WALKERS on the Malvern Hills are set to be greeted by a new friendly face as another warden has been taken on.

Forty-one-year-old Richard Vale joined the Malvern Hills Conservators - which manages the slopes - earlier this month and will be responsible for looking after the commons and Western hills.

He will liaise with residents and visitors to the hills and be involved with running conservation days on the hills as well as managing car parks and promoting the Conservators' work.

He was previously self-employed for about 18 months, undertaking forestry work such as tree-planting. Prior to that he was working for Wincanton Logistics in Gloucester.

Mr Vale, of Lower Wilton Road in Barnard's Green, Malvern, has taken over the post from Matt Gardner, who has moved onto the Conservators' field staff team.

And the keen walker, fisherman and photographer - who will be working alongside Nicky Quinn covering the eastern hills - said he has already got well into the role.

"It's great - I've only been doing it for a short time but my first week was good," said Mr Vale.

"I've previously worked for big organisations and this is working with a small team who all seem really friendly.

"It's also fantastic working in a picturesque setting and I've been lucky so far in that the weather has been superb, if a little cold," he said.