Together with Birdlife Malta and the Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs, Din l-Art Helwa is joint manager of a large site on the Marfa Ridge in Mellieha, which was selected for upgrading and afforestation. The site lies west of the Mellieha-Cirkewwa coast road and stretches further west to the cliffs at the area known as Cumnija. The road running in front of St. Agatha’s Tower (the Red Tower), which is managed by Din l-Art Helwa, is the northern boundary of the project and extends southwards towards the Ghadira Nature Reserve managed by Birdlife, to include the garigue slopes.
When this project began, this area had been extensively used and altered by human activity, often to the detriment of the natural environment and the aesthetic qualities of the site. We are working hard to recreate tracts of Mediterranean woodland in order to encourage biodiversity and to upgrade access into the site for the general public.
Habitats such as the maquis, garigue and clay steppe are being restored and preserved. Where different habitats meet they are made to merge into one another avoiding hard edges. All alien species will eventually be uprooted to give way to the native species. This is being done in stages to protect the soil from further erosion. Only native species are being sown or planted on site.
The project was initiated on 26th May 2002. The estimated area of the site is 300,000 square metres.