Over 200 tons of invasive alien species removed from Majjistral Park

Removal of around 6,800 tons of inert dumped material from il-Prajjet, Għajn Żnuber and ix-Xagħra l-Ħamra

Works are ongoing at Majjistral Park to rehabilitate the natural habitats, restore historic buildings and promote the park itself, environment minister Aaron Farrugia said.  

The Ministry and the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) financed the removal of around 6,800 tons of inert dumped material from il-Prajjet, Għajn Żnuber and ix-Xagħra l-Ħamra. 

Around 200 tons of invasive alien species, including century plants (known as l-agave or is-sabbar tal-Amerka) and blue-leaved wattles (l-akaċja) were also removed. 

Farrugia said the Majjistral Park merits significant protection as it forms part of the Natura 2000 network of sites of ecological importance with high landscape value, serving as an open space with significant recreational and educational value. 

The Il-Majjistral area contains a stretch of 6km of protected coast designated as part of a Natura 2000 site. The protected area is managed by the Heritage Parks Federation consisting of three NGOs involved in coastal management, cultural restoration and environmental protection: namely, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Gaia Foundation, and Nature Trust Malta. 

During a meeting with representatives of these NGOs, the Minister said that Government will be prioritising the conservation and management of biological diversity in areas such as this park, rehabilitating and promoting them. “With the right priorities, proper planning, and investment in the right places, we can create and maintain precious green lungs in our islands, thereby improving the wellbeing of everyone,” he said. 

Further interventions include the planting of indigenous trees and shrubs: restoration of the lookout post, publication of books, and events for the public including guided tours, information sessions and an open weekend. 

The ministry provides a financial contribution of €70,000 per annum for the day-to-day management of the Park, complemented by a €300,000 project aimed at implementing the Natura 2000 management plan for the site. The Park managed to regenerate the sand dunes at Ir-Ramla tal-Mixquqa, control vehicular access, install educational signage, organise educational activities, plant indigenous species (6,000) and restore the Għajn Żnuber tower and WWII beach post.