Free Upper Cheung Sha Beach, Lantau, Hong Kong
We, The Undersigned, hereby petition the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of Hong Kong to change the boundaries of the gazetted part of Upper Cheung Sha beach, Lantau, to effectively de-gazette the central section, specifically the one kilometre stretch in between the eastern headland and a point a hundred metres or so distant from the pavilion and shark-netted area at the west end of the beach. By doing so, the following activities would then be allowed: Surfing, Kite-surfing, Dog-walking, Wind-surfing, Paddle-boarding, Kayaking, Dragon-boating, Outrigger-paddling, Kite-flying, Water-skiing, Wake-boarding, Skim-boarding, Fishing (by rod or line), Para-gliding, Ball games, Disc-throwing, etc etc. Currently all of these activities are unlawful as it is a gazetted beach, which means that all the people who carry out all these same pursuits on a regular basis are committing an offence. This is clearly at odds with public opinion, based on the frequency of these transgressions. As the relevant section of the beach is remote and has no public facilities, it has become a favoured location for all these activities. Indeed the very remoteness and the fact that there is no shark net or life guards make this part of the beach unique amongst HK's gazetted beaches. Whilst we are in support of the rules being applied at other crowded public beaches in Hong Kong, the rules are completely out of place on Upper Cheung Sha, where there are commonly more feral cattle and water buffaloes than humans. If the beach cannot be "de-gazetted" for technical reasons, then we request that the LCSD make a publicised easing of the rules specifically for Upper Cheung Sha Beach - including (if necessary) signs saying that users of the beach do so at their own risk. And as it is the longest beach in Hong Kong, the current regulations could still be applied at the two ends of the beach that have facilities, whilst leaving the central section free of restrictions. We would also like to suggest that the LCSD puts its efforts into penalising those who litter or allow their dogs to foul the beach, which would be a much more productive use of the Department's manpower, than persecuting people who are only trying to enjoy some outdoor exercise.