In order to learn more about the conservation of natural resources, a field trip was held on 30th October, 2013. It took place in Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG). The field trip enables us to experience how to implement the conservation of natural resources, such as water and farming and helps explain what we have learnt in class. After going the fantastic field trip, I have learnt a lot from KFBG. That impressive knowledge is not only something that I have never heard, but also something that I even cannot imaginable.
The observations and knowledge acquired can be divided into three parts which are wildlife, farming and water conservation. First of all, for wildlife, helping protect our local and regional biodiversity are the main goals of KFBG in fauna conservation aspect. One of the methods is to educate members of public through wildlife rescue work. There are different wild animal shown in KFBG, for instance, wild board, bats and barking deer. All of the wildlife shown in the centre is not brought from the others. They are all donated by the charities or rescued from the injured wildlife. It is one of the means as a role model to educate the public that we should refuse all illegal trade of animals. Among those animal displayed, the most impressive animal is bat. As the different lifestyle between human and bat, never do I observe them before I visit KFBG. Bat is the sole flying mammal across the globe. Their forelimbs have evolved to webbed wings, and there are touching sensory organs used to detect the air flow and help flight.
There are 26 kinds of bats in Hong Kong. 24 kinds of them are insect bats and the rest of two are fruit bats. The major different of them is that the insect bats use echolocation to locate their food and move at twilight for preventing from hitting the other flying objects whereas the fruit bats have eyes which can distinguish color and it would be helpful and useful for the fruit bats to locate their fruits. Fruit bats disperse many trees as they spread seed in their droppings during flight. The droppings, or guano, produced at insectivorous bat roosts can be used as high grade fertilizer for horticulture. These are dry and will crumble into a fine powder when crushed. The staff in KFBG will also use it as the fertilizer for the plants. For the water conservation, a constructed wetland wastewater treatment system is set in KFBG. The system connects all the major toilet and animal enclosure facilities in the lower farm are. This system is a sub-surface flow design to significantly upgrade the capacity and hygiene control of wastewater treatment in KFBG. This system uses a wide range of wetland plants to act as biological filters for wastewater treatment, inspired by the water purification function of natural wetlands.
Plants and micro-organisms will uptake the organic materials from the wastewater as nutrients for growth when the wastewater flows across the system and it may help purify the wastewater. The treated wastewater will be reused for flushing toilets and irrigation of the forested area in KFBG. The plants in the wetland can be regularly harvested and used as mulch for nutrient recycling on KFBG’s farmland. In addition to this, for farming, the eco- gardening in KFBG demonstrates how we can fully use the elements needed for successful gardening which are fertile soil, good seeds, pests and weed control, and good irrigation. For example, a spiral garden allows planting of a wide variety of plants with different growing requirements within a small area. The water drains naturally from the top to the bottom of the spiral due to the gravity. Thus, different plants can be placed according to their condition needed such as their sunlight requirements and water amount requirements. It can fully utilize the resources we have and it would not cause wasting resources which can be classified as a kind of conservation of resources.
To sum up, the field trip helps experience how to implement the conservation of natural resources, for example, the rescue of wildlife, the constructed wetland wastewater treatment system and different methods of farming. Besides acquiring knowledge, I realized that we should pay more attention in using the natural resources and we should put more effort on the conservation.
Kadoorie Farm and Botanica Garden
KFBG Newsletter (Oct 2009)
http://www.kfbg.org/wwwroot/images/upload/KFBG_Newsletter/KFBG_Connections_2009Oct-E1.pdf Focus on Hong Kong Bats: Their Conservation and the Law