TRIBUTES have been paid to a community stalwart who has died aged 86.

Ray Roberts was an active member of the Malvern community in which he lived.

Mr Roberts has served as chairman of the Malvern Hills Conservators (now the Malvern Hills Trust), been an organiser of the Malvern Walking Festival and actively involved in the Malvern Spa Association.

A spokesperson for the Malvern Hills Trust said: “We’re saddened to hear of the passing of Ray Roberts.

“Ray had been involved with the trust for a number of years, starting out as a voluntary warden before joining the Malvern Hills Trust board in 2000.

“His dedication and passion for the hills led him to become chairman of the board from 2007 to 2009.

“Following his departure he remained in close contact through his involvement with the Malvern Spa Association.

“His kindness and care for the wonderful Malvern Hills will be missed.”

Bob Baldwin, chairman of Malvern Walking Festival, said: “I recall Ray’s achievements in building up the festival from small beginnings to one of the premier walking festivals in the country.

“I’m grateful to him for supporting my ideas.”

Mayor of Malvern Neil Morton said: "I was very sorry to hear of Ray's passing last week.

"He was one of Malvern's gentlemen; always smartly dressed and always polite.

"Ray worked very hard with his involvement in the associations he was involved with on behalf of the town and he helped out with Remembrance Sunday each year.

"He will be greatly missed."

Mr Roberts died on Tuesday, January 7.

A funeral service is to take place at Worcester Crematorium on Tuesday, January 28 at 1.45 p.m.

Flowers or donations, if desired, for The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal may be sent to FW Spilsbury, Funeral Director, 12 Upper Howsell Road, Malvern or donations may be left in the donation box at the crematorium.