Majjistral Park covers an area of 6 km in the Northwest coastal part of Malta and is part of the Natura 2000 network of conservation sites. The outing was organised between Majjistral Park and Bird Life Malta volunteers.
We were invited into the visitor’s centre for a brief explanation of the activities. The children were given an application for the Bird life Magazine yearly subscription and the current issue for free, plus a colouring book of some of Malta’s flora and fauna. We took a short walk and looked for treasures from nature such as fallen leaves, twigs, empty snail shells, nice rocks and seeds, which the children were going to use for the next activity. While walking some of the children noticed two old carob trees that were so close to each other that their branches seemed to form a canopy. The Park guide pointed out that one of the trees was male, as it had flowering buds, while the other had seed pods and was a female. The children enjoyed picking the seed pods that had fallen from the tree as well as the red, brown and golden leaves. They also noticed birds and butterflies flying around, and other different plants that grow in the area, some of which, as explained by the Park guide, store water for the long warm months.
We walked up to the cliffs and took a short break for a snack near the garigue. While eating we noticed some creatures bustling about around us. The children noticed some ants marching in a row and they followed them to see where they were heading.
The Bird life volunteer, then, asked the children to create a picture with the treasures they had collected on the walk. They got quite creative!
Finally they played a guessing game were the blindfolded child had to guess what the other children put in his/her hands by feeling the texture and weight of the object.
The Bird life volunteer also explained to the children that the Yelkouan Shearwater (garnija in Maltese) is a seabird that inhabits the park in colonies and is protected by law. The children were each given a picture of the Shearwater to colour at home.
The Park guide and Bird life volunteers were very organised and were fantastic with the children. The activities they planned were age appropriate and all the children enjoyed interacting. On our walk back we re-visited the centre to take a look at the photographic exhibition of Malta’s flora and fauna and the various nature books they have for sale. We will definitely visit the park again, perhaps we will explore an other area next time!