Visitors have been filmed breaking into the park in Sichuan to pick its lotus flowers. Photo: Red Star News
Visitors have been filmed breaking into the park in Sichuan to pick its lotus flowers. Photo: Red Star News

Chinese eco park forced to stay shut after tourists strip away all its lotus flowers

  • Sichuan attraction was due to reopen for the summer but managers decided there was no point after it was stripped bare of its most celebrated feature
Topic |   China Society
Visitors have been filmed breaking into the park in Sichuan to pick its lotus flowers. Photo: Red Star News
Visitors have been filmed breaking into the park in Sichuan to pick its lotus flowers. Photo: Red Star News

An ecological park in southwest China has been forced to close for the rest of the year because hundreds of tourists have stripped it of its celebrated lotus flowers.

Longqiao Cultural and Ecological Park in Sichuan province’s Lu county has been closed since late March for watercourse construction and was due to reopen soon.

The park is well known for its sprawling fields of lotus flowers that cover around 250,000 square metres (62 acres) – an area larger than New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

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But since the start of the summer blossom season last month, hundreds of people have been breaking into the park to pick the flowers, forcing managers to keep it closed for the rest of the year.

The flower-pickers have prompted widespread condemnation. Photo: Red Star News
The flower-pickers have prompted widespread condemnation. Photo: Red Star News

“We cannot control the tourists. We can just guarantee we’ve done our job well. We’ve put notes on the park gate and near the flower field and we have security personnel on patrol as well,” a member of staff surnamed Zhou said.

Zhou added that the construction work in the park was almost finished but that there was no point in reopening because there were virtually no flowers left.

Around 200 to 300 people a day are still believed to be breaking into the park, and have forced management to increase the number of security patrols.

Videos and photos of people picking lotus flowers have been circulated widely online and drawn criticism.

Visitors pictured climbing the fence to break into the park. Photo: Thepaper.cn
Visitors pictured climbing the fence to break into the park. Photo: Thepaper.cn

“Even the highest fence cannot stop those without manners. It’s like you can never wake up a person that pretends to sleep,” one Weibo user commented.

“Only penalties can stop these greedy people,” said another.