By Bejay Browne
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of euros is being sought in EU funding by the municipality of Polis Chrysochous in Paphos to create a nature trail along a stretch of river in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The trail will run along the Chrysochou river (also known as Tzerepis) incorporating Chrysochou village up to Skoulli.
The project will include two man made ‘lakes’ and an observation platform which can be used for bird watching. The trail comes with a price tag of 600,000 euros and the local authorities plan to obtain the majority of funds from the EU. A contribution of around 50,000 euros will also be sought from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) with further funds coming from the municipality.
Mayor of Polis Chrysochous, Angelos Georgiou, says he is determined to continue the fight to improve the areas covered by his municipality. He says he believes that EU funding will help a number of planned forthcoming projects, not least this latest initiative.
“Most of the river is part of the Natura 2000 project and I believe that the nature trail – which will be about 8km long – will be a very important, beneficial way of showcasing this very sensitive and lush area.”
Polis sits on the edge of the Akamas region which is part of Natura 2000, a network of protected areas in the EU. The Natura project aims to protect and preserve natural habitat and environments.
“The project will become a landmark for the region of Polis, helping to improve the quality of life for residents as well as acting as a magnet for attracting quality tourism and special interest tourism in particular,” the mayor said. “It will generally enhance and upgrade the tourism product of the region.”
According to Georgiou, after a tender process, the municipality awarded the project to architects Ioakim-Loizas Architects Engineers E.P.E. .They will now prepare a sympathetic general development plan for the nature park as well as detailed architectural and engineering drawings and specifications.
“The design will involve a number of attractions, including the recovery of an existing spring and a wooden observation platform set next to existing trees. There will also be a rest area and information boards.”
The mayor said the plan also aims to enrich the environment by introducing some more traditional Cypriot trees and plants such as, oak trees, hawthorn and other flora and fauna.
Georgiou says that the creation of a nature trail has many benefits.
“It will improve quality of life, stimulate the local economy and reduce any negative opinions about the river being included in the Natura 2000 plan.”