Nerja botanical gardens open to public despite no official agreement over management

Fiscal with Nerja Cave foundation and town hall representatives.
Fiscal with Nerja Cave foundation and town hall representatives. / E. C.
  • The project, which started in 2011, was completed in July 2014 and houses hundreds of species of native and endangered flora

Nerja’s botanical garden opened recently, three years after work was completed on the site next to the Nerja cave.

Disagreements between the Junta de Andalucía and the Nerja cave foundation over the management of the gardens led to the 36-month delay, with neither body agreeing to take on full responsibility for the 26,000-sqaure-metre facility.

Even during the opening event, which was attended by representatives from the foundation, Nerja town hall and Junta de Andalucía, it was apparent that an official agreement is still not in place. Mayor of Nerja, Rosa Arrabal, and Junta de Andalucía environment delegate, José Fiscal, both said that the two parties were yet to sign anything formal which would lead to joint management of the gardens.

Work started to Nerja’s botanical garden in 2011 and was completed in July 2014 thanks to three million euros of European funds. The gardens, which form part of twelve botanical sites in Andalucía, are home to a large collection of endemic species and other plants including bulbs and orchids.

Native and endangered flora from the mountain regions of the Sierra Nevada, Montes de Málaga and Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama as well as plants found along the Malaga to Motril coastline form part of the collection. Fiscal spoke of the “importance of biodiversity” and “vulnerable flora”in the wake of the recent Doñana fires, which destroyed large areas of natural parkland recently.

The delegate also responded to a question about water levels in the Axarquía, saying that a meeting was due to take place and that there are plans to connect pools in the Chíllar river to La Viñuela reservoir, in order to relieve the threat of drought.