Alex Bramwell

Alex Bramwell

The Maspalomas dune system in Gran Canaria has transformed since the beginning of the Coronavirus lockdown. The undisturbed dunes have recovered their natural shape and grown in height, and the area's native vegetation has started to recover.

The dune system, considered one of the jewels in Gran Canaria’s crown, has suffered in recent years from constant trampling and sand loss.

From now on visitors will have to stick to the eight kilometres of marked trails within the dunes or risk a fine. The new rules mean that visitors will no longer be able to walk across the dune field, sunbathe in the bushes (yeah, yeah, we know), or surf down the dunes themselves. Access to the beach along the front of the dunes will not be affected by the new rules.

The rules will be enforced by a team of six caretakers and regular police patrols, both with the ability to fine people. Fines start at 150 euros for going off the path to 600,000 euros for removing sand on a large scale.

While this move will be unpopular with those used to roaming the dunes, they are designed to protect a threatened ecosystem. The Maspalomas dunes have slowly shrunk in recent years due to constant trampling and changes to natural wind flows.

The dunes are so threatened that the authorities now transport sand from the seashore to the back of the dunes rather than let it blow into the ocean. They have also removed 15,000 invasive tilapia fish from the Charco de Maspalomas lagoon.

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Bars and restaurants with outside tables reopen tomorrow, Monday 11 May, at 50% of their capacity as Phase One of the lockdown de-escalation begins. Groups of up to 10 people can also meet in public places and restaurants (while maintaining safe distances) and small shops can reopen.

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There were no new cases of Coronavirus reported yesterday in Gran Canaria or anywhere in the Canary Islands for the first time since March 8, according to the local press.. 

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Several adult veiled chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus) have been found close to Arucas, raising fears that the potentially invasive species has gone wild in Gran Canaria. 

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The Maspalomas sand dunes have recovered their pristine  natural form after six weeks of lockdown in Gran Canaria.

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Gran Canaria took another step towards the end of its quarantine today as adults stepped out for exercise for the first time in almost two months. Many chose to run or walk along its open beaches.

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The Spanish Government has announced the national timetable that governs the relaxation of quarantine rules. The lockdown will end over the next 8 weeks in four different phases. Each phase lasts for a minimum of two weeks meaning that Spain returns to normality (within the confines of social distancing) by the end of June. 

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Children in Gran Canaria left their homes for the first time in six weeks on Sunday 26, April in the first relaxation of Spain's strict Coronavirus lock down. If virus cases keep dropping, adults will follow them on May 2nd for short periods of exercise.

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The President of the Canary Islands government, Ángel Vïctor Torres, has announced an ambitious calendar for the reopening of hotels, arguing that the islands cannot afford to wait any longer. 

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After six weeks of total lockdown, children under 12 are to be allowed out of their homes from April 27 after the Spanish Government announced the first tentative steps towards lifting the national State of Alarm.

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