Flora of Indonesia

Hands off our banyan trees

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 March, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 March, 1993, 12:00am

DOES nobody care? The banyan trees in Sports Road, with their glorious curtains of aerial roots, are the most beautiful in Hongkong. The Royal Hongkong Jockey Club proposes (South China Morning Post, March 1) to fell them - and there is hardly a word of protest.

Where is the new green awareness Hongkong has begun to pride itself on? Does anyone (apart from the Jockey Club) truly believe Happy Valley needs a wider racetrack more than the beauty of these gracious old trees? Given the Club's already vast turnover and profits, surely neither its stewards nor the Government can seriously sanction this proposed act of vandalism on the basis of need for even greater profit? In 1985, following a petition by Friends of the Earth, the Government agreed to forgo land sale profits of many millions to save an old banyan tree in Stanley. Today, it provides shelter for a delightful sitting out and play area, much enjoyed by tourists, village elders and children. A few years later, again following pressure from Friends of the Earth, Swire agreed to spend $25 million saving the old banyan which today graces its Pacific Place site.

Will anyone join me in telling the Jockey Club to expand their Sha Tin track and leave our Happy Valley banyans alone? LINDA SIDDALL Stanley