Planning Authority asked to clamp down on illegal hunting structures at Miżieb

Report drawn up by NGO coalition opposed to transfer of land to hunters in Miżieb and Aħrax, flags various illegal structures erected in the woodlands

The Miżieb woodland is situated on a ridge in the outskirts of Mellieħa: NGO coalition has flagged several illegal structures erected by hunters
The Miżieb woodland is situated on a ridge in the outskirts of Mellieħa: NGO coalition has flagged several illegal structures erected by hunters

Illegally built hunting hides continue to dot the Miżieb woodland, 10 years after a detailed report had flagged almost 300 structures built without permit.

The details come from a recent report submitted by Spazji Miftuħa, an NGO coalition campaigning against the land transfer of Miżieb and Aħrax to FKNK, a hunters’ organisation.

The coalition has asked the Planning Authority to say what action it had taken on the cases flagged in the 2010 report drawn up by BirdLife, which found more than 256 illegal structures.

It is also calling on the PA to carry out a survey of Miżieb and take all measures within its power to remove the illegal structures.

The coalition, which is made up of 60 NGOs, said that just five days ago during a one-hour walk confined to the pathways at Miżieb, its members flagged several instances of illegal structures.

Miżieb is dotted with illegal structures
Miżieb is dotted with illegal structures

“There is enough evidence within the short visit that indicates such structures are rampant and possibly still within the numbers indicated in the 2010 Miżieb report,” the coalition said.

The latest report was submitted to PA chairperson Vince Cassar, the authority’s CEO, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia and Prime Minister Robert Abela. The report was also disseminated to the media on Monday.

The coalition argued that the rampant illegalities on the site claimed by the FKNK as a hunting reserve, reinforced the argument that a lobby group should not be rewarded with land management rights.

The FKNK insists that a promise made to it by then prime minister Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici in 1986, entitles it to use Miżieb and Aħrax as hunting reserves.

No formal agreement exists and this was also confirmed by the Lands Authority last month.

The Prime Minister has floated the idea within Cabinet of granting land title to FKNK of the Miżieb and Aħrax woodlands.

Spazji Miftuħa was born as a result of government’s stand with groups insisting the two woodlands should remain accessible to the public at all times and be managed by a government entity.

More in National