Formerly salt pans, the area is a low lying wetland with brackish water and muddy shores surrounded by small agricultural pockets of land and also touristic amenities. Small pockets of reeds provide welcome cover to the occasional waterfowl using the site. Management works on the wetland also resulted in the site being the only regular breeding grounds for Little Ringed Plover and Black-winged Stilt.
Created in the early 1980s and located close to the largest and busiest beach in the Maltese Islands this small wetland is also a haven for migrating herons, egrets and waders. The numerous artificially-created small islands provide feeding grounds for good numbers of waders whilst the trees lining the paths offer a good variety of passerine species, especially in the spring and autumn migrations.
The nature reserve is next to a main road in which one can park. Upon accessing the reserve, visitors can get an idea of the site from the visitors centre and then walk a nature trail to a small birdwatching hide located 15 minutes away on foot.
The reserve is located on Triq Il-Marfa, past the Mellieħa Holiday Centre and over the roundabout.
For those arriving by bus, the reserve is accessible from bus stop ‘Għadira’ on the routes 37, 41, 42, 221, 222, X1.
Terrain and HabitatScattered trees and bushes, Wetland, Mud flats, Sea, Dunes
Is a telescope useful?Can be useful
Good birding seasonSpring, Autumn
Best time to visitSpring migration, Spring
Difficulty walking trailEasy
Birdwatching hide / platformYes
The reserve is open between September and May. We are open on Mondays & Thursdays in the afternoons, and on Saturdays & Sundays 10am-4pm. Entrance to the reserve is free of charge but donations are welcome.
We also offer photography hide booking slots. This facility provides photographers the with a unique chance of capturing some fantastic shots.
Please check our website below for more details and updated opening hours. You can also contact us on +356 7955 4347.
Foresta 2000 Nature Reserve ( http://bit.ly/Foresta2000NatureReserve)