Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Become one with nature at the serene and blissful Bukit Timah Nature reserve, which is only a few kilometers from the ever-busy city center. Because of Singapore’s location in the Equatorial belt, this amazing reserve has one of the richest and varied ecological systems. The countless plant varieties, remarkable animals and insects, the ambiance and serenity of the environment, and the humid climate of the reserve, often leave visitors amazed.
One of the main spectacles of this 163-ha reserve is the highest hill in Singapore, which measures 163 meters and is popularly known as the Bukit Timah Hill. The forest close to the hill is a biological paradise and a collection ground for more than a hundred years. Several species of the Malayan plant were first collected in this area.
The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is a safe haven for nature lovers as it home to a good number of Singapore’s native plant and animal species. Visitors are usually amazed to see flora and fauna species like Shorea curtisii (seraya) located in the forest is estimated to be over 370 years old, the Hanguana neglecta, was discovered in the nature reserve. The nature reserve is also the habitat of two species of freshwater crab that are native only to Singapore: Johora singaporensis and Irmengardia Johnson.
In 1883, Nathaniel Cantley, who was the Superintendent of Singapore Biological Gardens, created the Bukit Timah Forest Reserve. A year before the establishment of the reserve, Cantley was commissioned by the Strait government to prepare a concise report on the forests in the Straits Settlement. In his report, he buttressed the importance of creating forest reserves and recommend that the government created a couple of them on the island. The Bukit Timah Forest Reserve which was established the following year is one of the first reserves to be established in Singapore.
Except for the Bukit Timah Forest Reserve, the other reserves that were established on the island were mined for their timbers. Because of the immense pressure on these reserves, most of them were totally depleted by 1937. The Bukit Timah forest Reserve didn’t suffer this fate, as its plant and animal population were on the management and protection of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
The passing of a Nature Reserves Ordinance in 1951 ensured the further protection of the reserves on the island. Also, the establishment of a Nature Reserve Board the same year went a long way to ensure that the reserves were protected.
In 1990, the Central Catchment regions, as well as the Bukit Timah, were formally declared as a Nature Reserve. These reserves are presently under the protection of Singapore’s indigenous plant and animal, which is under the 2005 park and tree Act.
More about the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
After the Restorative works that were done on the reserve from 2014 to 2016, the Bukit Timah reserve was reopened to the general public. Feel free to visit the reserve to explore the fascinating vegetation and animals, unflustered forest, and breathtaking landscapes. Embrace your adventurous side and climb the tallest hill in Singapore.
Become acquainted with many of the native fauna and flora species in the reserve at the second-floor Exhibition hall.
On October 18, 2011, the Bukit Timah Nature reserve became an ASEAN heritage park. The Bukit Timah Nature reserve and the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve are now part of the 35 protected areas on the island.