They share a love of nature and animals and dream of a sustainable and unpolluted Marbella where the use of bicycles and walking is encouraged. Various groups that work year round on different schemes have come together to develop a new version of the 'Salidas a la Naturaleza' (trips into nature) programme, which Marbella town hall promotes.
The programme is designed with ideas put forward by groups including Mujeres en las Veredas, Produnas, La Marbella Canina, La Vereita, Marbella Activa and Bycivic. It includes a total of nine activities which began in October and run until 17 December.
“The aim of this programme is to make the public feel closer to the natural world around us, to make them understand more about it. We want to keep on developing it,” explains Marbella's councillor for Environment, Manuel Cardeña. He stresses the importance of the “participation” of all of the groups who are supporting the scheduled hikes, and he is enthusiastic about the fact that “in this new series, the initiative is integrated into the Diputación Provincial trails programme”.
The nature of Marbella is not the only setting for the tours. The programme includes other locations which can equally be discovered by those who take part. This year, the activities included a celebration of the Día del Tostón (chestnut roasting day) on All Saints' Day in a Marbella park.
Last weekend, in partnershipwith Produnas, there was an excursion to clean up the protected sand dune area of Las Dunas de Artola, near Marbella. Susana Stamm, secretary for Produnas emphasised the importance of “making an effort once a year to maintain this natural treasure, which is what our group, with the help of [local and regional] government , do throughout the year”.
Sergio Maya, from Marbella Canina, looks forward to the walk organised for the 17 December to the old Buenavista mine, which will give Marbella residents the chance to get to know a part of the town's history. In addition, all walkers are encouraged to bring their dogs. Group organisers remind people that they must “follow the rules” and, of course, that they pick up their dog waste.
The trail on 3 December on the Roman road from Benaocaz to Ubrique is open for walkers and cyclists, plus their pets and children. La Vereita and Marbella Bycivichave partnered to design the route planned for 19 November to the green route of the Sierra de Olvera and Puerto Serrano.
“The more activities created to promote the use of bikes, the better, whether for getting to know Marbella, or to get to other places,” stresses one organiser.