Parks Malta is a new entity formed in beginning of 2020. Parks Malta falls under the portfolio of the Ministry of Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development. Parks Malta has been delegated with the responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of the Parks ,namely ,Ta’ Qali National Park, San Klement Park at Zabbar, Family Park at Marsaskala and Water Park at Bugibba and all Valleys situated in the Maltese Island.
Park maintenance includes maintenance activities performed to ensure public Park are clean, safe, and operational. It includes pruning trees, mowing grass, upkeep of soft areas, clearing garbage, maintenance of play equipment and survillance and monitoring of the area. The aim of having Park maintenance is to improve the Park facilities, ensure their safe functionality and their condition is for the enjoyment and satisfaction of the public in general.
A Clean Park gives visitors an added assurance that this recreational area is a safe and enjoyable environment for relaxation, meet ups, picnics, and other recreational purposes. The presence of litter and graffiti in a Park can drive away visitors.
A Park is a designated area of natural or planted scenery used for human enjoyment or to protect natural habitats and wildlife.
Park provide space for residents to socialize and bond with family and friends. Recreational activities have both physical and mental health benefits. Additionally, Park protect natural ecosystems, their trees clean the air, and provide learning opportunities for children about the ecosystem.
Our Operational staff report any damaged or vandalised equipment they come across during their works and inspections.
If you have concerns about the maintenance of the park or identify a safety concern during your visit, please contact the Administration Office or through our email address on firstname.lastname@example.org
Please make sure to include the park name, location of your concern and provide details about the issue that you have identified. A photographic evidence can help us better to understand your concern faster.
Lost and Found is located at the Administration Office or through our email address email@example.com
For the comfort and safety of the Park guests, prohibited items include but are not limited to the following:
- Glass containers (exceptions are made for baby food and medicine)
- Tents & Canopies
- Barbecue Grills
- Portable Stereos
You can help the Park to keep up all areas in good condition by keeping the place clean, remove litter and clean after your dog. Make use of the appropriate bins found around the park. Make appropriate use of the equipment and furniture found at the park Do not vandalise items at the park.
Parks were created to provide a considerable open space for the enjoyment and relaxation of visitors. These are mostly financed through national funds both at its development stages and also to afterwards for its continuous upkeep and maintenance. This means that any vandalism is highly condemned, and the public can help in reporting such incidences to curb such acts.
Yes, all parks have play equipment except the Picnic Area at the Ta’ Qali National Park, which offers a large open space area.
Yes, the parks have been designed to be easily accessible using paved areas and paths. The park was formed from natural terrain and the least possible interventions were performed so that it would be left as natural as possible. This might create some difficulties in certain areas within the park or visitors. Parks Malta is always improving its park by adding more facilities for a better experience for everyone who visits its park.
Yes and Parks Malta is encouraging the scope of using the park as a means of educational purpose by making available Greek theatres and shady areas at the Picnic Area in Ta’ Qali National Park which can be used as an open classroom as it has a cluster of picnic benches as a set up. A similar concept is underway to be constructed at the Marsaskala Family Park to support further this scope for the benefit of our children`s educational experience.
All the parks under Parks Malta management as open for the public. Parks Malta personnel ensure that the furniture and facilities at the park are safe for all visitors by cleaning such equipment at least 3 times daily. All visitors are required to observe all obligations and rules outlaid by the Superintendent of the Health Authority to mitigate the spread of the COVID – 19 virus at all times when visiting the Park
Ta` Qali National Park
The Petting Farm Area
Summer: between 6.00 and 20.30
Winter: between 6.00 and 19.30
Summer: between 6.00 and 20.30
Winter: between 6.00 and 19.30
Adventure Park Area
Summer: between 6.00 and 23.00
Winter: between 6.00 and 19.30
Formal Garden Area
Summer: between 6.00 and 20.30
Winter: between 6.00 and 19.30
San Klement Park
Summer: between 7.00 and 20.00
Winter: between 8.00 and 18.30
Marsaskala Family Park
Summer: between 6.30 and 23.00
Winter: between 6.30 and 19.30
The Adventure Parks and Formal Garden are the two sites currently closed for public due to works in progress. The Picnic area and the Petting Farm are still open for the enjoyment of our customers.
The petting farm houses domestic animals which are commonly found on a farm. When visiting this farm, one will have the opportunity to see a typical donkey, horse, a pony, 6 goats, 2 sheep, Maltese bred rabbits, a lama and various colourful and different kind of birds, such as hens and roosters, peacocks, barn owls, parrots, buggies, finches, ducks and different song birds. Similar domestic animals are also found at the Marsaskala Family Park.
Bugibba Water Park FAQs
Opening time at the Water Park is from 9.30.00am till 14.30 15:00 till 20.00pm from July to September. Actual dates are announced at the beginning of the summer season. Opening and Closing of parks which are under the responsibility of Parks Malta are always communicated for the benefit of the visitors and tourists on its website and facebook page.
Only bottled mineral water is allowed inside the park. For the safety and enjoyment of others each visitors are advised to follow Park rules thoroughly which can be viewed once entering the park. In case of queries and clarification our personnel are always ready and happy to be of any assistance to our clients.
Yes, water is filtered and sanitised by UV sterilisation and chlorine every morning. So, the water at the park is always safe for our clients. However, this water is not potable water and need not be consumed by anyone using the park.
There is no need for pre-booking to be able to use the Park. Water sessions are open on a first come first serve basis. Each session takes around 20 minutes time.
The Valley Management Unit (VMU) within PARKS is set up to conduct fieldwork and investigate scientifically the valleys of Malta. Their purpose is to digitise valleys and produce valuable data to make it easier for projects and other entities to conduct their work. The VMU has tablets, drones, water quality probes and field cameras amongst other technologies to produce scientific data including geology, hydrology and ecology.
We understand the importance of consulting with stakeholders such as NGOs, Local Councils and individuals. In fact, we have just finished a second batch of stakeholder meetings that collected opinions and ideas from people outside of the department so that we can incorporate them in writing of Masterplans for the valleys within our remit. See https://lifeip-rbmp-geoportal-valleymanagement.hub.arcgis.com/pages/masterplans. Further information can be submitted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Information is about the work of the Valley Management can be found on our website and facebook. Furthermore, Parks Malta is currently collaborating on a LIFE IP project that is set to restore and manage valleys in Malta. General information about the project can be found here https://www.rbmplife.org.mt/ and our actions within the project are described fully on our online platform https://lifeip-rbmp-geoportal-valleymanagement.hub.arcgis.com/pages/masterplans which is constantly being updated. You can also find information regarding general Parks Malta works on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/parksmalta.
Not all trees are good for the environment; certain trees can be alien, meaning that they are not Maltese, and/or invasive which means they are dominating the habitat and taking up the space of other Maltese species.
When this is the case, these trees are sometimes removed and replaced with younger endemic species that are much better for the ecosystem.
All the data collected by the research team through the LIFE IP project can be found here LIFEIP RBMP Geoportal – Downloads & Contacts (arcgis.com) (open access). This database includes a multitude of information, such as on ecosystem services, ecological and hydrological valley information, as well as land-use in valleys.
Weeds make part of the natural habitat of valleys. Weeds are important in watercourses to reduce soil erosion, apart from increasing the local biodiversity.
Some species of native trees are deciduous and drop all their leaves during particular seasons of the year and may look dead.
Acacia trees and Castor Oil Plants are alien invasive species and don’t make part of our natural environment. They are generally controlled and removed as they are very dominant and grow very fast which compete and outgrow our native trees and plant species which grow much slower. By removing alien invasive trees, we enhance the growth of native trees and plants which increase the local biodiversity.
The Great Reed (Arundo donax) is highly invasive and does not leave space for other species to grow, thus reduce biodiversity. Reeds may also block the watercourse and cause flooding.
All valleys are connected to the sea. All litter and plastic that is found in valleys will end up into the sea with rainwater.
Inwadar National Park FAQs
The Inwadar National Park was founded by the Maltese government through a legal notice in October 2016 (L.N. 343 of 2016) and is located alongst the south-eastern coastline of Malta between Marsaskala and Xgħajra. L.N. 162 of 2019 upgraded its status as a special area of conservation of national importance.
These are Marsaskala, Żabbar and Xgħajra.
It is mainly a coastal park, with distinctive natural features of significance. It presents a symbiotic existence between the arable lands on higher grounds, and the marine garigue on the coastal areas and is the second largest national park in Malta, covering an area of 0.955km.
There are three main access points to the park which are from:
- Żonqor Point coastal access track;
- San Niklaw chapel area descending to the Il-Ġolf il-Kbir.
- Ta’ Barkat coastal accress track in Xgħajra.
Should one be arriving by car, it is advisable to park just outside the coastal perimeter and walk at leisure within the park. One is advised that Il-Ġolf l-Abjad in Xgħajra is closed to vehicular access.
If one is arriving by bus, the most convenient services are those operating to Marsaskala or Xgħajra. Malta Transport connects Xgħajra with bus number 94 from Valletta main station every 30 mins (alight at Dawret ix-Xatt). For Marsaskala depart from Valletta main station every hour with bus numbers 92 (alight at Triq il-Blajjiet) and 91 every 15 mins (alight at Marsaskala Dun Tarċis Agius Square). Check for updates on www.publictransport.com.mt Another popular approach is by rambling from Birgu or Kalkara to Żonqor point.
Unlike the UK and continental Europe, fields under cultivation in Malta are almost exclusively sown for vegetable crops and not used for grazing purposes due to the lack of grasses. Most of the fields in the upper tiers of the Inwadar National Park are tilled produce broad beans, onions, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, clover and wheat. Visitors are to respect the farming community and refrain from opening gates or entering fields without the owner’s permission. One can however walk through any public passageways that are sectored by continuous dry-stone walls on their both sides and clearly indicate a thoroughfare.
Given that the Inwadar National Park is an natural site with areas facing cliffs and other drops without fences or protective barriers the management advices that adults must accompanying children at all times. One should walk with caution.
This is subject to one own interests. There are parts of the park that offer a rich diversity of flora, and areas that have not been altered by human occupation or exploitation. The major coastal landmarks are the four cliffside inlets of Il-Ġolf l-Iswed, Il-Ġolf ta’ Triq il-Wiesgħa, Il-Ġolf tas-Swali and Il-Ġolf l-Abjad that offer areas of scenic natural beauty in the rock formations and turquoise waters.
‘Inwadar’ is the plural of the Maltese word ‘nadur’, which other than a placename that occurs in Malta and Gozo, also means ‘a viewing point where one can gaze at a distance and see clearly and without obstruction’.
Yes, there is a natural blowhole close to the Knights’ of St. John tower, and a series of big marine caves in the area known as Is-Swali. These are best accessed by sea, given that the natural descent to them is challenging.
What are the small mostly round man-made depressions in the rocks on the coastal areas at Xgħajra, beneath the Knights’ of St. John tower and Żonqor?
These are a series of hundreds of salt pan complexes, rock-cut by hand hundreds of years ago for the production of coarse salt. Salt harvesting is still undertaken at Żonqor Point, using the traditional Maltese salt making processes, during the dry summer months. Make sure you avoid the pans if walking your dog in the area.
Check the weather forecast beforehand. If it is going to be rainy, please note that there is minimal tree cover within the park, and one is pretty much exposed to the natural elements. Make sure that you take a raincoat or anorak with you, as well as good walking shoes. Take a walking guide to the area with you. If you are visiting in summer, do note that Żonqor Point is a popular bathing and diving site and you may ponder on a possibility to swim. A wooden pathway facilitates easy access to the sea. If rambling in the park in summer, avoid the midday heat and ensure that you have enough mineral water and food if spending the day.
In 2000 a University of Malta study highlighted the presence of numerous indigenous and endemic floral species. These constitute the majority of the preserved low-lying patches of marine garigue. Amongst the most important are the endemic Maltese sea-chamomile (L.Anthemis urvilleana, M.Bebuna tal-Baħar), the endemic Maltese salt tree (L.Salsola melitensis, M.Xebb), the sub-endemic Sicilian silvery ragwort (L.Jacobaea Maritima, M.Kromb il-Baħar), the sub-endemic Pignatti’s Fern-Grass
(L.Desmazeria Pignattii, M.Żwien tax-Xatt) and the ice plant (L.Mesmbryanthemum Crystallinum; M.Kristallina Kbira). This is the only large single population in Malta.
Other than the illegal constuction waste that the area was subjected to, Inwadar is also exposed to the strong Gregale storms that cover the coastal areas during winter. This renders the coastal area only suitable for salt tolerant trees and shrubs. Since the park’s inception, we have planted hundreds of tamarisk trees (L.Tamarix africana, M.Bruka] at Żonqor Point and Il-Ġolf il-Kbir. More are to be planted in the near future.
There are several. The largest one is the restoration of San Anard grove, which surrounds the Victorian Fort St. Leonard. The grove had been abandoned for fifty years. Existing trees include holm oak (L.Quercus Ilex, M.Ballut), Aleppo Pine (L.Pinus Halepensis, M.Żnuber) and tamarisk [L.Tamarix Africana, M.Bruka).
Over three hundred tons of construction and municipal waste have been removed from this grove, and we are in the process of planting hundreds of indigenous trees, including carob (L.Ceratonia Siliqua, M.Ħarrub), Mediterranean buckthorn (L.Rhamnus Alaternus, M.Alaternu), dwarf fan palm (L.Chamaerops Humilis, M.Ġummar), lentisk [L.Pistacia Lentiscus, M.Deru), chaste (L.Vitex Agnus Castus; M.Għadiba) and several native plant species.
Yes, although the coastal walk between both ends of the park is the most popular, one can enter Inwadar through one of the access points and walk through one of the footpaths that lead to the upper levels of the hillocks and then descend again from another footpath. More circular routes are being planned.
Yes, there is an area reserved for BBQs at Żonqor Point, in the part facing Marsaskala harbour, not close to the operative salt pans. There is easy access through several pathways and flights of stairs. No open campfires are allowed within any of the park’s public areas.
Offroading is not allowed within Inwadar, as stipulated in L.N. 196 of 1997 and amended through L.N. 74 of 2013.
The coastal area is dotted with concrete beachposts built by the British military during the 1930s are the first line of the coastal defences. Others served as coastal artillery searchlight posts in World War II. The park also has several vernacular structures, including the remains of dry-stone shepherds’ huts, hundreds of metres of traditional dry stone walls, the remains of an Order of St. John entrenchment wall and a coastal tower from 1659 at Il-Ġolf il-Kbir. The Victorian Fort St. Leonard, built in 1872 is currently not accessible to the public.
It is highly recommendable to refrain from foraging for wild plants and seeds within the park. Other than being given legal protection, they are largely inedible and may constitute an adverse effect if consumed. Malta’s largest mammal, the weasel (L. Mustela Nivalis, M. Ballottra), has not as yet been sighted at Inwadar.
Like most of Malta, Inwadar does not possess any fresh water streams or sources, other than the minute coastal rock pools. Nevertheless, the marine garigue offers the ideal habitat for the short-toed lark (L.Calandrella Brachydactyla, M.Bilbla) as attested by past records, the short-eared owl (L.Asio Flammaeus M. Kokka tax-Xagħri|) and the corn bunting (L.Emberiza Calandra, M.Durrajsa).
Recent sightings of migratory birds feeding on marine life on the Inwadar littoral include sanderlings (L.Calidris Alba, M.Pispisella Bajda), little stints (L.Calidris Minuta, M.Tertuxa) and sandpiper (L.Actitis hypoleucos, M.Pispisella). Through the conistent cleaning of the marine garigue and an improved habitat, more migratory coastal birds are encouraged to visit Inwadar.