Residents mount anti-tree felling campaign in Spain’s Casares Costa

RESIDENTS of Casares Costa are dismayed after the sudden and unannounced felling of twenty eucalyptus trees in the woodland area next to the Restaurante Bahia de Casares.

On July 19, a group of 25 residents put questions to their local councillor, Antonia Pineda who was tasked with justifying this sudden land grab.

The meeting took place next to the cleared area where heavy machinery has already got to work in chopping down trees at least 50 years old. 

According to Pineda, the area, which is a haven for hikers and dog-walkers, was earmarked as far back as the 1980s to be developed as a residential area. 

Tree Snip
Save our Trees! Residents are trying to stop eucalyptus trees being chopped down.
Photo: Jane Jewson

Now, the council have decided to fell eucalyptus trees that block the area’s entrance, paving the way for a development for a new feria, due to be held on July 27 and an accompanying car park. 

This comes as little consolation to residents, who point out that a new feria would only run for a maximum of one week per year.

Jane Jewson, 65-year-old British expat and local resident, said: “This is an outrage. It is very ironic that on one of the hottest days Europe has ever experienced and with climate change a global concern, the Councillor suggested that we all ‘stand in the shadow of a eucalyptus’ during the meeting in order to view the surveyors’ building plans in the shade. Equally ironic is the fact that there is already another feria ground some 5 minutes away by car.”

One of the people protesting the plans is a 9-year-old girl, Isabel, who told the councillor: “I will never attend any fair on this land. The trees you have killed in the last 24 hours may as well be people, and I believe the council has murdered them.”

In most other areas of Andalcia there are stricter rules on the pruning and felling of trees, but in Casares Costa there are currently no environmental protections in place.

The councillor said that Eucalyptus trees are not protected as they are ‘not indigenous to Spain’.

It is believed that real estate developer giant Taylor Wimpey, who have purchased land close by near La Choza, are behind new development plans and locals believe this latest incursion is a trojan horse for more development.

A change.org petition has been set up to halt the tree felling in its tracks called ‘Casare Costa – Save our trees’.

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