Reviving nature’s tapestry: Replanting effort to preserve Torrevieja’s iconic dune species

Reviving nature's tapestry: Replanting effort to preserve Torrevieja's iconic dune species.

Reviving nature's tapestry: Replanting effort to preserve Torrevieja's iconic dune species. Image: Ayuntamiento de Torrevieja / Facebook.

The dunes of Torrevieja form a vital part of the Alicante coast’s unique and untouched coastal landscapes.

However, over time, erosion has led to the gradual disappearance of some of the most distinctive dune species.

To address this issue, the charity Xaloc has undertaken a significant replanting effort in the southern area of La Mata beach, focusing on two iconic species threatened along the Levantine coast: cottonweed and Barron.

This initiative has seen the replanting of a total of 245 specimens and aligns with the roadmap developed by the Provincial Coastal Service of Alicante in recent years.

The goal is to create biodiversity hubs within densely populated areas, showcasing beaches as natural spaces while promoting the dissemination of endangered species.

Dune systems, in general, face serious threats and are considered among the most endangered natural ecosystems in the Mediterranean.

The loss of these dunes has significant implications for coastal conservation, biodiversity, environmental services, the economy, and the well-being of communities.

Cottonweed, once vanished from much of the Valencian coasts except for one specimen in Torrevieja, has been reintroduced using specimens from existing populations in Guardamar del Segura and the Devesa de El Saler in Valencia.

Similarly, barrón, a characteristic grass of coastal dunes, historically used for traditional roof construction due to its high impermeability, has been replanted.

Torrevieja still boasts dune areas and remnants of coastal sands of international significance, serving as habitats for endangered species such as the snowy plover, the Iberian skink, the dune bellflower, cottonweed, and maritime juniper.

Moreover, these dunes help prevent sand loss on beaches, add value to the landscape, and contribute to the restoration of unique features and practices integral to the area’s identity.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.