Because of the ecological and botanical significance of the two Fung Shui forests, they were designated by the AFCD as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in 1975 and 2005.
Because Fung Shui forests constitute a cultural-ecological landscape, their ecological attributes are relevant.
In the belt transect survey, the boundaries of She Shan Tsuen Fung Shui Forest and Tai Om Fung Shui Forest were set to be equivalent to the extents of the SSSIs corresponding to each of these forests; this is because such sites essentially represent the most ecologically significant parts of the two Fung Shui forests.
The core questions drafted for the interviews concentrated on the following items: (i) division of responsibilities between the AFCD and other government departments; (ii) measures on managing Fung Shui forests; (iii) challenges in executing duties; and (iv) potentials of Fung Shui forests that could be utilised by the government.
The cultural meaning of Fung Shui forests was found to be intertwined with the history of the corresponding villages.
Moreover, the respondents reported that a Fung Shui forest existed in She Shan Tsuen, referring to the forest patch on both sides and at the back of the village.
In contrast to She Shan Tsuen, the term "Fung Shui forest" was not used in Tai Om, as indicated by the respondents; however, the respondents reported that the villages in Lam Tsuen Valley previously held a collective customary practice of having patches of forest behind the villages and at the dwelling site for Pak Kung (in Chinese: [phrase omitted])--the deity responsible for protecting the entire village, according to Chinese folk beliefs.
These findings are consistent with other reports on Fung Shui forests in Hong Kong; specifically, such forests have been reported to be crescent-shaped woods situated protectively behind villages (Marafa 2003, Thrower 1970, Yip et al.