The Minister for Environment, Dr John Cortes, inaugurated a new outdoor interpretation centre at Europa Point this week.
Located beside Harding’s Battery near the lighthouse, it was originally the battery’s magazine. Now varied interpretation panels are on display providing information covering a wide range of topics such as the Neanderthals, birds, plants, the history of the area.
“It gives me great pleasure to officially unveil this plaque and declare this new facility open, giving it back to the people of Gibraltar for the first time in many decades,” Dr Cortes said.
Dr Cortes recalled that the government had initially planned to build on the site.
“But then we thought there is enough building going on in the area, we want to keep this part of Europa Point open and enjoyed by all,” he said.
He also noted that the Government has more plans for the area in the future that he hopes will complement the interpretation centre.
At the opening, Dr Cortes thanked his team from the various ministries for making the new centre happen, including Marcello Sanguinetti, Dylan Sheriff and Stephen Azopardi and other organisations such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site, GONHS, the Heritage Trust who all contributed to the interpretation information.
The present planting surrounding the area has been carried out by GreenArc.
“What you are seeing now is only the beginning, there are hundreds more plants in nurseries that are going to be coming here in near future,” said Dr Cortes.
“And, there will be a lot of self-seeding from the surrounding area. We want this to be a natural green area, so that the plants will survive, migrant birds will use it all with wonderful views of the Strait,” he added.
There are paths through the site as well as benches and the area has magnificent views across the Strait of Gibraltar.
Pics by Johnny Bugeja