Nam Chung and Luk Keng, which are located in the inner sea of Sha Tau Kok, are well-known suburban oasis. Turning in from Sha Tau Kok Road, the scenic winding coastline of Luk Keng Road are always crowded with visitors who come here to marvel at the picturesque scene. In the winter season when reeds are in full bloom, migratory birds are known to cross the border. It is truly a unique mountain and sea landscape on the northeastern coast of the New Territories. In the low valley of the inner sea, there are also hidden diverse ecological and cultural landscapes.
The inner sea area of Sha Tau Kok is home to a number of Hakka village settlements with a history of three or four hundred years. The villagers have inherited rich historical memories and cultural customs. The pattern of Feng Shui forest behind the village is still intact. However, the development and changes of the countryside are a reflection of the development of modern Hong Kong. For example, in Nam Chung, since the early 1950s, villagers have migrated overseas to make a living and to settle down. Rice paddies have been replaced. Instead, the new villagers who arrived here have successively excavated fish ponds to raise freshwater fish. A new generation of organic farmers have arrived to cultivate the land, the changes of the landscape and the development of cultural history embodies the sentimental imagery of our modern era.
The natural landscape and ecology in this area, along with the diversity of aquatic habitats and the richness of species are very rich. In Nan Chung alone, there are two well-known stone gongs named Pingnan Stream and Pingjia Stream, which both merge into the Nan Chung River. The water that flows through the lowlands continue down into agriculture-used canals and slopes that were constructed many years ago, abandoned fish ponds, reed beds, swamps that occasionally flood, mangroves and, finally flowing out of the estuary, into the sea. Other natural habitats include: rocky shores, feng shui forests, secondary forests, dryland farmland, wetland farmland, etc. These small areas are home to diverse habitats, breed a vast range of living creatures, and have a profound historical and cultural heritage. We are indeed proud that our land- and community-based work is part of such a strong biodiversity.
Through this program, we hope to nurture community tour guides to work with the two broad topics of natural ecology and history and culture. After completing the training, we will share the hidden treasures of New Territories in Nan Chung and Lu Keng areas. And together realize the importance of cultural preservation in rural landscapes through group research and learning.
Hosting organization: Partnership for Eco-Agriculture and Conservation of Earth (PEACE)