IT is exactly 40 years since some of Spain’s earliest eco-warriors occupied a Balearic island to ward off developers.

This July, in 1977, a band of 50 protesters set sail for the small island of Dragonera to complain about the planned construction of homes for 4,000 people.

OCCUPATION: Protestors sailed to Dragonera

Despite furious opposition, Andratx Town Hall approved the building plans by local firm Pamesa, three years after they were lodged.

However, the protest group, known as Terr i Libertat, received huge local and international backing before being forced to leave the island.

“In the face of the systematic destruction of the islands and their environment, we are demanding the right to enjoy a little bit of free space,” one told the New York Times.

In 1984, a Balearic court ruled that construction should not be permitted and in 1988, the Council Of Mallorca bought the island for 280 million pesetas (about 1.7m euros) before it was given protected nature park status in 1995.

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