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January 9, 2010

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TV warriors trample on fragile wetland

A CREW filming a TV drama has been ordered out of a wetland protection zone along the Yellow River in central China's Henan Province after being accused of damaging trees, trampling grass and scaring birds.

The crew apologized yesterday and promised to help repair the damage, Dahe Daily reported.

The group was shooting a battle scene on Thursday with 300 men and horses for "Waterside Margin" at Fujing Ecological Park in Zhengzhou City, capital of Henan.

Environmental protection officials accused the crew of ruining the wetland by moving in huge machinery and scaring wild birds. It is also accused of damaging rare trees. The land, after being trampled on by so many people, has become so hard that it will take a year to recover, the authority added.

The authority said 40,000 square meters of wetland in the zone has been polluted, according to the newspaper.

Production crews used special effects of black smoke to add to the battle scene, while swords, knives and spears were strewn across the ground.

The drama "Waterside Margin," based on one of China's four great classical novels, details the trials and tribulations of 108 outlaws during the mid Song Dynasty (960-1279).

This was not the only film crew to fall foul of authorities. In January last year, the TV crew shooting "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms" was accused of polluting water at a reservoir in east China's Zhejiang Province. And in 2004, movie makers of "The Promise" were fined for damaging a remote lake near Shangri-La in Yunnan Province.


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