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山徑維護十大「謎思」逐個講

2019/4/2 — 15:19

Photo credit: AAE

Photo credit: AAE

【文:郊遊徑石屎化關注小組】

1. 香港的山徑由哪個部門負責管理及維修?

郊野公園範圍內的山徑一般由漁農自然護理署(漁護署)管理並由轄下 20 個管理站的前線員工負責維護;其餘的山徑則由各區的民政事務處管理,包括在郊野公園範圍但連接村落的山徑,而山徑維修工程項目則會外判予工程承辦商。

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2. 為何我們要參與山徑維修?

香港山徑的使用率相當高。2017 年郊野公園的訪客近 1,300 萬人次,當中不少為行山和跑步人士,而 2016-17 年度在香港舉辦的越野跑活動更達 120 項,令山徑持續耗損。此外,現時郊野公園範圍內正式闢設及管理的行山徑長達 500 公里。作為山徑使用者,我們有責任協助維護山徑,並了解山徑常態維護的重要性。

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3. 甚麼是「手作步道」?為何要「手作步道」?

「手作步道」是一套山徑管理的理念及工法,目的是從源頭處理排水問題,並儘可能就地取材,以人手方式維護一條安全、對環境友善及可持續的山徑,務求與當地的自然與文化環境融合。

透過「手作步道」,我們希望展示一個可行的替代方案,解決現時山徑石屎化的問題。這也是我們成立關注小組的目的。

4. 為甚麼不讓山徑保持現狀?

我們只在「有需要」的情況下才維修山徑。地表逕流(雨水)是導致山徑劣化的最主要原因。它會造成水土流失、植被損失、產生沖蝕溝及山徑擴闊等問題。受沖蝕的山徑初期看似「天然」,但長久會令樹根外露,失去抓地能力;沖蝕溝也會漸深漸闊,令山徑難以行走,在雨後也會因積水而變得泥濘。這些都會促使行人開闢新的路徑或捷徑,造成惡性循環。

5. 為甚麼不用水泥鋪設山徑?

水泥鋪面會令泥土喪失吸收水能力,導致水泥路兩側的水流量增加,加劇水土流失。流水更會沖蝕路基,造成路面下陷;堅硬的鋪面也會令膝蓋及肌肉承受更大的衝擊力;此外也會影響植物根部發展及造成棲地切割、景觀破壞等問題。

6. 為甚麼要使用山徑附近的材料來造路?

外來的材料須使用大型機器或另闢通道運送,令周遭環境受損。使用山徑附近的石材或木材不但能融合當地的環境,也能減低運輸成本及對環境的擾動。

7. 用這些方法不也會干擾周圍的環境嗎?

維護的過程無可避免地會對部分生物造成干擾,但長遠而言,適當的維護對整體的自然環境更為有益。

8. 為甚麼要邀請外地的山徑專家?

外地專家的參與可促進技術交流和經驗傳承。我們也可藉此參考其他地區的山徑維護工法和管理措施。

9. 我們可以自行維修山徑嗎?有甚麼途徑可以參加關於山徑維修的活動?

在郊野公園內維修山徑必須事先獲漁護署許可。

大家可積極參與由漁護署及綠惜地球不時舉辦的山徑維修工作坊或義工活動,大家可留意以下網頁獲取最新消息:

AFCD 漁農自然護理署
郊野公園教育活動計劃
綠惜地球
綠洲
我們的關注小組

10. 我們還可以做甚麼?

我們在行山或越野跑時,應盡量在指定的山徑上行走,並避免使用捷徑或自行開闢山徑。另外,如果看見到排水溝積滿枯枝枯葉或泥巴,在安全的情況下可以幫忙清理,防止淤塞,這樣可以大大降低流水正面沖蝕山徑。

Ten “Myths” about Trails

1. Who is responsible for trail management and maintenance in Hong Kong?

In general, trails within country parks are managed by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), and maintained by the frontline staff of the 20 management centres of the AFCD. The rest of them, including those footpaths connecting villages within country parks, are managed by relevant District Offices under Home Affairs Department and the maintenance works are outsourced to service contractors.

2. Why should we participate in trail maintenance?

Hiking trails in Hong Kong have high usage rates. About 13 million visitors to country parks were recorded in 2017 and many of them engaged in hiking and trail running. In 2016-17, the number of trail races held in Hong Kong had reached 120, aggravating the wear and tear of the trails. In addition, a total of 500 km of trails in country parks are currently under management and maintenance. As trail users, it is our responsibilities to help maintain the trails and recognise the importance of regular trail maintenance.

3. What is eco-trails? Why eco-trails?

Eco-trail is both a trail management concept and technique aims at handling the drainage problem at source, and using natural materials, wherever possible, to maintain a safe, environmentally friendly and sustainable trail by hands that can blend with the local natural and cultural environment.

By adopting eco-trail, we demonstrate a better alternative to cope with the problems of concretization of trails, which is also the reason why we established the Concern Group in the first place.

4. Why not leaving it as it is?

We maintain a trail on a “need” basis. Surface runoff (rain) is the major reason for trail degradation. It causes soil erosion, vegetation loss, formation of gullies, trail widening, etc. The affected trails may look “natural” at first but eventually tree roots will expose, losing their anchoring ability. Gullies will deepen and widen over time, making the trails difficult to walk onto, and getting muddy after rain. All these causes hikers to look for new route (side trail) or shortcut, further worsening the problems.

5. Why not using cement for building trails?

Cement would weaken trail's ability of water absorption, leading extra water flow on both sides of the trails that would ultimately worsen the erosion problem. The running and falling power of water flow would erode the trail foundation, causing the collapse of road surface. This would end up splitting up lands and affecting root development of plantation, ruining the natural view and creating a bad cycle of erosion. Hard trail cover would also mean strong pounding on users' knees and muscles, putting negative physical impact on users directly.

6. Why using materials nearby the trails?

Materials from other channels would need huge machines and special passage for delivery which could create extra damage to the surrounding area. Using wood and stones accessible around a specific site can reduce potential cost of delivery and disturbance of the area, it also blends in with the site in a much harmonised way.

7. Isn’t it also disturbing to the surrounding environment?

It's inevitable to cause certain impact to the surroundings during the course of maintenance and repairing but this should be minimised to its least level. The arrangement of using materials nearby would be the most appropriate and beneficial as a whole in long term.

8. Why inviting trail experts from aboard?

Trails experts from aboard can share their skills and techniques on a practical level besides theories which enable us to take reference and learn from other places’ trails management and repairing work.

9. Can we start our own repairing work? How can we participate in related events/activities?

Permission from AFCD is required for any sort of repairing work within the country parks.

Everyone is welcome to join the trail workshops and volunteer programs hosted by AFCD and The Green Earth. Check out the below links/Facebook pages for relevant news and info.:

AFCD
Country Parks Education Programmes
The Green Earth
Oasistrek
Our group’s page

10. What else can we do?

We should stay walking or running on the designed paths and try not to take shortcuts or open up new routes in the bush. In addition, you may help to clear fallen leaves and branches, sand and mud, or rocks and stones stuck in the water runways but be sure your safety always goes first. Keeping the water runways clear from blockages can greatly reduce the direct impact from running water and help avoiding erosion.

 

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