I often navigate by pubs and castles. In days gone by, people in Worcestershire often navigated by houses and trees. In fact, trees were favourite meeting places for centuries. Would you like to meet me under the greatest Cedar of Lebanon in the UK? Do you know where it is? How about the internationally renowned specimen of Davidia involucrata, otherwise known as the dove-tree or handkerchief tree, two of which can be found in Malvern, or perhaps you would prefer to meet at the Bhutan Pine.
The project Malvern’s Marvellous Trees is in three parts. Firstly, we have set out to start to map the trees species within the urban area of Malvern, starting off with the Route to the Hills. Four beautifully illustrated (Jan Sedlacek) and well researched guides (Mike and Julia Goodfellow-Smith) to these trees have been produced to introduce them to the people of Malvern and visitors. These guides provide details of the trees, their uses, cultural significance and what was going on around them at critical times. Where did they come from, who brought them here and why? The guides are on sale in the Tourist Information Centre, the Cooperative Bookshop and the Priory Bookshop, as well as Barnards Green Post Office, the Wyche Café and the Fold for £3 each.
The second part of the project is to review the health of the remaining trees. They are under constant attack from disease, structural weakness, housing development and increasingly climatic issues. And thirdly, once we know what we have and their health we can start to plan a strategy for maintenance, replacement planting and new planting.
It’s important – we have an incredible legacy in Malvern, our marvellous trees constitute the best urban arboretum (a town full of trees) in the country. But as they are susceptible and as so many were planted within 20 years of each other, we could soon be faced with a very different townscape, one devoid of trees.
Anyone that would like to give details of marvellous trees on their property, or would like to assist in mapping trees across our town, please contact Mike Goodfellow-Smith on 07966 283280, firstname.lastname@example.org.