The Majjistral Nature and History Park, Malta
The Majjistral Nature and History Park is the only area of protected natural land in Malta. It is situated along the Northwest coast of Malta and stretches from Golden bay to Anchor Bay. Other than a few small farmer’s structures and some remains thought to date back to the Bronze Age, the Park encompasses a sandy beach, dunes, clay slopes, boulder screes and wild clifftop and maritime garigue. It has a rich ecological and rural heritage, home to many indigenous species of wildlife and rare flora and fauna.
The whole area was declared a National Park in 2007 after plans for a golf course were defeated by public outcry. The land was turned over to the governance of three NGO’s; Din l-Art Helwa, Nature Trust Malta and the Gaia Foundation. Much work has been done in the clearance of rubbish and planting of thousands of indigenous shrubs and trees..
The Visitor’s Centre is a beautifully renovated building in the old British barracks situated between Golden Bay and Manikata. It is packed with leaflets, displays, maps and information about the local environment. Guided Nature Walks are run every Sunday from October to May, but the Park is otherwise open to the public, free of charge. Email firstname.lastname@example.org , call 21521291 or visit their website http://mt.majjistral.org/home
The barracks date back to the early 20th century and became Government property about 40 years ago. They have been allowed to fall into dereliction, but one of the ambitious plans that the Majjistral Park would like to oversee is the rehabilitation of these fine examples of British military architecture. The officer’s quarters are earmarked for short lets, the barracks themselves for nature labs for research and education, a cafeteria and activity centres. Support is needed to begin this process, as any funding needs to be met by 20% of the requested amount. This is an investment in a unique swathe of public land and heritage, to be enjoyed for generations to come.