Loss of the beach at Deya has occurred since 2001. | Teresa Ayuga

The beach at Cala Deya is still described in guide books as a pebble beach with some areas of sand and accumulations of posidonia and seaweed. However, the reality is somewhat different, as the beach has all but disappeared.

The town hall last year commissioned the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies (Imedea) to consider the geomorphology and dynamics of the cove. This study has now been completed. Deya's mayor, Magdalena López, says that it has enabled the commissioning of a further project - one to recover as much as possible of the beach's natural state.

The Imedea research focused above all on gaining scientific evidence of signs of the retreat of the shoreline and of the dynamics causing this. The study was conducted between May and December last year, and findings include the fact that the beach has undergone different cycles over the past sixty years. Over that period there were two "extreme" cases of retreat - in 1980 and 2001.

Documentary material shows that during the 1990s the beach attained its maximum surface. The loss that was evident in 2001 continued and it did so with an increase in the number of strong storms.

Imedea's study suggests that the rocks will prevent further loss, but the town hall wants to try and recover the beach to what it was before 2001. This, however, won't occur naturally. The municipality couldn't afford an intervention project, but the one now being drafted is to be presented to the Costas Authority, which has ultimate responsibility for all of Spain and therefore Majorca's coastline.