gaia valley & tree nursery
At the heart of the Lamma Forest lies Gaia Valley. ABLE’s headquarters HQ have been located here since 1995. Gaia Valley is an old growth forested valley with a fresh water river running through it. The source of this fresh water river, Lamma Island’s largest , sprouts from the top of old Tai Ping Village. From a hill top it emerges into a marsh land after crossing the main road and then runs down the valley Westwards all the way to the sea coming out beneath the valley at Nga Ka Wan on the beach. Once upon a time there used to be an old Tannery that treated tanned leather. Today there is an out-of-Lamma-character residential development sitting on top of it.
See the Lamma Forest Map for the details
Gaia Valley’s official name is Ka Nam Tsuen ( Village ) , which is a Cantonese colloquial twist on Canaan, the ancient lands of The Lebanon during the Biblical times.
Since 1995 ABLE’s founder Bobsy Gaia , along with occasional volunteers and through the arm of the Charity , has been extensively cleaning up the valley. Mostly from old farming and residential rubbish and refuse. Over 80 VV trucks of rubbish have been hauled out and taken to the public refuse collection point on the island since. This was mostly due to decades of the local inhabitants from the 1960’s through till the early 1990’s disposing of their domestic, animal and agricultural waste directly onto the valley floor, down ravines and into the fresh water river.
Besides clearing out huge amounts of rubbish, including old engines, rusty water piping, electrical domestic appliances such as fridges, cookers & washing machines , Bobsy & ABLE have over the last two decades, planted some interesting tree species, flowering shrubs, experimented with biodynamic & organic farming , grown organic vegetables & fruits, landscaped terraces, undertaken both soil & water testing as well maintained the beauty & aesthetic of this charming valley.
Today Gaia Valley ( Ka Nam Tsuen ) stands as an example of lush biodiverse & ecological land that is rich in both local flora & fauna. With the largest fresh water river & stream running through it the valley is a prime example of how derelict & neglected land can be restored back to lands of beauty & ecological value for the HK community.
In recent years some highly endangered endemic aquatic fauna have made the Gaia Valley River their home and seem to be thriving in their new lush environment. With water running down the river all year round and its dense green foliage as well as its relative seclusion the valley makes a safe haven for such endangered species. See Romer’s Tree Frog above for more details.
Gaia Valley today stands with no adequate protection. It is currently zoned as GB ( Green Belt ) but with the recent discovery of wild endangered aquatic species thriving within it, this land deserves to be upgraded and rezoned into CA ( conservation Area ).
Its proximity to Yung Shue Wan and its unique setting within the Lamma Forest make this small oasis a prime example of land that is worthy of protection for future generations.
the tree nursery
In 2019 ABLE started developing its own Tree Nursery.
Collecting local endemic tree seeds from the Island and nurturing them in our nursery we have started to grow our trees. Once these trees reach a certain maturity, they are then planted up in the forest during the tree planting season. They are also donated or given to individuals who wish to pant trees elsewhere. The nursery is a sustainable growing project with large potential for Aforestation and further populating the surrounding Forest.
In May of this year 2022 we planted our first home grown trees up in two areas of the Forest.The trees we planted are showing good signs of health and seems to be quite happy.
The tree nursery is an exciting new addition to the forest and the tree planting initiatives as well as the maintenance and growth of this lush tree covered Northern part of Lamma Island.
There are currently dozens of local trees in various stages of growth as well as some local species of flowering shrubs that are being nurtured and sprouted to attract butterflies.
Within the surrounding land ABLE is also growing & developing a small butterfly farm to act as an oasis for local butterflies and various types of bees including honey bees. On a sunny day the site of these delicate and beautiful creatures fluttering around enjoying and feeding off colourful flowers is quite a site and one that is most pleasing to the heart & soul.
Recently the Kadoorie Farm KFBG donated forty flowering shrubs that we have since planted and it is hoped that with enough care we can harvest the seeds of these shrubs and propagate them further so as to spread their offspring up in the hills of North Lamma.
Today we have approximately two dozen types of butterflies active in Gaia Valley and are slowly seeing more species appear. It is hoped that within the next year or so, we can increase the variety up to about three dozen.
Over the decades of growing & nurturing the lands we have learnt that Mother Nature is most resilient and by giving her a little she gives us back ten fold in beauty & abundance.
We stand firm as custodians of the Lamma Forest.