A model of fixing a sterile floor in adverse weather conditions.

The interventions in Guardamar began in May 1896 with the recognition of the dune system by Francisco Mira and the President of the Forestry Council José Jordana y Morera. The project signed by Mira in 1897 allows us to appreciate the dangerous situation in Guardamar faced at that time as the dunes advanced 3 and even 8 meters per year.

The priority of the works focused on creating an artificial coastal dune in order to contain the sediments thrown by the Segura river. The houses were protected with cane fences in the limits between the dunes and the streets of the town.

The dune field, whose extension was 846 hectares, was divided into 5 work zones or perimeters with different degrees of priority, the most important was the one that affected the survival of Guardamar.

In each of these perimeters the work was systematized in a similar way

A main nursery was created in which different fixation and planting methods would be tried out. Then, secondary nurseries were stablished.

Required infrastructures were built: pathways and forest houses related to surveillance and maintenance tasks.

The dunes were fixed using different planting techniques such as Bremontier, Goury and Empordà.

Beginning of the reforestation

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The first celebration of “La Festa de l´Arbre” in Guardamar was held on the 4th March, 1904.

It was an act open to all the people, but focused on children.
They planted trees and sang hymns with the help of their school teachers.

The music band and local authorities also actively participated in this event, the most awaited moment was Francisco Mira’s speech.

Currently, Tree Day is still celebrated in Guardamar, still keeping the educational spirit.


Guardamar dunes initial vegetation map
Species prior to repopulation:

Francisco Mira made a studied the vegetation that grew naturally in the dunes.

Among the 32 species described by the engineer, the marram grass (Ammophila arenaria), the yellow restharrow (Ononis natrix) and the reeds (Arundo donax) stand out as the most effective to protect the crops and stop the advance of the sand.

Species used in forest repopulation:

In the nurseries and plantations, the viability of various species was monitored (more than a dozen herbaceous and bushes, and about sixty arboreal), finally using the following species.

Bush and herbaceous.

In the formation of the littoral dune, the marram grass and the yellow restharrow bush were used on the slopes and American aloe (Agave americana) at the summit.

To protect the plantation and the sowing, the marram grass and the yellow restharrow were used.

The steepest slopes of the interior dunes were covered with clawberry (Carpobrotus sp.).


After the experiments carried out with various varieties of pine, the choice was made for the Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) and the stone pine (Pinus pinea).

Other trees were planted such as eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis and E. gomphocephala), cypresses (Cupressus macrocarpa and C. horizontalis), palm trees (Phoenix dactylifera), and a small area was planted with araar (Tetraclinis articulata).

Guardamar dunes reforestation map

Results of the reforestation

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Room 2

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