CAMPAIGNERS hoping to save land around Malvern’s youth centre in Albert Road North are hoping to get it declared a village green.

Management of the centre was transferred last year from Worcestershire County Council to Malvern Youth and Community Trust following a closure threat.

The trust was granted a 30-year lease on the building, but not on most of the surrounding land. Now Julian Roskams, of the Malvern Community Collective, which campaigned to save the centre, wants to use the Commons Act 2006 to get the land declared a village green.

And they want people to contact them with memories of using the land. He said: “I was struck during discussions I had with those who used the centre by how often locals had used the land for various activities that had not been formally organised by the centre – because they believed the land was theirs to use as of right.

“Many have told me of having picnics on the land, coming on to it to play games and sports, or using it to walk their dogs for example.” He said that under the Act, if it can be proved that local people have used the land for at least 20 years for lawful sports and pastimes, one can apply to register the land as a green, which will protect it from development.

Anyone who can provide evidence is urged to contact Mr Roskams on jroskams or 01684 575439.

Campaigners are also pursuing the possibility of buying the land, which they will have the option of doing under the Localism Act once the county council announces its plans to sell the land for development.

A county council spokesman said as no formal application has yet been received, there was no comment to make. County councillor Penelope Morgan is hosting a meeting on Wednesday, June 27, at the centre at 7.30pm.