Apart from the high historic and architectural values of the Old Tai Po Police Station buildings, we recognize the conservation importance of the two Old and Valuable Trees (OVT), the other mature trees on site, and the neighbouring Tai Po Market Egretry. We strive to co-exist with all these valuable features, and our activities are carefully planned to minimize disturbance.
According to the field survey conducted by Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (HKBWS) and KFBG ecologists, the northern slope of the Old Tai Po Police Station provides an important habitat for egrets and herons. Since 2005, it has been found to be actively used by egrets as a nesting site. It is an important egret breeding site and one of the five local sites where more than 3 species of egret are found nesting.
The ecological sensitivity of the Tai Po Market Egretry has been taken into account since the Green Hub project planning stage.
- A protective ‘bird curtain’ was set up alongside the walking path at the northern side of the Old Tai Po Police Station to reduce disturbance to birds.
- Work of high disturbance, such as roof renovation and noisy works, were avoided at the northern side of the site during the egret breeding season from March to August.
- An ecologist was appointed to conduct weekly field surveys to monitor the disturbance of site works to birds, so as to assure conservation measures were implemented and action could be taken quickly to address unforeseen problems.
Conservation measures taken when the Green Hub is in operation include:
During the egret breeding season from March to August, a bird screen is in place along the walking path at the northern side of the Green Hub to reduce disturbance to wild birds that nest in the Egretry. With support from the World Wide Fund For Nature, reed harvested by KFBG volunteers from Mai Po Nature Reserve is used to build this fence, so that it is well camouflaged.
- Access to this path is always under control. Only guided visitors can access the path and they can observe birds via small openings at the bird screen. Workshop participants can also observe birds from the window of the Seminar Room, which also serves as a bird hide.
- Our ecologists continue to monitor the Tai Po Market Egretry. In the summer of 2015 we counted more birds nesting nearby than were counted before renovation began.