Ever since the establishment of country parks and special areas* in 1977, about 44 300 hectares of countryside has been conserved. Not only do these areas provide habitats for diverse animals and plants, but they also serve as venues for countryside recreation and outdoor educational activities for the public. These beautiful natural sceneries are green attractions of Hong Kong much appreciated by both locals and overseas visitors. Every year, some 13 million people visit Hong Kong’s 24 country parks and 22 special areas. Over the past five years, the area of country park has increased by about 50 hectares. The Government is also making preparation to designate about 500 hectares at Robin’s Nest as the twenty-fifth country park.
Making reference to experience in other places and opinions gathered, we recommend a series of proposals to enhance the recreation and education potential of Hong Kong country parks and special areas, while maintaining their conservation functions. These enhancement proposals, if adopted, will only be implemented in a very small percentage of country park area, but will provide more diversified and better facilities and services to the public. Meanwhile, the Government will continue to deploy resources to conserve the natural environment of country parks and provide basic facilities, such as hiking trails, waymarks, toilets, etc., for the public.
We sincerely invite you to share your views on these enhancement proposals. Your views will help us upgrade our country parks and special areas for our future generations.
* Under the Country Parks Ordinance (Cap. 208), special areas are government land with special interest and importance by reason of their flora, fauna, geological, cultural or archaeological features which are designated for conservation purpose.