Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve gets extension

VALERIE KOH Today Online 20 Nov 14;

The extension will have new guided tours, attractions and a vistors centre.

SINGAPORE — A 31-hectare extension at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve opens on Dec 6,the nature reserve’s 21st birthday, with new guided tours, attractions and a visitor’s centre.

The extension — linked to the 130-hectare Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve — has rich mangrove and coastal forests. Members of the public can explore the place by joining any one of the six new guided walks available on Saturdays.

This brings the total number of guided walks at the reserve to seven. They are offered on a rotational basis.

The existing guided walk focuses on the habitat of the mangrove forest, whereas the new walks will educate members of the public on other habitats found at the reserve, including the sky, mud and water.

Two walks have been developed specifically for children under 12 years old to teach them to identify common species of flora and fauna.

Each 1.5-hour guided walk is helmed by some 50 volunteers from the public and Regent Secondary School.

New attractions at the extension include a Mud Experience, where visitors can get close to creatures living in the mud, a mid-canopy walk with a suspension bridge, and a coastal boardwalk, which offers an unobstructed view of the Kranji waterfront and a lookout point for nature lovers.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve extension opens Dec 6
Channel NewsAsia 20 Nov 14;

SINGAPORE: Visitors to the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve extension will be able to step onto mudflats and get up close with creatures, and enjoy a scenic mid-canopy walk and coastal boardwalk when it opens on Dec 6.

In the mid-canopy walk, visitors can immerse themselves in the understory of a secondary forest through an elevated boardwalk, where they can spot birds such as Pied Fantails and insects like cicadas.

The coastal boardwalk offers views of the Kranji waterfront with a lookout point where raptors such as the Ospreys and White-Bellied Sea Eagles can be spotted hunting for prey.

New programmes will also be offered at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, and six new guided walks will be conducted on Saturdays by student volunteers.

- CNA/av

Sungei Buloh reserve extension to showcase trails, guided walks
VALERIE KOH Today Online 21 Nov 14;

SINGAPORE — Visitors to the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve will be able to step on mudflats, cross a suspension bridge and take a stroll along a coastal boardwalk, once a new 31ha extension opens on Dec 6.

The grand opening, which coincides with the reserve’s 21st anniversary, will also see the launch of six new guided walks around the wetlands. The extension at Kranji Way, which includes mangrove and coastal forests, will have three nature trails totalling 1.65km and a new visitor centre.

Visitors can make their way across the 120m suspension bridge in the heart of a secondary forest and spot birds and insects in the mid-canopy region and forest floor.

Those looking for a more immersive experience can step on mudflats during low tide to look for crabs, worms and mudskippers.

Of the six free guided walks that the National Parks Board (NParks) is introducing — on top of an existing guided tour — two will cater to children under 12. During those two tours, led by students from Regent Secondary School, the children will be taught to identify common species of flora and fauna found at the reserve and the need for conservation.

The six walks, lasting one-and-a-half hour each and led by public and student volunteers, will be held on Saturday mornings on a rotational basis.

Each walk can accommodate up to 15 participants.

The wetland reserve sees an average of 100,000 visitors each year, but NParks hopes that the opening of the new ecological space will draw more people to the area.

Ms Sharon Chan, the reserve’s deputy director, said: “Over the years, we’ve seen a rising number of visitors going to the reserve. With these numbers, there will be an impact on the wildlife found there. We thought it’ll be a good idea to expand so that we can reach out to more people.”

The expansion plans took into account comments from the public.

“We do take note of the feedback … that the reserve is not very accessible, so we’ve brought it closer to people by building the extension closer to Kranji Reservoir Park,” Ms Chan said. Visitors can access the extension via a new entrance to the reserve at Kranji Way. The current entrance at Neo Tiew Crescent remains.

More to explore at Sungei Buloh reserve's extension
Feng Zengkun The Straits Times AsiaOne 23 Nov 14;

The National Parks Board (NParks) has also set up observation points in the extension, as well as a suspended bridge through the mid- canopy of a secondary forest. Six new guided walks have been added to the reserve's original one, including two walks meant for children under 12 years old.

These will be held on Saturdays and rotated. Each free, 1½-hour walk will be led by volunteers from the public and Regent Secondary School. The students have been training since last year to beef up their knowledge of the flora and fauna in the area.

Visitors can step onto mudflats during low tide to get up close to creatures such as the tree climbing crab, solitary tube worm and giant mudskipper. A new bird-watching walk at the original reserve will teach people to spot shorebirds such as plovers and sandpipers, and passerines, also called perching birds, such as sunbirds and bulbuls.

A coastal boardwalk offers a scenic view of the Kranji waterfront, and a lookout point to observe ospreys and white-bellied sea eagles hunting for prey. NParks deputy director of conservation Sharon Chan said the extension will help relieve pressure on the original reserve, which receives some 100,000 visitors a year.

Regent Secondary student Siti Nur Khairulhuda, 15, said she hopes to guide visitors on the walks every weekend once the extension opens. "I signed up as a volunteer with my friend. We're both interested in nature and we both really like to talk," she said with a laugh.