Villages in the River Basin

There are a dozen villages in Tung Chung River basin: Ngau Au, Shek Mun Kap, Shek Lau Po, Tei Tong Tsai, Mok Ka, Wong Ka Wai, Lung Tseng Tau, Lam Che, Nim Un, Tung Hing, San Keng, Shek Pik Au, Fong Yuen and Chap Mun Tau. These villages are mostly near the middle and lower course, below an altitude of 60 metres, the exception being Tei Tong Tsai, at 340 metres above sea level.

 

Shek Mun Kap Village

The Ebb and Flow of Agriculture

Alluvium from the middle and lower courses of Tung Chung River has created layers of rich soil. As well as being a water source, Tung Chung Valley has been cultivated since the Ming dynasty. In the 1950s, the upper course became a water gathering ground for Shek Pik Reservoir, leading to a drastic reduction in water that Tung Chung Valley inhabitants used for drinking and irrigation. Paddy field cultivation was seriously affected. Since the 1960s, economic restructuring caused local agriculture to dwindle, and farmers gradually abandoned farming. In the 1990s, there were still a few paddyfields; today, only a few orchards and vegetable farms remain. Other farms are abandoned.

 

 

Nature Conservation

The slope to the north of Lantau Peak, from altitudes of 400 to 900 metres, is the upper valley of Tung Chung River and nearby tributaries. The dense shrubland and woodland is a rare native vegetation habitat, nurturing many interesting ferns, herbs and shrubs. There are also rare Exbuchlandia, Magnolia, Manglietia and Illicium plants. In March 1980, the 227.5-hectare highland valley was listed as a Site for Special Scientific interest (SSSI), to safeguard the precious ecological resources against inappropriate land use and development.

 


Illicium angustisepalum

Leisure and Tourism

In 1978, the upper course of Tung Chung River was designated as within Lantau North & Lantau South Country Park. Later, in July 2008, Lantau North (Extension) Country Park was designated as the 24th country park in Hong Kong, providing for leisure, education, conservation and research uses. The Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department delineated several country trails, including Lantau Trail, Tei Tong Tsai Country Trail and Nei Lak Shan Country Trail. These trails enable the public to explore the natural landscape and ecology of the upper course.

 


Tei Tong Tsai Country Trail

New Town Development

New town development of Tung Chung has until today been concentrated on the reclaimed land to the east of and outside the Tung Chung River basin. However, Tung Chung River basin is included in plans for future development of Tung Chung New Town. According to the Planning Department's "South West New Territories Development Strategy Review – Recommended Development Strategy" formulated in 2001, the area along the middle course is earmarked low–medium density residential development, while the lower course is destined to become a site for yet more high density residential development.

 

River mouth is planned for residential development.


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