Well, we have country parks here.

But establishing them is tough – very very few new ones lately. And all that I know of exclude village areas, even abandoned villages – Sham Chung is a classic example of these, surrounded by country park yet excluded from it.

Idea when excluding the villages, much as small house policy, was to allow villages to survive. Wasn’t anticipated people would mostly move out, and then village areas would attract rich city folk for renting commuter accommodation, maybe visiting on holidays, playing golf and so forth.

Money would indeed change minds; but Sun Hung Kai has already bought rights to most Sham Chung land – and seems utterly disinterested in doing anything like pleasant rural tourism (I have tried to contact Sun Hung Kai about Sham Chung, through Business Env Council – but nothing).

Sham Chung is one of several major sites for biodiversity that have been bought by developers in this way, with government fending off various proposals for developments, yet finding it tough to keep holding out.

There have been ideas for government buying land – which might be only way to establish country parks in such areas; yet very expensive. (Way too much for WWF or Greenpeace, say; Hong Kong has pitifully few nature reserves – and massive land prices surely a key reason. Not like UK, where RSPB and other ngos can buy land for reserves.)

So, arguments continue.

I haven’t been to Sham Chung for a while; was told there’s now a golf course, but not sure it’s used much. I believe it’s crap that Sun Hung Kai hasn’t (that I know of) made effort to maintain and restore old village houses there.

About to send another email to BEC, re Sun Hung Kai and Sham Chung…