Most want more nature sites, poll finds

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 April, 2010, 12:00am

The city does not have enough sites dedicated to the appreciation of nature, according to 440 out of 710 people surveyed by a green group.

They told the Tai Po Environmental Association they wanted more nature sites to be set aside, and more guided tours to showcase the city's plants, insects, birds and geology.

Some 480 people said they wanted to see more conservation information provided in schools, advertisements, guided tours and public events.

Results of the survey were announced yesterday at the launch of a butterfly exhibition by the association at the Star Ferry pier in Central.

The exhibition includes live butterfly larvae, pupae and host plants, and a section on how the butterfly has inspired engineers.

The group, which is based at a butterfly reserve in Tai Po, also reported that the large branded swift, a rare species, had been sighted in the reserve for the first time in February.

The group's reserve lies in the 43-hectare Fung Yuen Valley, designated by the government as a 'site of special scientific interest' since 1980 for its importance as a major butterfly breeding site.

The group has complained of a drop in butterfly numbers in the past few years and blames continuing residential development by Cheung Kong (Holdings) just 50 metres from the reserve.

But the government approved the development long ago and has refused to enlarge the 50-metre buffer zone to 100 metres.

Separately, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department is inviting the public to take part in tree planting events on the coming three Sundays. They will be held on eroded sites in Lantau North Country Park, Grassy Hill in Shing Mun and Tai Lam Country Park. Details are available on its website.

Last year, more than 730,000 tree seedlings were planted in country parks, with nearly 70 per cent being native species.