ECOLOGICAL JEWEL THREATENED

Estepona’s Municipal Archaeological Museum, the Genal Valley work group and the University of Granada have just published a study on the three-kilometre-long Saladillo-Matas Verdes dune hills, an ecological jewel which they fear may not survive if the town continues to grow. A spokesman said the area bore witness to the natural wealth of the Costa del Sol before it fell victim to mass tourism and rampant urbanisation: “It’s a jewel that must be protected and conserved.” It also has great archaeological value as a result of the many battles that were fought in the area during the 17th and 18th centuries. The dunes are currently classified as programmed urban land. Estepona’s urban planning councillor, Rafael Duarte, wants the dunes to be classified as part of a general system of open spaces, which would stop them from built on.

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