Sunbathers at the beach of Can Picafort in Santa Margalida got a surprise when they arrived to find a large machine occupying a large area of the sand. It is grinding up the sand on the regenerated part of the beach, to try to restore it to the quality before the artificial regeneration at the start of the summer. The beach was one of the most damaged in the November storms, but Mayor Antoni Alemany said that the results of the artificial regeneration had not been as good as expected. He added that the coastal authority had warned the council that the quality would not be the same as they had not been allowed to take sand from the sea bed off Ses Salines. However, he added, “I don't think that even the coastal authority had expected it to end up as it did.” Three months after the beach was regenerated, the faults of the system, which had been slammed at the time by the Balearic ministry of the environment and ecologists, began to be evident. The original sand of the beach and that dredged from the seabed at Banyalbufar are not only not the same colour but the thickness of the grains is different. The Mayor said that the sand of Can Picafort was much whiter and finer than the sand which was eventually used for the regeneration. The council has now contracted the machine to grind the sand. It will operate early in the morning and late in the afternoon for the next three days in the area between the start of the beach and the Hotel Fe. The operation will cost the council 1'800 euros. Many of Majorca's beaches suffered extensive damage in the storms, and the Balearic and central ministries of the environment have been at loggerheads over the best way to restore them. The local ministry is in favour of natural regeneration which takes longer, but the central ministry, bowing to pressure from hoteliers and traders who wanted the beaches restored before the tourist season, favoured artificial regeneration. Environmentalists insist that this method, using sand dredged from the seabed causes extensive damage to the sensitive maritime eco-system. Most of the sand was taken from the Banyalbufar area.

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