33 Facts About Malvern Hills


Malvern Hills are in the English counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and a small area of northern Gloucestershire, dominating the surrounding countryside and the towns and villages of the district of Malvern.

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Malvern Hills have been designated as a biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest, and by Natural England as National Character Area 103 and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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Name Malvern Hills is probably derived from the ancient British moel-bryn, meaning "Bare-Hill", the nearest modern equivalent being the Welsh moelfryn.

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Malvern Hills are part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with scenic views over both Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

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Malvern Hills water was bottled commercially on a large scale and sold worldwide.

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Malvern Hills are formed of some of the most ancient rocks in England, mostly igneous and metamorphic rocks from the late Precambrian, known as the Uriconian, which are around 680 million years old.

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The Malvern Line or Malvern Lineament is the name applied to a north–south aligned lineament which runs through the Malvern Hills and extends southwards towards Bristol and northwards past Kidderminster.

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The evidence of the complex history of earth movements which formed the Malvern Hills can be seen by multiple joints, fractures, faults and shears, which make identifying changes in rock types difficult.

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The rocks of the Malvern Hills are amongst the oldest and hardest found in England; the geology is responsible for the quality of Malvern's spring water.

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Rainfall on the Malvern Hills is thought to be sufficient to account for all the water that runs out of the springs, reflected for example in some spring flows six to eight weeks after heavy rainfall, and in reduced flows after a dry period.

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Malvern Hills have been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by the Countryside Agency.

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Features of the Malvern Hills AONB include wide areas of acid grassland and heath on the summit and mixed broadleaved woodland and Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland on the lower hills and valleys.

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In 1884, the Malvern Hills Conservators were established through an Act of Parliament to preserve the natural aspect of the hills and protect them from encroachments.

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The Malvern Hills Conservators lobbied parliament to pass an Act limiting the exploitation, and although a second Act was passed in 1924 its provisions were largely ineffective.

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Certainly the quarrying has changed the Malvern Hills forever, including creating habitats for frogs, toads, newts and other small animals.

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The Malvern Hills Bill was in preparation to modernise some of the clauses in previous acts a clause was inserted to gain authority to rebuild the cafe.

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Five members of the House of Lords Select Committee visited the Malvern Hills and decided that there were enough facilities in the immediate area and that St Ann's Well cafe should be enough provision on the hills, so the application to rebuild was turned down.

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In 2001, the Malvern Hills were officially closed to the public for the first time in history.

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In 2002 the Malvern Hills were named the most popular free tourist attraction in the West Midlands in a survey commissioned by the Countryside Agency to take the temperature of rural tourism in the wake of the crisis.

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In 2006, Worcestershire County Council was awarded £770,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for restoration work and preservation of the area by fitting cattle grids to roads across the Malvern Hills and encouraging local landowners to allow sheep to wander across their land.

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Malvern Hills Trust is the working name for the Malvern Hills Conservators and manages most parts of the Hills and the surrounding Commons, some other parcels of land and many roadside verges.

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Malvern Hills were designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1959.

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The Malvern Hills Conservators played a key role in ensuring that the area of the AONB is larger than that originally proposed.

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Malvern Hills are home to a wide range of outdoor sports and leisure activities, including walking, mountain biking, horse riding, orienteering, hang-gliding, paragliding, model aircraft flying, fishing, climbing and diving.

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The Malvern Hills Geocentre is located halfway along the Geopark Way, at the Wyche.

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Malvern Hills wrote a cantata in 1898 entitled Caractacus, which alludes to the popular legend of his last stand at British Camp.

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Composers Herbert Howells and Ivor Gurney used to take long walks together through the nearby Cotswold Hills and the natural beauty of the area, including the magnificent views of the Malverns, was a profound inspiration for their music.

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Malvern Hills were the inspiration and setting for the famous 14th-century poem The Visions of Piers Plowman by William Langland, who was possibly educated at the priory of Great Malvern.

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Malvern Hills wrote a long poem about the hills and their views, called simply The Malverns.

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Paintings of the Malvern Hills include Henry Harris Lines's The British Camp and Herefordshire Beacon, now in the Worcester City Museums.

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Malvern Hills are the backdrop for Penda's Fen, a 1974 British television play written by David Rudkin and directed by Alan Clarke for the BBC's Play for Today series.

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Famous historic Virginia Landmark, Malvern Hills Hill was a house built in the 17th Century by an English settler, Thomas Cocke, later the site of an American Civil War battle.

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AONB commissioned study to "identify and assess a selection of key views to and from the Malvern Hills" it was carried out in 2009 by Cooper Partnership Ltd, a firm of Chartered Landscape Architects.

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