund for the period the car parks are shut. However, we are extending the life of all 2020/21 residents’ passes by 2 months to 31st May 2021.

Similarly, any annual passes valid as at 27th March 2020 will be offered a 2-month extension to its current expiry date. 

Please note that these arrangements and extension periods will be reviewed in 1 month’s time in light of any changes or further extensions to the duration of our car park closures.

 

MHT events

Unfortunately, in light of recent events we have made the decision not to launch our events programme for 2020 at this time.  The health of the local community and visitors is important to us and we have taken this decision to protect the wider community.

We do not anticipate that any events will be held until after the 31st May at this time.  Further information will be provided here.

 

Volunteer Conservation Days

Unfortunately, in light of recent events we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Conservation Volunteer programme until further notice.  The health of the local community and visitors is important to us and we have taken this decision to protect the wider community.

Further information will be provided here.

 

Externally organised events

The Malvern Hills and Commons are a popular place for external events to be held, from sponsored walks, to sports club activities. 

At this time, the Hills and Commons remain open to the public and the decision to cancel or postpone individual events is made by the event organiser/leader.  Please contact the event organiser directly for further information.

 

Board and Committee meetings

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all regular Board and Committee meetings are cancelled until further notice.

COVID-19 Contingency Committee

Authority has been delegated by the Board for this committee to take urgent decisions whilst normal meetings of the Board and the Committees have been suspended during the Covid-19 emergency.   It comprises the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board, and the Chairs and Vice Chairs of all the standing Committees (Land Management, Finance, Administration and Resources, Staffing, Governance).

Board member profiles

These meetings will be held by telephone conference in the light of the Government requirement for the public to stay at home, to not travel unnecessary, and to stay 2 metres away from others.

Next meeting date

 

St Ann's Well cafe

Following the Government's order to close cafes in the UK, St Ann's Well Cafe is closed until further notice.  The toilets area also closed for the foreseeable future.

 

END

Updated 1pm 31st March 2020