I AM an avid walker.
I have trekked all over the world, climbing hills and mountains, strolling through forests and exploring wild places.
These experiences have given me a burning passion for the countryside.
Being in the great outdoors is good for the soul. It provides time for wilderness and solitude, for self-reflection and quiet, for nature and escapism.
I find a real physical and spiritual satisfaction from my exploits in the outdoors and I always feel privileged to have experienced this “better world”, as the great fell walker Alfred Wainwright put it.
But getting to the remote and wild parts of the UK such as Snowdonia or the Lake District can be tricky. Time and money do not always permit such a lengthy expedition.
Cue the Malvern Hills coming to my rescue, offering an easy-to-reach haven where I can get my fix of outdoor adventure and stress-busting escapism locally.
I love the Malvern Hills.
They are my “go to” place for fresh air, great views and getting away from it all.
Every time I head for a trek up Worcestershire Beacon or a run around British Camp I feel alive, refreshed and ready to take on everyday life again.
It is like having a mountain range in miniature on our doorstep and this is something we should treasure and protect.
That is why I am wholeheartedly opposed to a project that hopes to build a cable car system on the hills.
When I last headed to the area in a post-work romp up North Hill, I didn’t see a soul. The paths were deserted, the air was crisp and the sun was setting on the horizon. It was a memorable moment on a glorious winter’s evening.
I fear all of this would be lost if the cable car plan was implemented.
The innate beauty of the area would be compromised, the peace would be broken and experiences like mine last week would become a thing of the past.
Noise, crowds, litter and a blot on the landscape are all the scheme would bring.
In the last few months I have been in remote and wild places ruined by development – the north-western slopes of Veleta, Spain’s third highest mountain, scarred by a tarmac road and garish ski resort, and Pen Y Garn in the Cambrian Mountains which is spoilt by a wind farm.
Let’s not allow this to happen in Malvern.