Declaration process begins to create much-anticipated natural park in Spain’s Costa Blanca

A PROCESS to formally declare a new natural park in the south of Alicante province started on Tuesday after an order was signed by Valencian Ecological Transition minister, Isaura Navarro.

Protection has been declared for the Sierra Escalona and Dehesa de Campoamor Natural Park covering 9,003 hectares in the Orihuela, San Miguel de Salinas, and Pilar de la Horadada municipalities.

In addition to covering the hills and lands, it also includes the El Cristo and Pujalvarez mountains and the surroundings of the Pedrera reservoir.

The order published in the Valencian Official Gazette describes the proposed park as ‘one of the most relevant areas of the Valencian Community from the point of view of ecology, environment, and landscape’.

The government decree also provides provisional protection against any work that might degrade the area during the completion of the declaration process.

The area is characterised by the presence of an important forest and for hosting a rich biodiversity where birds of prey stand out with the eagle owl and the golden eagle at its head, but also the presence of endangered mammal species such as the wildcat.

The announcement is a surprise from an administrative point of view with regional elections coming on May 28, and was not expected until other plans including those concerning natural resources and open spaces had been concluded.

Isaura Navarro said that the Valencian government had previously declared the Sierra Escalona and its surroundings a ‘Protected Landscape’ and ‘this was the starting point in the protection of this space’ in 2018.

The Valencian Superior Court had already rejected several challenges from firms in the agri-real estate sectors that appealed against the creation of the protected area five years ago.


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