Biodiversity survey of newly reopened Bukit Timah reserve under way

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong (centre), accompanied by Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MPs Vivian Balakrishnan (left) and Sim Ann (right), takes a picture of the newly reopened South View Path at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong (centre), accompanied by Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MPs Vivian Balakrishnan (left) and Sim Ann (right), takes a picture of the newly reopened South View Path at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A man walks along the newly reopened South View Path at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
A man walks along the newly reopened South View Path at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong (centre), accompanied by Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MPs Vivian Balakrishnan (left) and Sim Ann (right), takes a tour of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve Exhibition Hall.
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong (centre), accompanied by Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MPs Vivian Balakrishnan (left) and Sim Ann (right), takes a tour of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve Exhibition Hall. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A man walks along the newly reopened South View Path at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
A man walks along the newly reopened South View Path at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Existing trail steps at the reserve reinforced with an environmentally friendly binding agent.
Existing trail steps at the reserve reinforced with an environmentally friendly binding agent. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH
The newly renovated visitor centre.
The newly renovated visitor centre. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH
Monkeys seen at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
Monkeys seen at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

The newly reopened Bukit Timah Nature Reserve was buzzing yesterday morning as guests and members of the public checked out the newly designed exhibition hall at the visitor centre and explored the refurbished hiking trails.

Established as a nature reserve in 1883, the area is an Asean Heritage Park, a title given to areas of exceptional biodiversity.

A two-year biodiversity survey of the reserve is now under way and the data will help the authorities manage the reserve more sensitively.

 

It is a favourite destination for retiree Charles Cheong, 67, who has been visiting the reserve regularly for 30 years. He makes the long bus journey from his home in Hougang.

"The other places are too artificial," said Mr Cheong, referring to other parks in Singapore. "If I wake up and the weather is good, I'll come here... As long as I'm healthy, I'll come."

Ms Karen Leong, 53, a finance professional living in Choa Chu Kang, visits every Saturday with two former colleagues to keep fit.

Her fitness watch says it takes "about 7,300 steps" to get to the 163m-high summit and back via the main path, and she now plans to try out the newly reopened trails.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 23, 2016, with the headline 'Biodiversity survey of Bukit Timah reserve under way'. Print Edition | Subscribe