A number of dangerous obstacles, including nails, sharp objects stuck into the ground and scattered rocks, have appeared in the middle of footpaths in Delimara.
One rambler who came across these strange hurdles has now raised the alarm, worried that they were intended to damage or hurt passersby.
“The situation has only gotten worse in Delimara,” Jake* told Lovin Malta. “Whoever is setting them up seems adamant in discouraging people from using this place”.
In images sent to Lovin Malta, large obstacles can be seen blocking paths, including chopped down trees and scatterings of nails or rocks.
And this isn’t the first time that these obstacles appeared, with ditches and walls being built last spring.
While there is no evidence who might be behind these obstacles, Jake believes hunters may be the culprits in an attempt to minimise the public’s access to more hunting grounds.
He recounted an incident when he had removed the nails and stones he had found – only for them to reappear at the beginning of the hunting season.
“And once I was removing the stones from the entrance, and a hunter stopped to check what was going on,” he said.
Lucas Micallef, the public relations officer for FKNK, a hunting lobby, said there was no evidence showing hunters were behind this.
“We are not aware of this,” he said. “How can one point fingers that hunters did this? Would it be possible that farmers built these walls so no off-road vehicles would damage any arable fields? Nevertheless, access by foot is still allowed. Is it possible these lanes are private?”
He noted that any public footpath must remain public according to law, and reiterated FKNK’s support for “the right of access for the public; where it is public (footpaths for example) it must remain public.”
* Names have been changed.