Controversy over the works to access the virgin beach of Los Patos

The works to access the beach of Los Patos, a virgin coast of the municipality of La Orotava (Tenerife), have generated great controversy in social networks in recent days. It should be remembered that the path to reach this black sand beach was closed in 2013 due to its enormous danger and total deterioration, in addition to the constant risk of landslides.

Improving access to Los Patos then became a claim for many Canarians, others, however, rejected from the outset any intervention in this natural environment that would encourage its conversion to a more touristic beach.

Finally, an intervention project has been launched. As reported by the Minister of Ecological Transition of the Government of the Canary Islands, José Antonio Valbuena, and the first deputy mayor of La Orotava, Narciso Pérez, 50% has been executed and a total budget of 325,146.91 euros has already been reached. .

The interventions already carried out include the construction of a staircase and a path that will facilitate reaching the coast, through a path that, previously, had impassable sections due to the detachment and sinking of part of its structure. This action is one of the main axes of Law 5/1992, of July 15, for the planning of the El Rincón – La Orotava area. The forecast is that this facility will be completed in the last quarter of 2022.

Among the actions carried out is also the installation of a metal mesh and a 750 KJ dynamic screen, which will protect the path from the marine environment and possible landslides that may occur on the stairs. In the process of completing the work, materials will be used that will blend in with the environment and reduce its impact, such as basalt stone and wood.

The total budget for the work is 650,765.88 euros, of which 350,765.88 euros come from the El Rincón Consortium’s own funds. This Body has received each year, during the 2020 and 2021 financial years, 175,000 euros from the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands. In addition, the Consortium has received a global grant from the Area of ​​Management of the Natural Environment and Security of the Cabildo Insular de Tenerife for an amount of 300,000 euros.

Meanwhile, social networks have lit up after the publication of an image taken last weekend in which the progress of the works and the scaffolding on the cliff can be seen. “With experience you realize when a performance is poorly planned: the initial budget has been multiplied by five. In addition to the destruction of the landscape, it will generate a collapse in the environment”, criticized the environmentalist and geographer Pedro Millán, who has given rise to the controversy on Twitter.

There have been many reactions, some in favor of the work and others against it, such as that of the environmentalist Adrián Flores, who made a joke of the situation: “Well, they weren’t so far off track in terms of tourism that Tenerife arouses emotions. What happens is that they are not positive.

For his part, the regional councilor expressed his satisfaction with the evolution of the project, since, “due to the conditions of the land, it is a complex process and practically carried out by hand”. Likewise, Valbuena recalled that this access has been closed to the public since 2013 and in this legislature a significant effort has been made by all the administrations involved to complete the work as soon as possible, provided that it is with all the necessary guarantees.

For his part, the first deputy mayor of La Orotava, Narciso Pérez, also appreciated that this project to improve access to Los Patos Beach is going at a good pace and its completion is being visualized, since it is a work that in the time has suffered numerous obstacles. For this reason, he hopes that there will be no new contingencies, so that it can be ready this year, as well as access to Bollullo beach, where there have also been landslides on the slope. “For all responsible parties, it is a priority to guarantee, before opening them, the safety of all citizens who access them,” he said. This will open when these trails are fully enabled to be used safely by the general public.

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