LOVELY PATH RUINED

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 February, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 February, 2003, 12:00am

It is with great sadness that I have watched the destruction of a beautiful, natural path linking Clear Water Bay Road to the High Junk Peak trail at Sheung Sze Wan.


Large sections of this trail have been remodelled into regular paths and long flights of steps made of stone, but heavily encased in concrete. Along the length of the route, the path has been widened and the bare earth beside it levelled, apparently in preparation for an official mountain-bike trail. While I appreciate that cycling enthusiasts should be allowed to enjoy their sport, why has it been necessary to completely ruin this lovely ascent into the hills for walkers? Surely people take to the trails to enjoy natural surroundings and get away from the ubiquitous Hong Kong concrete.


Hikers like to feel the earth beneath their feet and are not adverse to negotiating the odd rock, tree root or small stream in their path, so why has all this expensive work been necessary? Simply widening the trail and levelling one side of it would have achieved the same goal.


When the bike track opens, will walkers be expected to stick to the contrived steps and heavily concreted paths alone?


MICHELA METCALF


Sai Kung