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4th Jul, 2022

Damage to the hills by metal detectors slammed by Conservators

Malvern Editorial 4th Sep, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

RECKLESS damage has been caused to nationally significant land on the Malvern Hills by suspected metal detectors.

In recent weeks about 50 holes have been dug along the ridge line of the central hills between Perseverance Hill and Black Hill.

The damage has been done to nationally important acid grassland and is very close to protected archaeology beneath the ground.

More holes have also been discovered on Link Common.

The Malvern Hills Conservators which manage the land, confirmed the damage was reported to them at the end of last week.

The organisation stated the incidents were ‘very serious’ and broke their Bylaws to remove or displace turf or soil as well as to use metal detectors without gaining prior permission.

Additionally it is an offence to damage or destroy The Shire Ditch, which runs almost the entire length of the hills and is a Scheduled Monument giving it national protection.

Anyone who wants to metal detect on such land needs to get permission from English Heritage and anyone found guilty of failing to do that would be fined and possibly jailed.

It appears turf has been removed around the holes using a spade first and in some spots where it has been replaced there is no guarantee that uprooted plants will survive and grow back.

Beck Baker, deputy conservation officer at the Conservators, said: “The hills and commons of Malvern are so important for a wide range of reasons and this reckless destruction of the habitats and archaeology of the hills is very serious.

“We are asking if anyone sees any individual digging or metal-detecting, or has seen more evidence of man-made disturbance to please contact the Malvern Hills Conservators.”

Anyone with information can call the organisation on 01684 892002.

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