The environment watchdog is documenting various trekking markings – in red, blue and green – recently spotted in the countryside across Malta, including in protected areas. 

Għajn Żnuber Tower, in the limits of Mellieħa. Photo: Matthew MirabelliGħajn Żnuber Tower, in the limits of Mellieħa. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

The markings, which seem to delineate tracking routes, were initially flagged on social media in August. They cannot be removed with water and several have raised concern that removing them can only be done by using more chemicals.

A French tour organiser was eventually charged with spray painting red arrows at Majjistral Nature Park. Among others, red markings have also been spotted by runners and cyclists in Comino, Fomm ir-Riħ, Ras il-Qammieħ, the Red Tower area, Għar Lapsi and Gozo and court was told that the cost of repairing the damage exceeds €2,500.

The tour organisers did not manage to remove the markings, as originally promised. Environmentalist Cami Appelgren saw them trying to clean the markings with chemicals and a steel brush to no avail. 

Since then, Nature Trust Malta traced similar blue markings at the Pembroke Natura 2000 site.

A reader has also spotted green arrows and red spots marking a trekking trail off Mnajdra temples towards Ħamrija Tower. 

Asked what action has been taken over the red, blue and green markings across the countryside, the police said the Environment and Resources Authority was “inspecting several sites around the Maltese islands to compile all marked areas”.

ERA confirmed it was still "investigating the case", but could not provide more details considering there was an ongoing court case about the matter.

Markings at Pembroke. Photo: Nature Trust MaltaMarkings at Pembroke. Photo: Nature Trust Malta

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