Climbers fined for damaging protected plants

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THE Junta de Andalucia has fined two climbers who accidentally damaged protected flora in the Sierra Almijara Park in Nerja.

One of the men was climbing in the Barranco de la Coladilla area when he noticed that a large rock was loose.

He put his foot on it and it fell to the ground 30 metres below, damaging some vegetation. Several days later, in January 2011, he was climbing with a friend in the same area when they were approached by to Environmental Agents who pointed out the damaged plants and began taking notes, accusing them of causing the damage.

Now each of them has been fined €601 by the Provincial Environmental Delegation.

They say they can’t understand why they have been fined when “bikes, motocross bikes and 4×4 vehicles enter the area uncontrolled and don’t only use the marked routes”.

They have appealed the fine, saying they didn’t cause the damage deliberately.

They also say that they prevented a possible accident, because the fallen rock was above a road which is used by hikers.

They have been told that this is the first time in Spain that climbers have been fined for such reasons.

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