THE annual planning for this year’s festival to celebrate Malvern’s water is in full swing.

About 50 wells, springs and spouts will be dressed on May 3rd for the nine-day Malvern Water and Well Dressing Festival.

The dressers have just voted in the theme of Trees for the event - whittled down from 37 suggestions.

Dressers are invited to suggest themes each year and, in the past, they have chosen Literature, Kings and Queens, Planets and Stars, Flight and River of Life.

Dressers include schools, guides, early years centres, families, Malvern Youth Club, Malvern Theatre and more.

The wells can be found all over Malvern.

The most well-known ones are Malvhina and St Anne’s Well in Great Malvern and Hayslad and Evendine in West Malvern. A map will be available at the Tourist Information Centre nearer the time. 

On Bank holiday Monday (May 6), there will be a family Water and Well dressing fun day in Priory Park with live music, food, stalls and children’s activities from 12pm to 5pm.

Sue Dakin, one of the event organisers, said: “Certificates for the well-dressers will be presented at 2pm. We hope to see many of you there. 

“We celebrate and bless the natural water we all enjoy in our lovely town which history shows has been important as a natural healing water source for hundreds of years.

“There was no particular reason for the theme of Trees this year, it’s just what the majority liked.

“However, when we think about the theme, we emphasise that it needs to be broad and can be interpreted in any way you wish. I am always amazed at the way in which groups do this.”

The annual event, which celebrates the history of the Malvern Hills, from its iconic spring water and Victorian Water Cure to the area’s ancient Pagan traditions, is expected to be bigger and better than ever this year.

Last year more than 800 people took part in dressing the wells.

She said: “Over the nine days there will be several blessings and ceremonies and all are welcome to be part of those. 

“Watch this space for more information as we continue planning.”

Sue, helps to dress Hayslad well with friends, and, as a youth worker at The Cube, dresses that one with the young people too.

The whole thing is based in Malvern and is organised by Malvern Hills District Council Tourism Officer, Malvern Spa Association and the Well dressing committee.