A BLACK pear tree from Worcestershire will soon be winging its way to Marianske Lazne, Malvern's twin town in the Czech Republic.

Called the Friendship Tree, this piece of Worcestershire horticultural history will be planted in Skalnik Park in the centre of the town to mark Malvern's recognition of 2018 as an important anniversary for the Czech Republic and Marianske Lazne in particular.

This year marks the town's 200 years as a leading world spa. It will also be 100 years since the founding of Czechoslovakia at the end of World War I, and 50 years since the Prague Spring and Soviet invasion of that country.

The tree will be planted shortly, in readiness for the unveiling by Malvern mayor Cynthia Palmer and Cllr Ian Hopwood during the opening of the spa season in Marianske Lazne in May.

Cllr Hopwood, chairman of the Malvern Community Partnership, said: "Although Malvern came late to the idea of twinning, the partnership has made up a considerable amount of ground.

"With high-level links to the Czech Embassy in London and the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, the partnership is working on commercial projects in addition to cultural and educational events.

"It has been a very productive and interesting time and I am honoured to have been involved."