Located at the south-western side of Mount Kellett, Pokfulam (hereinafter refer to as “Chi Fu Valley” ), the Dairy Farm was developed approximately more than hundred years ago. The Chi Fu Valley is now the home of large number of old trees and rich ecosystem. We would urge the Authority to holistically preserve the Old Dairy Farm and its natural environment by grading the Dairy Farm remains and zoning the valley as the first Hong Kong’s “First Eco-heritage Park “.
The Dairy Farm Company at Pokfulam was the first ranch in Hong Kong and had been the largest one in Far East before World War II. The Chi Fu Valley had been part of the Dairy Farm at Pokfulam for nearly a hundred years. Since the closure of the Dairy Farm in 1983, the dairy farm’s configuration and some of its facilities have been almost kept intact. Today, the remains of dairy farm and its surrounding natural environment have merged together, becoming the unique scenery of Hong Kong.
The Dairy Farm had been developed as a typical working dairy farm carrying all basic features. Until today, all the Dairy Farms’ facilities have been “frozen” in its primitive form. In this Valley, people can easily identify Dairy Farms’ facilities, e.g. cowsheds, paddocks, step stiles, silo, manure pit, dairy, piggeries, water tank, and Elephant Grass growing fields…etc., which were all built approximately one hundred years ago. The dairy farm is “a tangible reminder of a part of Hong Kong’s struggle to reproduce valuable aspect of the Western world and its comforts and dietary elements in what was, and still is, a physically alien environment for those thousands of cows that gave their milk in conditions far from ideal.” After all, it was “Sir Patrick Manson who started the whole thing off (more than) a century ago.”
While grading has been given to the Senior Staff Quarter, Braemar, near Bethanie, as well as the Old Dairy Farm Main Office Building and the Cowsheds near Bethanie, the Dairy Farm in Chi Fu Valley is ignored by the government and receives no historical grading so far. It is emphasized that a number of the surviving structures of the Dairy Farm in the Chi Fu Valley are important historic structures in their own right, being the physical remains of this vastly important Hong Kong enterprise, Dairy Farm Company.
In view of this situation, a group of volunteers have collectively conducted field surveys and research in Chi Fu Valley. We have found out that the valley is not just the home of Dairy Farm but also a region of extremely high ecological value.
Short-legged Toad and Lesser Spiny Frog found and identified in Chi Fu Valley. They are classified under The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources （＂IUCN＂） Red List of Threatened Species as Endangered species and Vulnerable species respectively.
In Chi Fu Valley, at least thirty five significant Ficus Microcarpa meeting the standard of Old Valuable Tree are identified. The density of old valuable trees in Chi Fu Valley is much higher than most of the renowned city Park in Hong Kong, e.g. Hong Kong Park, Kowloon Park, Victoria Park…etc.; also, eight protected species Lagerstroemia Fordii are identified and recorded.
Out of the 35 old and valuable trees, some of the trees’ root systems are attached to the remnants, forming the unique scenery of Hong Kong – stonewall trees, demonstrating the harmony co-existence of man-made heritage and the natural environment.
The Valley’s extremely high ecological values can be paired with the Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve. More than sixty bird species including some migratory birds have been observed around Chi Fu Valley and Kai Lung Wan Green Belt which is in adjacent to the Valley.
The geology of Pok Fu Lam is volcanic rocks in large scale fold structures which is uncommon in Hong Kong. Geology also underlies dramatic landscape features including the High West (493m) and Waterfall Bay. The landscape character of Pok Fu Lam has suffered much damage due to massive development projects over time and now risks further destruction. Chi Fu Valley is an integral and important component of the unique geo-heritage and landscape of Pok Fu Lam. Its natural beauty and the cultural landscape deserve conservation and rehabilitation as a valuable asset in the area.
In according to Pokfulam Outline Zoning Plan S/H10/15, Chi Fu Valley is currently zoned as Residential (Group B). Government is planning to develop this Valley. Should it happens, the historical remains of Dairy Farm and the old valuable trees shall be destroyed and uprooted.
Therefore, we have spent two years researching literature / historical archives and other relevant sources, compiling the collected information in the Preserving Chi Fu Valley Compendium. With all information collected, it sufficiently proves that the valley integrates the rich elements of heritage, ecology, humanity and geo-heritage as a whole. Afterward, we have submitted an application to Town Planning Board in August 2016 applying for rezoning the valley to Other specified Used (Eco-heritage Park). At the same time, we wrote to Antiquities and Monuments Office and Antiquities Advisory Board requesting for grading the remnant of Dairy Farm. Preserving Chi Fu Valley not only conserves a natural treasure for Hong Kong people, but also provides them an educational and re-creational point of attraction. It will benefit Hong Kong at large.