Nam Chung and Luk Keng, which are located in the inner sea of Sha Tau Kok, are well-known suburban oasis. Turning in from Sha Tau Kok Road, the scenic winding coastline of Luk Keng Road are always crowded with visitors who come here to marvel at the picturesque scene. In the winter season when reeds are in full bloom, migratory birds are known to cross the border. It is truly a unique mountain and sea landscape on the northeastern coast of the New Territories. In the low valley of the inner sea, there are also hidden diverse ecological and cultural landscapes.
The inner sea area of Sha Tau Kok is home to a number of Hakka village settlements with a history of three or four hundred years. The villagers have inherited rich historical memories and cultural customs. The pattern of Feng Shui forest behind the village is still intact. However, the development and changes of the countryside are a reflection of the development of modern Hong Kong. For example, in Nam Chung, since the early 1950s, villagers have migrated overseas to make a living and to settle down. Rice paddies have been replaced. Instead, the new villagers who arrived here have successively excavated fish ponds to raise freshwater fish. A new generation of organic farmers have arrived to cultivate the land, the changes of the landscape and the development of cultural history embodies the sentimental imagery of our modern era.
The natural landscape and ecology in this area, along with the diversity of aquatic habitats and the richness of species are very rich. In Nan Chung alone, there are two well-known stone gongs named Pingnan Stream and Pingjia Stream, which both merge into the Nan Chung River. The water that flows through the lowlands continue down into agriculture-used canals and slopes that were constructed many years ago, abandoned fish ponds, reed beds, swamps that occasionally flood, mangroves and, finally flowing out of the estuary, into the sea. Other natural habitats include: rocky shores, feng shui forests, secondary forests, dryland farmland, wetland farmland, etc. These small areas are home to diverse habitats, breed a vast range of living creatures, and have a profound historical and cultural heritage. We are indeed proud that our land- and community-based work is part of such a strong biodiversity.
Through this program, we hope to nurture community tour guides to work with the two broad topics of natural ecology and history and culture. After completing the training, we will share the hidden treasures of New Territories in Nan Chung and Lu Keng areas. And together realize the importance of cultural preservation in rural landscapes through group research and learning.
-Learning together: the unique natural habitats and cultural heritage of Nam Chung & Luk Keng (and beyond) -Build skills and competences on the interpretation of local heritage, living culture, values and cultural identity attached to place -Contribute to community capacity building through the development of community-based ecocultural tours
-The program covers a wide range of topics, including natural habitats and species identification; a broad overview of Hakka culture and language, rural development and a concise history of the New Territories, the concept of cultural landscape, and interpretation skills. The knowledge and skills involved are applicable to a variety of fields. -We have guests speakers from different fields who will share their knowledge and experiences with us – it’s going to be a very meaningful and enriching learning journey! -Most courses are conducted at our farm at Nam Chung, we hope that you’ll enjoy a strong sense of support, and an opportunity to share and care for our people and our Earth on this learning journey.
We are welcoming any young people or adults interested in ecotourism, cultural heritage, and community building to join us. Please do remember this is a tour guide training program. Accepted applicants are expected to take part in full training and commit to a sustained relationship with PEACE and the program. ALL applicants must be 16 years of age or older, and be able to listen to and speak Cantonese. ALL courses are taught in Cantonese. As long as you can speak the language fairly well, you’re still welcome to apply even if you CANNOT read Chinese characters. Please also make sure you’re physically fit for outdoor activities.
Target Intake: 15 for each theme
Hosting organization: Partnership for Eco-Agriculture and Conservation of Earth (PEACE)