Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre
Come experience nature at our centre! Our three historic buildings lie just steps from The University of Hong Kong (HKU) campus and Lung Fu Shan Country Park. Previously used as officer quarters for the Water Supplies Department, our centre now provides environmentally themed exhibitions, guided nature tours and green workshops for the general public. Diverse wildlife can often be spotted resting and feeding in our Butterfly Garden and Eco-pond. Stop by before your visit to Lung Fu Shan to learn more about our local ecology!
Among the natural boulders of the uphill stream, the current burbles noisily. In contrast, just a few metres downhill, the current flows smoothly in the paved concrete channel. This channelization diverts rainwater to help prevent flooding. However, it also disrupts much of the original ecology and reduces local biodiversity. Some animals have adapted to these artificial water channels though! Grey Wagtails and other birds often take baths in the channelized streams while butterflies are often spotted sipping water at the bottom of the channel!
No. 16 Pavilion
Take a break at No. 16 pavilion! Amenities here include a water dispenser, washrooms and exercise stations. After resting, take a closer look at these man-made structures. Try and spot the tracks of small wildlife here. Need a tip? Peer into the protected space under the roof of the foundation stone, the pavilion roof or the drainage holes on the concrete wall. These are popular spaces for Chinese Geckos to hide and to lay eggs in. During summer nights, the drainage holes double as a favorite resting space for Asian Common Toads too!
Stonewalls and Trees
Most urban concrete walls are made with regularly shaped stones but this wall is made from stones of different sizes and shapes. First constructed when Hong Kong was opened for trade, stonewalls stabilized the terrain and served as building boundaries. They are primarily distributed in Hong Kong’s early areas of development, such as the Central and Western District. In the gaps between stones, accumulated soil and water create plant-friendly environments. If tree seeds burrow inside (usually from Banyan Trees) and are able to successfully sprout, they will grow into stonewall trees. The stonewalls offer support and nutrients for the trees while the trees bring birds, insects and other wildlife to the walls. These stonewall trees are a unique interaction between humans and nature and are also an important part of Hong Kong’s history.
Victoria City Boundary Stone
This granite stone column is one of the six remaining boundary stones that mark the border of Victoria City. When the port was first opened for trade, settlement concentrated along the northwest shore of Hong Kong Island. As waves of immigrants arrived from China, the government started to look for other areas for development such as the Mid-levels to relieve overcrowding by the shore. The area stretching from Kennedy Town to Causeway Bay was designated as a commercial and political centre, named the “City of Victoria”. Administrative measures such as tax rates differed for those inside and outside the City. To prevent arguments caused by unclear city boundaries, The City of Victoria Boundaries Ordinance was read and passed on 19 Nov 1903, enacting the creation of boundary stones to define precise city borders. These stones have witnessed the changes of the City for over 100 years.
Notice the silence by the boundary stone. Even insect chirps are rarely heard here. This silence is caused by the Brisbane Box plantation forest nearby. During World War II, most trees on this hill were cut down for firewood. After the war, the British colonial government imported exotic fast-growing and adaptable tree species (such as the Brisbane Box) to increase reforestation rates. These plantations of exotic tree species do not provide suitable food for native wildlife and are often considered to be less ecologically valuable than a native forest. Despite this, plantation forests help to gradually improve soil conditions, paving the way for native trees to slowly take root in this area again. With time, this forest will be revitalized into a flourishing area of biodiversity.
Country Park Entrance
Close to the Peak, Lung Fu Shan Country Park is the smallest country park in Hong Kong but boasts an astonishing amount of biodiversity, historical significance and ongoing community usage. Established in 1998, it serves as home to over 130 bird species, 110 butterfly species and 35 amphibian and reptile species, as well as some protected species like the East Asian Porcupine. It has also long been a place of refuge from the city for the local community, who come up for morning walks and to brew tea with their friends.
Lung Fu Shan Hilltop
A short climb up a staircase brings you to one of Lung Fu Shan’s two hilltops. With an elevation of 253 meters, this hilltop was previously named “Fu Shan” (Tiger Hill). The hilltop with Pinewood Battery was known as “Lung Shan” (Dragon Hill). This exemplifies the Chinese saying, good fortune is brought about when “Green Dragon is on the left and White Tiger is on the right”. Enjoy the plethora of beautiful scenery around Lung Fu Pavilion! In the distance, Victoria Harbour lies amidst majestically regal peaks while hill-topping butterflies congregate on the nearest hilltop!
Victoria Harbour Viewpoint
This viewpoint offers a spectacular panoramic view of both shores of Victoria Harbour. Sightlines extend far into the distance, especially on clear blue days. The picturesque mountain scenery of Tai Mo Shan, Kam Shan and Lion Rock are uniquely juxtaposed with distinctively urban skyscrapers along the harbour. See if you can also spot some black kites, which often soar above the hilltop to your left!
Located at an elevation of 307 metres, Pinewood Battery is the highest coastal battery in Hong Kong. Perhaps this geographical advantage is what gives Pinewood Battery the unique claim of being used twice as a defensive installation. In early 20th century, it was first used to protect Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island from Russian and French colonial aggression. It was then abandoned in 1913 when a larger battery on Mount Davis overlooking a similar area was constructed. In 1930, it was refitted as an anti-aircraft defence installation with additional bunkers built nearby. This battery served as a counter to advancements in aerial warfare at the time. Unfortunately, when the Japanese invaded Hong Kong in 1941, its anti-aircraft gun was destroyed and Pinewood Battery was consequently abandoned. Although the last echo of battery fire is long in the past, the pockmarks in the walls serve as a reminder of the fierce battles Pinewood Battery has endured.
Chinese Herbal Garden
From the Divine Farmer (Shen Nong) who tasted hundreds of herbs, to the Compendium of Materia Medica’s author Li Shizhen, and even for modern Chinese medicine doctors, many plants are useful for healing sicknesses and maintaining health. These natural herbal remedies can heal many different kinds of sicknesses when used appropriately. They can also be easily found in our daily lives. Honeysuckle flowers reduce “heat” and detoxify our body while Fishwort reduces swelling. This Chinese Herbal Garden is regularly tended by volunteers of the Lung Fu Shan Country Park Morning Walkers’ Association. There are over one hundred Chinese herbal plants here. Do you recognize any of them?
Pik Shan Path
Pik Shan Path is situated on the border of Lung Fu Shan Country Park, leading to places such as LFSEEC, HKU, Pok Fu Lam Road and Queen Mary Hospital. This path is built on an old conduit that used to carry water from Pok Fu Lam Reservoir to Pok Fu Lam Filter Beds. Paved with flat granite, it is an easy and enjoyable stroll for all ages. Lovely bridges, ample shade and views of the city also make Pik Shan Path a popular trail for both hikers and their four-pawed companions! The streams here provide enjoyable habitats for amphibians and reptiles. They are particularly active during summer nights, making Pik Shan Path a hotspot for wildlife lovers too!
HKU Station Exit A2
Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre is located in the University of Hong Kong and is a 10 minute walk from the MTR, with Lung Fu Shan Country Park only another 25 minutes away. Begin your walk into nature and history from the HKU MTR station!