QUITE understandably, with the long hot summer days, many residents and visitors to Marbella want to take advantage of the local beaches.
Unfortunately, people don’t always take notice of restricted areas and try to take their vehicles as close to the beach as possible – despite potential fines of up to €3,000 – often causing environmental damage to the surrounding dunes which are protected.
The Marbella Council is active in enforcement of the protection of the Dunas de Marbella Ecological Reserve and has now installed two barriers to prevent motor vehicle access to the Royal Saragossa Dune.
The Councillor for Sustainability, Miguel Diaz, explained on behalf of the Marbella Council that this had been a long term problem with numerous cars parking on the dunes in what is a pedestrian area only and action had to be taken to stop this irresponsible behaviour.
Angered at what he considered to be deliberate acts of vandalism to this protected area, he made it clear that the council would no longer tolerate these incursions saying, “We will redouble our efforts to increase the control and surveillance of area”.
Not only is the Marbella Council, anxious to ensure the ongoing protection of this important reserve which encompasses a number of dunes along the Marbella coast, but a pressure group and environmental organisation the Asociación Pro Dunas Marbella (ProDunas) is heavily involved in promoting and protecting the area.
This group actively encourages residents to value their heritage and supports scientific study of the biodiversity in dune areas which have been in existence for thousands of years. In addition, apart from regular monthly open forums to discuss matters affecting the dunes, ProDunas also arranges beach clean ups.
Working with the same aim in mind, Councillor Diaz wants to see a change in the mentality of those holidaymakers visiting the beaches and rather than park as close as they can, he wants them to take some time to walk across the dunes and enjoy the sights and sounds of this valuable local site.
He also laments the fact that vandalism has caused damage to signs, picnic tables and benches and even barriers and reminds all who park illegally, blocking pedestrian and emergency vehicle access that laws are in place allowing fines of between €60 and €3,000 to be imposed.