Din l-Art Helwa 20 October 2009

Din l-Art Helwa, National Trust of Malta, has presented its newest publication, the Maltese Endemic Flora Calendar 2010,to eminent Maltese botanist, Edwin Lanfranco. Created by the heritage organisation as tribute to Mr. Lanfranco’s lifetime work in the field of research into the flora and fauna of the Maltese islands, the calendar is based on his publication ‘Wildlife of the Maltese Islands, Plants’ and is illustrated by numerous photographs by Guido Bonett, Alex Casha and Aron Tanti.

The calendar also carries snapshot images of the heritage sites the organisation has restored and maintains in guardianship. Compiled and written by Victor Rizzo, Council Member and Treasurer of Din l-Art Helwa the publication has been mDiade possible through the sponsorship of Best Print Co. Ltd of Qrendi.

Each month features detailed photography of endemic species of flora important because they are unique solely to the Maltese islands and cannot be found elsewhere.. These include the Maltese Rock-Centaury – Palaeocyanus crassifolius (Widnet il-Bahar)and the Maltese Cliff-Orache – Cremnophyton lanfrancoi (Bjanka tal-Irdum). The latter is actually named after Edwin Lanfranco while the former is Malta’s national plant.

The calendar was also inspired by the plants that can be enjoyed along Foresta 2000, the protected green area below the Red Tower, the 1649 coastal fortification looked after in guardianship by Din l-Art Helwa. The organisation, together with Bird Life and the Ministry for Rural Affairs and the Environment, manages Foresta 2000 where the Meditterean maquis continues to regenerate in an area stretching along Mellieha ridge from Ghadira Bay to Ras ic-Cumnija.. Many species have been lost over the years due to human manipulation of the environment, soil erosion, urban development and changes in climate.

The aim of Foresta 2000 is to create an environment where local and indigenous vegetation can thrive undisturbed. The calendar will be on sale from leading book stores and from the offices of Din l-Art Helwa for 5 euros and will constitute a major fund raising initiative for the voluntary heritage organisation which in 2010 celebrates its 45th Anniversary since its foundation. All funds raised will be dedicated to Din l-Art Helwa’s restoration programmes.