A group of hikers was slammed as a video went viral on social media showing them climbing a tree and shaking down red bayberries in a country park in the New Territories.

A one-minute video clip was posted on a Facebook group featuring hiking news on Thursday. It showed a group of around 30 hikers gathered under a tree in Pat Sin Leng Country Park.

Two people were captured on the video climbing up the tree and violently shaking and kicking the tree branches.

Fellow hikers stood under the tree and held umbrellas upside down to catch falling bayberries while others picked up berries from the ground.

Netizens slammed the hikers for their selfish behavior, saying they had damaged nature. They further wondered what food would be left behind for wild animals.

Ming Pao Daily reported that the group engaged in a hike on June 3 which set out from Bride’s Pool in Tai Po, passed through Pat Sin Leng Country Park and finished at Sha Tau Kok.

On Friday, a manager of the hiking group surnamed Lam posted a message to members on the group’s Facebook page saying he would take responsibility for the wrongdoing, and will do what is necessary to avoid the same thing happening in the future.

The Forest and Countryside Ordinance makes it illegal for unauthorized persons to cut grass, remove turf or earth, rake pine needles or pluck or damage buds, blossoms or leaves of any tree, shrub or plant. Any persons found guilty of the offense will be liable to a fine of up to HK$25,000 (US$ 3,186) and imprisonment for up to one year.

Enquiries sent to the hiking group and to the Agricultural and Fisheries Conservation Department have not yet been answered.

Read: Hikers slammed for swimming in High Island Reservoir