SINGAPORE - Urban Singapore is not short on nature spots with over 300 parks and four nature reserves.
Of the nature reserves, the oldest is the 163ha Bukit Timah Nature Reserve established in 1883.
The Central Catchment Nature Reserve is the largest at 3,043ha, while the 131ha Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is the only marshland reserve. The smallest reserve is Labrador Nature Reserve, covering an area of 10ha.
Here are seven timelapses at seven nature areas captured between 6.30pm and 7.30pm. Each of them showcases the beauty of Singapore’s nature reserves and parks from lesser-known vantage points.
1. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is home to 40 per cent of Singapore’s flora and fauna.
In recent years, new sites and trails were developed in the reserve to give visitors a greater variety of experiences, including cycling and trekking.
Featured in this timelapse is the Dairy Farm Quarry, a spot popular with mountain bikers and rock climbers. This area, made up of a large field flanked by two impressive granite cliffs, is just a short hike through a narrow trail off Dairy Farm Road.
2. Central Catchment Nature Reserve
The MacRitchie Reservoir Park is part of the central catchment area. The well-known reservoir was constructed in 1867 through a donation of S$13,000 by philanthropist Tan Kim Seng. In 1922, municipal engineer James MacRitchie oversaw the expansion of the reservoir, which was then named after him.
The most popular attractions are the TreeTop Walk and the boardwalks along the water’s edge. However, the pontoon area for canoeists and kayakers is one of the most beautiful spots to watch the sunset over the mirrored water surface.
3. Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve
Started as a park in 1993, the Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve gained prominence when it was awarded a certificate in 2002 by Wetlands International, recognising its biodiversity importance as a site for migratory birds.
The reserve is also part of the East Asian Australasian Shorebird Site Network which includes Australia's Kakadu National Park. Sungei Buloh expanded recently and now features breezy boardwalks, a scenic coastal trail, submerged walkways and observation pods.
4. Labrador Park Nature Reserve
Labrador Nature Reserve is one of the five designated nature reserves established in 1951. It comprises a secondary forest with cliffs and picturesque views of the sea, and the last coral reef on the mainland.
At low tide, a bed of lush seagrass can be seen under the pier, together with numerous types of marine life found in the coral rubble.
The reserve is also an important historical site as there is a fort built by the British in the 19th century, complete with bunkers, tunnels and cannons.
5. Pulau Ubin
Pulau Ubin, which means "granite island" in Malay, was once extensively mined for its natural granite.
Besides the famous Chek Jawa wetlands, five defunct quarries have become rainwater lakes, some with trees growing out of the water.
Of these, Pekan Quarry is the closest to the jetty and a short 15-minute walk brings visitors to the home of various species of migratory birds that swoop in to rest and nest as night falls.
6. Upper Seletar Reservoir Park
The Seletar Reservoir was built in 1920. In 1992, it was renamed Upper Seletar Reservoir and became a marked historic site in 1999.
Located off the less densely populated Mandai Road area, the park receives few visitors, making it especially tranquil.
The space-age inspired viewing tower is architecturally unique and used to be a popular dating spot in the 1960s. Now, its lone casuarina tree flanked by benches in perfect symmetry is a favourite spot for bridal photography.
7. Lower Seletar Reservoir Park
Formerly a river called Sungei Seletar, it was dammed to form the Lower Seletar Reservoir in 1986.
The small park located at the edge of Yishun is one of the few places where you can watch both sunrise and sunset from the same location.