Management plan for the Montgó

The management plan for the Montgó recognises encroachment and title conflicts that alter the limits of the park.

From Levante online 15th Jan 2006 - Translated by Huw Griffith

After the approval in November 2002 of the Plan of Arrangement of Natural Resources (PORN), the Director for Land has now initiated the consultation process to give the green light to the Management Plan for the Use and Management of the Montgó (PRUG). The town councils already have a first draft of the PRUG and the document recognises problems such as encroachment in ravines or conflicts of title that make it impossible accurately to define the boundaries of the natural park. The document prohibits new discos and hotels and demands the closing of rubbish dumps.


The third milestone in improving the protection of the natural park of the Montgó has almost been reached. In 1987, the ‘Consell’ approved the declaration of a natural park. But we had to wait until November of 2002 for the Plan of Arrangement of Natural Resources (PORN) to be published. Now there is a first draft of the Plan Governing Use and Development (PRUG), the document that is to control the public and sustainable use of the resources of the natural park.

The Director of Land has distributed a draft to the town councils affected by the PRUG, that is, Dénia, Xàbia, Ondara, Pedreguer and Gata. So now begins a process of agreement and debate that needs to conclude with the same consensus that occurred in the approval of the PORN.
However, the progress of the governing plan is affected by problems that still prevent the accurate definition of the limits of the natural park. The draft includes a provisional definition that refers to the denominated "areas of revision of title", which are zones where it is not clear whether the property is public or private and whether they are located within the natural park. In the zoning map of the governing plan, these areas of revision of title are found in Marquise and the stone quarry in Dénia, and the Montgó-Toscamar urbanisation in Xàbia.

The PRUG specifies that, when the legal questions are resolved, where land is publicly owned, it will be included in the natural park, in the zone of special use. However, where it is private property, it will form part of the peripheral area for minimising environmental impact and will be considered urban and urbanisable.

The PORN of the Montgó defined, in November of 2002, the areas of revision of title as "land in which presumably mountain or public activities would have taken place". The PRUG has an objective "to fix the precise limits of the protected natural space" and sets out "to eliminate the points of present conflict".

The present boundary of the park of the Montgó, that was approved in 1992, does not include the areas of revision of title. Nevertheless, since the governing plan now refers to the necessity to draw the boundaries accurately it also implies a will to clarify problems hitherto concealed, such as the encroachment of public land.

The governing plan, in addition, refers to the suppression of occupation in ravines on the North slope of the Montgó massif and points out that at the present time, with the collaboration of the City council of Dénia and the Hydrographic Confederation of the Xúquer, a definition of these channels is being made.

The PRUG also refers to other important problems of the Montgó. It discusses what is needed to preserve the channel and the banks of the Gorgos river and emphasizes its importance as an environmental link. In addition, it makes clear that the public use of the coastal strip of the park (the reserve of Fons Marins on Cap Sant Antoni) must be managed, and also that "negative impacts" must be avoided; these are not specified, but a serious problem in this coastal section has been fishing by poachers. The governing plan points out the need for waste water purification in the surroundings of the Montgó and, in this context, it should be remembered that urbanisations still exist without a sewage system.

Another important aspect of PRUG emphasizes that it must incorporate the important cultural and archaeological patrimony of the Montgó to attract more visitors and to diversify the appeal of the natural park.

Top and cliffs

The document that will regulate the uses of the Montgó uses the zoning defined in the PORN.
The zone of restricted use includes the top of the massif (the highest point is 753 metres above sea level) and cliffs at the end of Sant Antoni; micro reserves of flora are located at Les Rotes, Cap Sant Antoni, Cova de l'Aigua and Barranc de l'Emboixar.

The zone of moderate use includes the slopes of the Montgó, the Punta de Benimaquia and most of Les Planes.

The zone of special use basically coincides with Les Planes of Xàbia and, as spaces for public use, includes the recreational area at the end of Sant Antoni, the shooting ranges of Dénia and Xàbia and the ermita of Santa Llúcia de Xàbia.

Finally, the peripheral area to be used for minimising environmental impacts includes the ecological links of the Bisserot (Dénia) and Castellans (Xàbia) and all the ravines of the urban and urbanisable areas.

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