MORE than 3,000 people have signed up to a Facebook group calling for Malvern Hills Conservators to halt plans for St Ann's Well.

The plans, revealed in the Gazette last week, will mean that John Redman, the cafe's tenant for nearly two decades, will have to leave when his lease comes up in six months' time.

On Saturday, Martin Taylor, a long-time friend of Mr Redman, started the Facebook group, called Save St Ann's Well.

And the group has grown rapidly since, with almost 1,000 new members joining on Monday alone. One Malvern-born member has joined from as far away as Canada.

He said: "It doesn't seem quite right to be putting John and his employees out on the streets in difficult times like this.

"The success of the site has been remarkable. There are a lot of people out there who like John and think he does a good job."

Yesterday Mr Redman said: "It's very very humbling that so many people are saying nice things about me. I'm more than delighted."

He said he could not comment further because he is taking legal advice.

A statement released by the Conservators this week says: "There have been reports over recent years that the café and the toilets are not open when required. With increased leisure time, the number of people visiting the Hills all the year round, and particularly the large sponsored walks that have become a popular feature, need to be catered for."

Chairman of the board Ray Roberts said: “We have had an enthusiastic response from national funders for this project and are talking to art and design students to see if we can incorporate energy-efficient ideas. We would like to hear from the public with their ideas for its use – please watch our website”

* See this week's Malvern Gazette for readers' letters about St Ann's Well