Former Huddersfield gymnast and pub landlord Brian Hayhurst and his wife Elaine are ex-pats who have lived just outside Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for 20 years. He writes every week for Huddersfield Hub.

I have been noting with interest the issues around the possible felling of the 120 beautiful mature trees along Halifax Road in Huddersfield for road improvements.

I hope the protesters can stop the plan and find a way around saving these wonderful old trees.

This coincides with us having observed the mass destruction of millions of woodland trees by wild fires here on the Costa del Sol, the worst in the province for 30 years.

The massive fires caused the evacuation of 2,500 homes as over 1,000 emergency workers and 41 water dropping planes worked tirelessly to put out the raging fires between Marbella and Estepona.

Hot temperatures and strong winds created perfect conditions destroying over 8,000 hectares of forest.

The devastation is the worst in 30 years

Authorities have seen evidence of arson where fires were started in two places, and are investigating. One firefighter sadly died before the flames were brought under control by Thursday. Businesses near the fire areas were affected by smoke, falling dust and debris.

In Fuengirola, 7km from where we live, there have been several huge exciting plans to redevelop the port over the years, which is home to hundreds of private boats.

The pandemic put a halt to the latest plans, but business owners are hopeful that work might now commence in the near future.

Alongside the dozens of eateries and ever changing cafes, there are over 36 boat tours to be enjoyed. One popular one which attracts stag and hen parties is Bombay Saphire (main image). For a charge of €35 (£30) pp, groups can wallow in music, enjoy free drinks during the two-hour cruise with free food included, as they watch the dolphins.

And there are a number of specialist boats to take parties for parascending trips for the more daring.

READ MORE: Brian Hayhurst writes every week for Huddersfield Hub – catch up here on what you’ve missed

It is evident that tourism is still growing here on the Sol with extra flights bringing in more holidaymakers, willing to wade through the frequently changing requirements and necessary paperwork. Bookings are needed at many of the popular restaurants etc as Covid numbers plummet.

But visitors will not be aware of the massive electricity costs which are bound to affect homes and businesses here at the moment. Some of the highest in Europe.

PM Pedro Sanchez stepped in on Monday hoping to stem the soaring energy prices by introducing emergency measures to help reduce the sky high bills because wholesale energy prices have double in a year.

He proposes to drop the special electricity tax, reduce VAT and suspend a 7% generation tax hoping to lower bills by 22%. We shall see!

A party heading out to parascending trip in Fuengirola port

One thing which Europe has, I think, overlooked is the 90-day rule which insists non-resident Brits can only spend 90 days (in 180) here.

This means that thousands of the more elderly who have invested their hard-earned cash into a holiday home have to carefully plan their retirement stay, especially during winter, so as to leave within the 90-day period. Owners come to Spain to spend but are now restricted!

This must be a consideration here in Spain as the government is planning to extend the holiday period way beyond September and into late autumn with interesting promotions in an attempt to give the tourist sector a much-needed boost after the devastating loss of trade during the pandemic.