Key points about this information item Foresta 2000 open nature reserve, Marfa Ridge, Mellieha, MaltaInformation Description:
Foresta 2000 open nature reserve, Marfa Ridge, Malta
Foresta 2000 is BirdLife Malta’s project for the millennium and the idea is to recover an area and plant a Mediterranean forest. The forest would then become an attraction for both Maltese and tourists alike to enjoy a little Maltese nature.
The West slope of Marfa ridge was identified as being most suitable and covers an area of around 104 hectares, most of which lies within the boundary of the Ghadira Nature Reserve. Around 7000 years ago, before the Islands were inhabited, much of the land was covered in woodland and part of the idea behind Foresta 2000 is to take an area of the Malta back to the way it was.
Thousands of trees have been planted since the original work to repair damage t the site from illegal dumping, off-roading and hunting, and much progress has been made. Paths have been marked out around the site for visitors to follow and the planting continues each Autumn and Winter.
Drystone walls have been repaired or erected to help prevent soil erosion and a small information centre has been erected at St Agatha Tower – The Red Tower.
The Nature Reserve is open at all times and is free to enter. It is asked that visitors adhere to a few simple countryside rules while visiting;
- Keep to the marked paths to minimise trampling
- Please take all your litter with you, there are no bins provided
- No barbecues or fires are allowed
- Please do not pick any plants or flowers
- Hunting is not allowed on the site
Stopping for a picnic is more than welcome, but camping is not allowed.
There are two paths through the reserve;
Short trail – 800 metres
This path leads from the south gate uphill to St Agatha Tower on Marfa Ridge
Long trail – 2500 metres
This trail takes you west through the reserve, almost to the cliffs and back again.
There are small parking areas at the south and middle gates, plus public toilet facilities are available across the road from the south gate.
For more information on Nature reserves and conservation in Malta, take a look at the BirdLife Malta information page.
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