Tortoise sanctuary rolls on

Fury as Madrid goes ahead with expropriations

A sanctuary for the threatened spur-thighed tortoise is planned after its habitat was partly destroyed to make way for the AVE high-speed rail link

By David Jackson

Several homes, a dozen cortijos, two quarries, 500 hectares of farmland, greenhouses and more than 40,000 fruit trees are to be expropriated to make way for a tortoise sanctuary in Cuevas del Almanzora.

More than 200 land-owners have been cited to meetings starting this September 26 to be individually notified of compulsory purchase orders issued against them. Of these, 13 appear as urban land-owners, a mix of homes and industrial buildings on the outskirts of Los Lobos and the rest are rural plots of land.

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