City hall steps in

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City hall steps in
PALM FOREST: Damaso Aparicio details plans for adequate maintenance of privately-owned plots Photo credit: Orihuela city hall

ORIHUELA’S Palmeral palm forest is the second-most important in Europe, after Elche’s.

Surprisingly, 3,000 of its 9,000 date palms are located on 30 privately-owned properties and only 40 per cent of the Palmeral, which has Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) status, is municipally-owned.

To ensure continued defence of the palm forest, city hall’s Environment department intends eventually to acquire these private plots and recover them for public use, Environment councillor Damaso Aparicio announced.

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“Meanwhile we shall be exploring other avenues in our efforts to advance towards overall control,” the councillor said.

These include applying the Territory Protection clause included in Spain’s Natural Heritage and Biodiversity Law, which also appears in Orihuela’s Date Palm bylaw.

This enables city hall to offer adequate maintenance when a property-owner is unable to provide this, the councillor said.  Parallel to fines or situations where city hall takes action and then sends the bill to the owner, the local administration wished to collaborate “and  not only oblige or sanction,” Aparicio stressed as he urged land-owners to take advantage of the offer.


City hall has already reached agreement with the owner of 30,777 square metres of abandoned land with 521 palm trees, the councillor revealed.

Linda came to Spain to live when she was 24, just over 52 years ago, and her husband is Spanish. She began writing for English-language local newspapers in the mid-1970s and hasn’t stopped since! She leads a Spanish life, which she believes is vital when conveying the news to English-speaking residents, and along the way she produced two editions of Expand Your Spanish, helping English-speakers to enlarge their knowledge of the language. She was excited to be in at the birth of the Euro Weekly News in 1999 and is still passionately writing for the paper 22 years later.

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