A FEW weeks ago I was in Illetas, in the area of the military club. It has not been for a month for various reasons and it is one my favourite beaches close to Palma.

Granted, the weather was a but unsettled, as was the sea, but the beach appeared to shrunk by half in my short absence.

The number of sun beds had been reduced, due to a lack of space, a mid afternoon, scores of people either left or came over to the rocks because the sea was engulfing most of the beach - there was hardly any room. I was rather shocked.

And then, last weekend, I popped to Sa Rapita. At first I was expecting a battle for a parking space, but on arrival at 12.30pm, we had a choice of five spaces - somewhat unusual for this time of year.

It’s still officially peak season, August has only just come to an end and it was the last weekend of the school holidays.

So, not only was the beach surprisingly quiet with the vast majority being local residents - they stick out a mile when they take everything including the kitchen sink with them - it too appeared to have shrunk since I last went a few months ago.

Yes, the water was crystal clear, although a bit warm for my liking, but even though there were fewer people than normal, there is not much beach left, despite all the efforts to protect the virgin sands, the posidonia sea grass and the ecosystem in general. Climate change appears to have moved up a gear.