Għajn Barrani is the stretch of cliffs from Marsalforn to the sandy beach of Ramla along Gozo’s north coast. The area is characterised by flat terrain and clay slopes rich in flora. Anyone interested in plants should make their way here for a beautiful coastal country walk. .
Owing to the fresh water arising from springs in the area and the water-retaining properties of blue clay, this was once one of Gozo’s main agricultural areas. This is no longer the case but some maquis species, including a number of fruit trees such as pomegranates, old olives, hawthorns and wild rosaceous tree species, have gone native and form large impenetrable copses.
Due to its continuous supply of freshwater this area also supports African tamarisk and the rare chaste trees, which are otherwise very rare in the Maltese islands. There is also typical garrigue here with shrubby kidney vetch and tree spurge, as well as escarpments supporting rare and endemic plants such as the Maltese hyoseris and Maltese stock.
This is a Natura 2000 site, protected under this Europe-wide, EU-funded project to preserve natural heritage. For more on Natura 2000 see www.natura.org.