Large piles of dirt, rubble and rocks have popped up in a number of areas within the Miżieb nature reserve.
A number of people have raised the alarm, providing photos and videos of the large piles of rubble to Lovin Malta, with some describing it as “dumping”, although it could very well be part of a regeneration project or an installation of some sort.
PN Councillor Ivan Castillo was one of the individuals concerned about the matter, who told the newsroom that “this is getting worse by the day”.
Independent candidate Arnold Cassola also pointed towards what was happening in Miżieb, asking: “what is the dumping for?”
“I understand that this is being done with the aim of erecting traditional rubble walls, and in principle it’s good, however, we’re not seeing anything except waste, and it’s clear that construction material is being used. I was also informed that ERA is aware of this,” Castillo said.
“While I am in favour of conservation, I’m also in favour of seeing this area being managed properly, it can’t remain abandoned as it was before. But for this to happen, the appropriate materials need to be utilised,” he explained.
A look through permits issued by ERA for the location shows that a permit was granted to Lucas Micallef – president of the FKNK, which maintain the area – for ‘Restoration of Natural Area’, but it is yet to be confirmed whether these works fall under this specific permit.
Lovin Malta has gotten in contact with Micallef, though a response is yet to be provided for clarification by time of publishing.
The permit was granted in February of 2021, along with another one for the ‘Hard pruning of 66 protected trees’.
The permit specifies that it is in place “to carry out uprooting of three dead protected trees and hard pruning of protected trees”, and it is valid for one year, expiring on 18th February.
The woodland is currently being managed by Malta’s hunting lobby, the FKNK, after it was signed off by the Lands Authority in October 2020.
Just a few months ago, Lovin Malta also looked into the requirements of the contract signed between the FKNK and the Lands Authority, and also visited the woodland to inspect whether the contract is being fulfilled.
Certain aspects of the contract are being breached, such as the lack of clear signage in the area and general upkeep of the woodland such as ensuring that trash is removed. Apart from that, the joint monitoring board was never set up, as specified in the contract.
What do you make of these piles? Let us know in the comments below