We thank Mr Reuben Cheang for his feedback ("Improve safety at Bukit Timah reserve"; Jan 10).
NParks currently has a number of measures in place for the safety of users of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
The recently completed restoration works in the Reserve included the installation of intermediate steps, boardwalks and railings to cater to visitors of different physical abilities.
We also have signage to inform visitors about the difficulty of and time needed to complete particularly challenging trails. An example is the Dairy Farm Loop.
In addition, we conduct site visits with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) to assess evacuation routes so evacuation can take place promptly when required.
We are also looking to install additional automated external defibrillators (AEDS) within the Reserve, and improve existing signs with additional safety tips and trail information.
Visitors to the Reserve also have a part to play. They should take simple personal safety measures, such as hydrating adequately and selecting manageable hiking routes based on their health and fitness conditions.
We also intend to share this information on the NParks website.
However, there are constraints as to what can be done in the nature reserve, and the installation of additional amenities would have to be sensitively developed around the natural habitat. For example, to install additional water fountains within the Reserve, vegetation, including trees of high conservation value, would have to be cleared to facilitate the installation of water pipes.
Instead, we request that visitors take a water bottle with them, which could be filled at the water fountain within the Visitor Centre.
That said, visitors to the Reserve also have a part to play. They should take simple personal safety measures, such as hydrating adequately and selecting manageable hiking routes based on their health and fitness conditions.
They should also plan their route in advance and stay on designated trails, as well as observe notices and warning signs on site.
Together, we can continue to keep Bukit Timah Nature Reserve a safe environment for everyone.
Wong Tuan Wah
National Parks Board