Environmentalists have been left outraged after a number of new spray-painted notices appeared on the rocks and land in Blata tal-Melħ, limits of Rabat.
The notices feature phrases such as “private property”, “private footpath” and “no trespassing”, and can be seen in black paint on several surfaces.
A group of people took to social media to explain how they saw a man spraying the notices this morning as they were in the area.
Shortly afterwards, former AD leader Arnold Cassola called out the acts, saying the area was now “ruined”.
Many environmentalists have been left recoiling after a recent debacle at Fomm ir-Riħ that saw MDA head Sandro Chetcuti close access to the public before it was revealed that he owned the land.
And just last year, a Frenchman was charged after he similarly spray painted onto Maltese land without permission.
Many called on authorities to take action against whoever was behind the act in Blata tal-Melħ.
However, one man with knowledge of the area took to social media to give another side to the story.
“Just because landowners created a footpath in their land does not make it public domain – you can walk along the coast up to ten feet, that is the only public domain there,” he said.
“That land there is private. Every inch of it,” he continued. “Unfortunately, during lockdown we ended up with scores of hikers and cyclists with no respect for private property, let alone public property. If people continue to expect to enter private property, which is a criminal act, we will have to involve police. The fine for trespassing is €2,000. We bought land there for the peace and quiet and so our dogs can run freely – if we wanted to enjoy loud mouthed, littering vandals I would spend my money at a bar at Sliema ferries,” he said strongly.
Anyone who wants to report similar acts are kindly asked to report to the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) on 22923500 or 9921040 or to Nature Trust Malta (NTM) on [email protected].