There is a determination to conserve and to restore the lake’s natural qualities

There is a determination to conserve and to restore the lake’s natural qualities.

27-11-2021Teresa Ayuga

You might not know that Alcudia’s “great” lake, Lago Esperanza, is also known as the Estany des Ponts wetland. I confess that I didn’t until a couple of months ago, when there was a volunteer operation to get rid of Carpobrotus edulis from land around this lake of bridges.

This ground-creeping plant has different names, such as sour fig and ice plant. It has pretty flowers, but it is an invasive species and it can grow like crazy. Towards the end of September, a group of people, including Alcudia’s environment minister, Tomàs Adrover, set about removing it. The operation was coordinated by WWF, World Wildlife Fund, who have a project specifically targeting wetlands and their conservation.

On Wednesday, a workshop was held at the Casa Cultura. It was the second workshop for the project of recovery and definition of uses of the Estany des Ponts. Some thirty people took part. They were from the town hall and WWF as well as from education and the hotel sector.

There is one very obvious hotel complex associated with Lago Esperanza, and that is Bellevue. Some tales one is told about holidaymakers are quite probably apocryphal. One has to do with the Bellevue guests who enjoyed their holiday but didn’t think much to the beach. Mistaking the lake for the sea does take some believing, but then not all tales are apocryphal.

The lake is an asset, and not just to Bellevue. But maintenance of the area has been deficient. For this, the finger of blame is normally pointed at the Costas Authority. No, the lake is not the sea and what lies next to it is not beach, but the lake is “influenced” by the sea, as are the canals. Hence the Costas’ involvement, though not - it would seem - in the WWF project.

This will apparently be an initiative over the coming years, one to return fauna to an area which is in a poor condition but which is on the so-called ecological corridor linked to the Albufera Nature Park. The three lakes - Esperanza, Gaviotas, Menor - are all on this corridor. It would be hard for them not to be, given that they are part of Albufera.
The wetlands landscape of Esperanza is still evident, and the project will seek to make it more so. Reed beds are among habitats to be expanded.

But while there is a determination to conserve and to restore the lake’s natural qualities, the greatest problem perhaps lies with what humans get up to - and that is dumping waste. The great lake isn’t that big when one considers some other lakes, but it is big enough and wild enough to offer scope for chucking rubbish. There isn’t exactly a great deal of surveillance.

The workshop, as noted, also considered uses, which brings us to plans to make the lake more of an attraction. Previously, it has been reported that the idea is for there to be walkways around the lake. Another is for boats to offer excursions. At some point, one guesses that these will become clearer.

Meantime, there is the canoeing and the rowing. Maybe I missed it, but when the Council of Mallorca was recently setting out its sports tourism agenda, there was no mention of the lake and its rowing. Here is something that you would think would have scope for development. It has been mentioned in the past. But there again, so have many things of an off-season nature.

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