Three more places in Malaga province are to be designated as ‘natural monuments’: the gorge in Ronda, Monte Jabalcuza in Alhaurín de la Torre and the Hundidero cave in Montejaque will now be afforded the special protection which accompanies this important classification.
The Junta de Andalucía’s Ministry of the Environment and Land Regulation has begun the official process, and the document in question can be viewed on the ministry’s web page until 11 August. This is a transparency measure, in case anyone wishes to lodge a formal complaint against the classification.
Other enclaves in Andalucía are also to be designated ‘natural monuments: the Peñón de Bernal (Vícar, Dalias and El Ejido), Encina de la Peana (Serón), Encina Marchal del Abogado (Serón) and Canales (Padules), in Almería province; the fossilised bones of Medusa (Constantina), in Seville; the source of the Riofrío river (Loja), in Granada; the Tíscar water cave (Quesada), in Jaén; and the oak woods of the Dehesa de San Francisco (Santa Olalla de Cala), in Huelva province.
The inclusion of these places in the Network of Protected Natural Spaces of Andalucía comes as a result of applications from local councils, owners, associations and interested social sectors, and is decided by the regional government.
The term ‘natural monument’ applies to protected natural areas with ecological features, or those of remarkable beauty, such as caves, rocks, ancient trees, islets, woodlands, geological formations etc.
The gorge in Ronda
The Ronda gorge has been accepted because it is an extraordinary geological feature formed by erosion from the Guadalevín river. From an environmental and biological point of view, it is home to communities of birds who nest in its steep rocky walls, especially a large colony of lesser kestrels. Crossed by three bridges, it also has undeniable historic, geographic and cultural value.