For years access to the purpose built raptor watching centre at Cazalla just north-east of Tarifa has been bedevilled with problems. In some years the local authority even employed a watchman to turn people away. Happily this negative attitude toward birding tourism now seems a thing of the past. Better still it has been replaced with a welcome progressive approach. As a consequence a new road has been built to improve access and, more importantly I suspect, exit from this excellent site. Hopefully the buildings will be occupied before too long by a long promised education centre. The only downside of all this is that parking spaces may be at a premium in the near future.
There are even signs that a similarly positive approach may soon be apparent at nearby Playa de los Lances. The local authority is to be warmly congratulated for these developments particularly at a time when the economic situation remains very difficult. It's also to be hoped that this initiative will encourage the municipal authorities in Algeciras to come good with promises to improve access to Algarrobo - a little local rivalry wouldn't go amiss!
The 'official' element of this superb project has now drawn to a close with the laguna now fully sealed, its hydrology safeguarded and the major restoration works completed. This was marked by an official visit from the President of Andalucia, Susana Diaz, on 9th February which, hopefully, reflects a political will to take conservation seriously. A video of this visit can be seem at https://www.facebook.com/AytoElCuervoSevilla/videos/vb.770365762992698/1210716162290987/?type=2&theater and more details can be found at http://www.elcuervodesevilla.es/opencms/opencms/cuervo/actualidad/noticias/mambiente/visitaSusanaDiazLagunaTollo9feb16.html#.Vr0FpvKLSM9. The video includes footage of a model of the ultimate goal which seems to indicate more work will be done in the future. This winter a new track along the southern side of the laguna was opened allowing access to a raised boardwalk and excellent hide (a). This should hugely improve views across the laguna and make it far easier to locate and watch species like Black-necked Grebe, White-headed Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Purple Gallinule, etc. Fortunately, a band of local volunteers will continue to make improvements and monitor this excellent site. There's also a second smaller laguna (d on map) which seems to be earmarked for development as part of the reserve.