The characteristic avenue trees of Happy Valley are to benefit from planned tree works in the coming months.
The sycamore trees planted by the Victorians that line the popular route from St Ann's Road to Lady Howard DeWalden Drive have been suffering from over-shading as new saplings have grown alongside them.
January and February will see some selective tree felling and extraction of young sycamore trees in Happy Valley to remove this pressure on the avenue trees.
The sycamores to be removed have grown up in the last 25 years on the once open slopes of North Hill. The open habitats of scrub, bracken and acid grassland supporting a wide range of wildlife that have been lost here will be restored following this work.
The archive image below demonstrates how open the habitats once were in Happy Valley and, although we do not intend to remove all of the trees to get back to the 1930's landscape seen here, we do want to ensure that the open habitats aren't lost completely.
Tree felling here is part of an ongoing programme of habitat restoration agreed between Malvern Hills Trust, the Forestry Commission and Natural England, the national conservation body.
Other woodland management work between Happy Valley and North Quarry will be taking place this winter to remove non-native species such as Cherry Laurel and Turkey Oak to make way for native species such as Holly, Yew, Hazel, English and Sessile Oak.
The woodlands around the Malvern Hills are very rich in wildlife including many species of bat and this work will greatly enhance this habitat.