The La Gola park. | Elena Ballestero


The La Gola visitors' centre in Puerto Pollensa, so often closed since it was created six years ago, is to be re-opened from the start of February under a new arrangement that will involve the town hall tendering its management to a private company while retaining responsibility for the overall management of the centre. The regional government, via the environment ministry, will be responsible for maintenance of the park. It is to be hoped that this latest agreement works better than the one that was first drawn up under which responsibilities were much the same as this latest one.

The town hall, which sees birdwatching as a tourism niche for impacting on seasonality, has an ally in the tourism ministry, which will again be represented, via the Balearic Tourism Agency, at the Birdfair in Rutland next August. As a niche, it has its origins in the 1970s, but it has never been coherently pursued. The La Gola centre and the whole renovation of this "green heart" of Puerto Pollensa were supposed to have given birdwatching some impetus, but mismanagement has, until now, got in the way.

As part of the promotion, there is to be a four-language guide that will give information about birds in different parts of the island (the centre has never solely been concerned with nearby Albufereta), while an international conference on ornithology is planned for autumn next year.

In addition, local British resident, Andy Simpson, has produced a calendar featuring photographs of birds that is being distributed with two specialist UK magazines - "Bird Watching" and "Country Walking". His efforts received the thanks of town hall councillor for tourism, Iliana Capllonch, at a presentation of the different initiatives at the tourism ministry yesterday.