Guadalest Valley mayors unite to save their trees
THE MAYORS of Guadalest, Benimantell, Polop, Confrides, Beniardá, Benifato and Bolulla have united to try to stop the regional agricultural authorities wiping out almond plantations that have tested positive for Xylella bacteria.
In a letter addressed to the regional agricultural department, they said they were extremely worried about the situation of the crops in the municipalities and the way the Department was ordering affected and surrounding plantations to be destroyed.
They are worried that this would signify a great economic loss for the area, as well as adversely affect the picturesque landscape that attracts tourists to visit there.
The extremely damaging bacteria, which can kill any type of tree, was first detected in Guadalest last month in almond trees. The whole grove was wiped out completely, trees uprooted and triturated, and the area in a radius of 10 kms was put under special observation.
The mayors suggest that the agricultural department should act in the same way as their counterpart in the Balearic Is- lands, where all movement of plants on the island was prohibited, but trees were not destroyed. They have also asked the authorities to do new tests on affected trees.
On Wednesday morning a group of farmers and protestors went to another almond grove in Guadalest located near the one that was flattened in order to stop heavy machinery from destroying the trees.
This grove was to be destroyed as a precaution to contain the advance of the Xylella bacteria. Work was due to commence at 19.00, but it started an hour early, so 10 trees had been uprooted by the time the protestors arrived. Even so, they managed to get the workers to halt the destruction for the time being until an agricultural department technician or representative appears in person with a written destruction order.