VISITORS could soon be able to access a whole host of interesting information about points of interest on the Malvern Hills simply by scanning a barcode with their mobile phone.

Businesswoman Emma Philpott has approached the Malvern Hills Conservators about the possibility of installing QR (Quick Response) codes on the hills, initially at 10 points of interest.

QR codes originated in Japan, where they have proved a huge success, and are becoming more and more popular in the UK, appearing everywhere from magazines to pizza menus.

Anyone with a smartphone can download a simple free app that allows them to scan the codes, which then direct them to whatever website is relevant to the subject they are interested in.

With latest figures showing that more than a quarter of adults and 47 per cent of teenagers now own a smartphone, Dr Philpott believes the system could provide a valuable source of information as well as making the hills appealing to a younger generation.

“The codes are small enough to be unobtrusive to the environment, and you can put them anywhere,” she explained. “A simple scan would take you to the website which could have links to absolutely anything you would want, information about the area, its history and so on.

“Another benefit of the system is that as the information is on a website it is really easy to keep it up to date.”

A trial QR code has already been installed at Park Wood and data gathered shows it has already been well-used.

New, dedicated web pages would be produced for each of the codes that is installed.

The Conservators are not being asked for any financial contribution, as Dr Philpott is hoping for a grant from the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and plans to make up the balance with receipts from relevant local advertising.

After receiving a presentation from Dr Philpott at their meeting on Thursday (September 8), the Conservators board deferred the proposal to the next meeting of its land management committee.

But, despite some concerns over signal strength on the hills and the possibility of vandalism, the proposal was well received.

Brian Pilcher said: “I was hugely impressed by Dr Philpott’s enthusiasm and undoubted ability. Surely it is a no-brainer that we take it up.”