To conserve and, where appropriate, open up the countryside for the greater enjoyment of the population, the Country Parks Ordinance was enacted in 1976. Up to now, a total of 23 Country Parks and 15 Special Areas have been established, which cover a total area of 41582 hectares. Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department is responsible for managing those Country Parks and Special Areas. The management work include building and maintenance of recreational facilities, tree planting, hill fire fighting, law enforcement, etc. Moreover, AFCD also organizes public events like "Hiking Festival", public "Eyes on Nature" book series to provide the public with entertainment and promote nature conservation.
The Country Parks comprise scenic hills, woodlands, reservoirs, coastline and island in all parts of Hong Kong. The parks are very popular with all sections of the community, who can enjoy leisure walking, fitness exercises, hiking, barbecuing, mountain biking to family picnics and camping. Figure show that about 11.1 million visitors were recorded in 2001.