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Spring of the Victoria Lines: appreciating its trails

About 140 people, including members of the Ramblers’ Association, lovers of the outdoors and other locals and foreigners, took part in the walk.

About 140 people, including members of the Ramblers’ Association, lovers of the outdoors and other locals and foreigners, took part in the walk.

The ‘Spring of the Victoria Lines’ has started with a bang: On April 14 at Fort Madalena, l/o Swieqi, some 50 people attended a highly informative presentation by Judge Joe Galea Debono on the Lines and their role in Malta’s military history. Andrew Pizzuto, from the St John Rescue Corps, followed with a interesting tour around the fort.

Participants in last Sunday’s walk followed the eastern path behind the Victoria Lines from Madliena to Birguma and Għargħur, enjoying the changing spectacular country and sea views.Participants in last Sunday’s walk followed the eastern path behind the Victoria Lines from Madliena to Birguma and Għargħur, enjoying the changing spectacular country and sea views.

Then last Sunday, some 140 people, including members of the Ramblers Association, lovers of the outdoors and other locals and foreigners, followed the Ramblers’ programmed walk along the eastern path behind the Lines from Madliena to Birguma and Għargħur, enjoying the changing spectacular country and sea views. 

The Ramblers’ Association is supporting a joint initiative by Madliena administrative committee, Swieqi and Għarħur local councils and Friends of the Victoria Lines Trail to promote the ‘mission’ of upgrading the ‘existing yet forsaken’ trail along the whole length of the Victoria Lines to the rank of a national trail, befitting the importance of this national monument and its historical and scenic attributes.

Jane Caruana, of Friends of the Victoria Lines Trail, said the vantage route of the Lines along the great fault crossing the island from east to west has huge economic and social pontential. She highlighted that widespread be­ne­fits could be reaped by creating a ‘Leading Quality Trail’ comparable to the best European standards. She added that it could eas­i­ly be realised with a concerted effort of the local councils concerned, and the backing of the rele­vant government authorities.

The vantage route of the Lines along the great fault crossing the island from east to west has huge economic and social pontential

The ‘mission’ is:

• To achieve a duly managed self-guided cultural and natural trail following the Victoria Lines;

• To offer an innovative tourism product;

• To provide unparalleled recrational open spaces for local people;

• To protect the heritage asset and its associated forts and batteries; and

• To shield the beautiful countryside it traverses from further encroachment and destruction.

Last weekend’s activities highlighted the importance of stakeholders working together. Friends of the Victoria Lines Trail and the Ramblers Association enjoys the full backing of the Madliena administrative committee and Swieqi and Għargħur local councils. Other local councils have promised their co-operation, which will be sought.

The Ramblers’ Association has planned two other walks in connection with the Victoria Lines Trail as follows:

Sunday, May 13: Victoria Lines Trail: Mġarr/Kunċizzjoni/Binġem­ma – a panoramic walk taking in the hamlets of l-Iskorvit and Ta’ l-Abatija, Fomm ir-Riħ, Kunċizzjoni Battery, is-Santi and Bingemma Fort. The walk will last about four hours and will cover a distance of some 12 kilometres. The meeting place is Mġarr parish square at 8.30am.

Sunday, June 10: Victoria Lines Trail: Along the Victoria Lines – a countyside walk that takes in Ġnien l-Għarusa tal-Mosta, Fort Mosta, Wied il-Għasel and Tarġa Gap Fort. Efforts are being made to visit both forts. The walk, which starts at Tarġa Gap (bus stop ‘Għarusa’) at 9am, is moderate to hard, lasting some three hours, including the visits to the forts.

All are welcome to attend the walks. Anyone interested in further information may visit the website below, the Facebook pages ‘Friends of the Victoria Lines Trail’ or ‘Ramblers Malta’, call 9949 7080 or e-mail [email protected] or [email protected].

Alex Vella is executive president of the Ramblers’ Association of Malta.

www.ramblersmalta.org

Andrew Pizzuto, from the St John Rescue Corps, conducting the tour around Fort Madalena.Andrew Pizzuto, from the St John Rescue Corps, conducting the tour around Fort Madalena.

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