Sunday, 29 October 2023, 09:05
One of the most ambitious forestry plans in recent memory in Malaga province is soon to get under way with an investment of almost six million euros. It will see more than 15,000 trees planted, across 11 municipalities, and the removal of 111,000 square metres of invasive canes and eucalyptus trees. Once a tender is agreed the works have a two-year deadline.
There are 37 bidders for the two lots that the contract has been divided into. The first of these consists of the hydrological-forestry restoration in the Vélez, Algarrobo, Chíllar and Torrox river basins. This has been put out to tender for 3.4 million euros and attracted 16 bidding companies. The second, for the Guadalhorce, Fahala and Pereilas rivers, is budgeted at 2.3 million and has 21 bidders. The awarding of the contract is expected to take place imminently.
The areas to be improved in terms of environmental quality are in Cártama, Pizarra, Álora, Coín, Alhaurín El Grande, Alcaucín, Canillas de Albaida, Canillas de Aceituno, Cómpeta, Frigiliana and Nerja. The works aim to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, reverse the effects of droughts, prevent soil erosion, promote native species, reduce the fire risk, and improve the landscape by clearing rubbish.
One of the first actions will be to repair an area affected by the fire in Canillas de Aceituno in 2012 where an area of 60 hectares will be reforested with pine trees.
A 2014 fire damaged 116-hectare-area in Cómpeta and Canillas de Albaida will also be reforested with pines, holm oaks and carob trees. Road repairs will also be undertaken.
On the Chíllar river, forestry operations are planned in the Dehesa and Monte Pinar areas. There are also plans to open new trails.
In the Barranco de la Coladilla and Fuente del Esparto areas, eucalyptus and canes will be removed and riverside plants will be planted. Between the rivers Vélez, Torrox and Chíllar, an area of 53 hectares is to see planting of poplars, nettle trees and ash trees.
In the area around Alcaucín, the trees will also be cleared and thinned and a heliport area will be created.
Access improvements and road repairs will also take place in Cómpeta and Canillas de Albaida.
The scope of the project affects a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) where it is planned to consolidate the public domain in woodlands and riverbanks affecting an area of about 200 hectares. Native riverside vegetation will be restored to replace the existing exotic species. Firebreaks will also be introduced to increase safety.
Walkways, rest areas and viewpoints will also be created in the areas enjoyment around the Guadalhorce, Pereilas and Fahala rivers. Clearing rubbish and debris from these river courses will take place over 85 kilometres.
As in previous works, work will be carried out to remove 68,500 square metres of canes and 43,000 square metres of eucalyptus trees. This will help prepare the land for the planting of 10,000 plants in the Guadalhorce riverbed and 3,000 in the Pereilas river area (nettle trees, ash, oleanders and poplars).
This major forest restoration project is supported by European Next Generation funds.
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