Pat Sin Leng

Pat Sin Leng Country Park stretches imposingly along the north coast of Tolo Harbour. Great views of the mountain range can be had traveling north along the KCR line and Tolo Highway.

Pat Sin Leng range across Tolo Harbour from the Tolo Cycleway in 1992…in the days before terrible air pollution

Fishing junks at She Lan

The view from She Lan across the typhoon shelter towards Tai Po

The Pat Sin Leng range from Tai Mei Tuk – the Wilson Trail runs along the ridge ending at Tai Mei Tuk

The view west from Pat Sin Leng above Po Sam Pai and Ting Kok across the Yim Tin Tsai peninsula

The elderly gent seen on Beyond Lion Rock performs an elegant swallow dive into the rock pools above Nam Chung on the northern side of Pat Sin Leng Country Park

The falls cascade steeply towards Nam Chung below and out to Sha Tau Kok beyond

If you check the rocks in the splashzone of the falls carefully, you might find Hong Kong Cascade Frogs Amalops hongkongensis, an endemic species

The indented northern boundary of the Pat Sin Leng park is typical of most of the other Country Parks in Hong Kong. If you follow the boundaries of any of the Country Parks, you’ll find that lowlying areas were omitted when the parks were gazetted. It was no accident that the areas of greatest biodiversity were left out; the parks were not actually conceived as nature reserves, their prime purpose was as water gathering grounds to refill the colony’s reservoirs. Many of the boundaries follow the same contour almost without variation around the park perimeter, often, on the ground the contour is marked with a concrete channel; the ground below the channel being outside the park; the ground above inside. Any water run-off is collected in the channel running via a network of tunnels to the reservoirs – many of the reservoirs are themselves interconnected with more tunnels so that water can be moved from one to another. The lowlying wetlands no longer receive their natural overland recharge, and being outside the park boundary are not protected from development. The omitted areas regularly make the news headlines in Hong Kong when developers buy lots or drain wetlands to facilitate inappropriate development.

The wetland areas omitted from Pat Sin Leng are regarded as being the most biodiverse ecosystems in Hong Kong. Sha Lo Tung (near Tai Po industrial estate) has suffered regular trashing and draining by developers and disturbance by half witted weekend paintballers. On the northern side, Nam Chung and Luk Keng are better preserved but there is nothing to prevent developers rolling in and draining fishponds or the Luk Keng marsh. Given the proximity of Sha Tau Kok crossing into mainland China, how long this are will remain undisturbed is uncertain.

Sha Lo Tung

As recently as the mid-90s, the Sha Lo Tung valley was a wetland paradise with streams teaming with native fish, tadpoles, endemic dragonflies, reptiles, birds and mammals. Visiting the valley after dark was ear-shattering with calls from the amphibians, insects and birds.

Earth moving equipment was brought in by 4WDrivers so that they could get their tyres dirty without getting stuck.

Nam Chung and Luk Keng

The view north from Pat Sin Leng across the Nam Chung fishponds on the left, the Luk Keng marsh on the right towards the Chinese city of Sha Tau Kok. The high ground separating Nam Chung and Luk Keng is part of the country park.

The Japanese pillbox is situated on the hill between Luk Keng and Nam Chung, facing the border area

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2 responses to “Pat Sin Leng

    • The cascade frogs in that area are quite cryptic, being black against black rocks and usually resting on vertical surfaces in the splash zone of the falls. They are about 3″ (or 75mm, in new money) long. Good hunting!

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