PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 January, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 January, 2003, 12:00am

Brian Crockford is right to question the motives of government departments in their wanton concreting and barricading of our country parks ('Runners are at risk thanks to railings', South China Morning Post, January 28).

I walked the path described by Mr Crockford (at Jardine's Lookout catchwater) last weekend and was also inconvenienced in the parts mentioned. I have walked all over Hong Kong's country park trails, almost always in company, and the feelings are universal. Everyone prefers the paths to be left as natural as possible. It is much more pleasant to walk along dirt paths interspersed with rocks than on hard concrete. Where the government has concreted, look at where people actually walk. Whenever they can it is along the sides of the trail, where there is no concrete.

After all, why do people go to country parks, if not to enjoy a bit of nature? The approach to country trails ought to be the minimalist one, the minimum required to make the path clear and safe. The various departments concerned hide behind issues of 'public safety'.

It is much more likely that they have budgets they must spend or lose.

If these departments really have safety as their concern, let us see the evidence of the 'accidents' reported as a result of the failure to concrete and rail in our public parks.


Discovery Bay