BirdLife Malta’s nature reserves reopen after the summer break

October 31, 2018 9:00 am

This weekend BirdLife Malta’s nature reserves reopen to the public after the summer break.

To celebrate the start of the new season, last Sunday we organised an Open Day for families who had the opportunity to discover what the reserves have to offer, and also participate in several activities and games for children which were held at Għadira and Foresta 2000. For the occasion we also welcomed Ambjent Malta’s Executive Chairman Conrad Borg Manché on a visit to Għadira. He was taken around the reserve by BirdLife Malta’s Reserves Manager Mark Gauci.

A new board installed at Simar shows and explains the bird ringing process

Creating a rubble wall

The reserves, which are primarily meant to provide shelter and rest to migratory birds, are kept closed in the summer months to enable the managing wardens to carry out maintenance work and habitat improvement works on the sites.

At Simar Nature Reserve, works during summer were in full swing on upgrading the reception centre and the bird ringing station, both of which play an important role when welcoming visitors including the many school children which visit the reserve throughout the year. Parts of the nature trail were also redesigned to ensure an improved experience for visitors, whilst ensuring a better breeding and feeding habitat for various birds and insects is created.

Similar works were also carried out at Għadira Nature Reserve where a new photographic hide was constructed, with the aim of creating additional opportunities for the ever-increasing amount of nature photographers in the Maltese Islands. Other works included screening of the nature trail to minimize disturbance and also round-the-clock care of our tree nursery which will supply us with a healthy stock of trees and shrubs for planting in the winter months.

Before and after works on the path

All this work, plus any research and observations carried out at the reserves, is now published in an annual report. This interesting publication gathers information on the management of the sites, the success stories in terms of breeding birds, flora and fauna lists; as well as research projects carried out on site. Such a publication will become an annual event so that we can disseminate our knowledge and success in terms of managing land for nature.

  • Annual nature reserves report for 2017 published

  • Most dates for upcoming months already fully-booked with school visits

From this weekend, Għadira Nature Reserve opens every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 16:00 whilst Simar Nature Reserve opens on Sundays between 10:00 and 16:00. Foresta 2000 is open all year round and is accessible 24 hours a day. Our new addition, Salina Nature Reserve, is open for visits on all days with visitors able to walk through part of the park freely between Monday and Sunday (April to September 07:00-20:00, October to March 07:00-18:00).

This map shows different species of birds coming from multiple European countries

The reserves are also open during the week to cater for visiting school children. Children from primary, secondary and also tertiary levels of education visit Simar, Għadira and Foresta 2000 with the experience there tailor-made according to age group and syllabus being covered. Despite being in the early stages of the season, most dates for the upcoming months are already fully-booked.

Entrance to all our reserves is free of charge and there is no need to book to visit. However, any kind donations made whilst visiting our natures helps support the upkeep of these important natural sites.

Read the Maltese version of the press release here.

Below is a selection of photos from the open day, including the visit by Ambjent Malta’s Executive Chairman Conrad Borg Manché who was welcomed at Għadira by BirdLife Malta Reserves Manager Mark Gauci.