CONFUSION has arisen as to why a hillside in Malvern has been churned up by heavy machinery.

Walkers have raised concerns after a section of hillside adjacent to Gardiner’s Quarry (pictured) has been cut up by heavy machinery, reportedly being used on the hills for tree removal work.

The Malvern Hills Trust removed trees from the hill last winter, so the ongoing work is being done to finish what was started.

District councillor Paul Bennett looked into the work, and questioned what was being done.

He said: "Most of these trees could have been left well alone. trying to bring back lizards or insects on land walked and cycled upon by mega numbers of tourists, locals, cows, sheep and dogs seems impractical at best.

"Even worse, they have sent a full-sized bulldozer on to the land and destroyed everything again.”

In response, Malvern Hills Trust conservation manager Jonathan Bills said sycamore and birch trees had been removed last winter as part of the Trust's ongoing conservation works.

Because of the coronavirus lockdown, they have been unable to get to the site to remove the tree stumps, which is why the work is being carried out now.

He said: "To be able to manage the patch in the future, it is necessary to remove tree stumps, this task has been delayed until now due to Covid19.

"Whilst part of the hillside looks bare at present, natural regeneration coupled with seeding and planting will see the site return to native grasses, herbs and scrub supporting Malvern wildlife and landscape character.

"Some of this work will be delivered by volunteers - if anyone is interested in joining our volunteers please get in touch"