If you’re looking for a place in nature to sit or wander through, or if you have overseas guests and wish to bedazzle them with our greenery, here are ten places to consider.
Some time ago I submitted a similar article which was carried by PARKROYAL on Pickering as part of their local guides special. This is an updated version which features only green spaces, here’s my pick of the bunch!
1. Rail Corridor: A former railway route between Singapore and Malaysia, these tracks have since been removed and what remains is a 26 km stretch of continuous greenery from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands. Rich in biodiversity, it is not uncommon to spot several butterflies and birds during your visit. To find out more, visit http://www.ura.gov.sg/railcorridor/index.html.
2. Singapore Botanic Gardens: A green lung in the city, the Singapore Botanic Gardens is a graceful, sprawling garden containing a collection of plants native to the tropics, as well as heritage trees. It’s the perfect place for a picnic with friends, family and even the dog, and a great setting for recreational activities such playing frisbee, or taking a walk. Visit their website for more details.
3. Bukit Brown: Home to more than 100,000 traditional Chinese tombs, Bukit Brown is a charming cemetery off Lornie Road which holds a lot of historic value. Unfortunately it might not be around by 2030, as the Singapore government has plans to develop the land for transport and housing, even though it was recently placed on the 2014 World Monuments Watch list. Brimming with wildlife, Bukit Brown has a magical feel about it, and a sense of serenity pervades the premises. A must visit before construction works begin, there are regular tours, usually every weekend. Do check out Post-Museum’s Facebook page or http://bukitbrown.com/ for details on upcoming walking tours.
4. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve: Gazetted by the government as a nature reserve, and regarded as an place of importance for migratory birds, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve features mangroves, plenty of plant life, insects, and animals including crocodiles. It is located in the Kranji countryside, tours are available and there are educational activities held there from time to time. To find out more, visit http://www.sbwr.org.sg.
5. Central Catchment Nature Reserve: Spanning 2880 hectares, this gazetted nature reserve is rich in biodiversity. Wonderful animals such as the Sunda Pangolin, Crab-eating macaque and banded leaf monkeys reside here, as well as a wide variety of birds and butterflies. Be sure to walk the trails and do the treetop walk. If you wish to find out more, visit NParks here. Also Green Drinks Singapore has organised a talk centred around the Central Catchment Nature Reserve for 23 October, details here.
6. Gardens By the Bay: This is a scenic 101-hectare plot of land which includes the Bay Central Gardens, Bay South Gardens, and Bay East Gardens. Visit The Flower Dome, which houses plants from all over the world, and the Supertree Grove, and if you don’t mind heights, you could take a walk on the Skyway. For more details, visit their website.
7. Bollywood Veggies: Located in Kranji, this organic farm is a restful space that promotes the importance of greenery, with witty slogans on signage posts positioned around the premises. Visitors should dine at Poison Ivy, where the food is affordable and tasty, and the restaurant sources its ingredients locally where possible. Plants are also available for purchase near the entrance to the farm. View their website for more details.
8. Sustainable Living Kampung: Situated in Bottle Tree Park in Yishun, the Sustainable Living Kampung is run by non-profit group Ground-Up Initiative. Each weekend from 9am to around noon, the public is welcome to join their community in various activities, such as yoga and gardening. Make sure to also pop by the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) to view their innovative products. For updates, visit their Facebook page.
9. Southern Ridges: The Southern Ridges consists of HortPark, Telok Blangah Hill Park, Mount Faber Park, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve, spanning a total distance of 10km. My favourite parts are the Forest Walk and Canopy Walk. Download the DIY guides or join a tour, see this NParks webpage for more information.
10. Chek Jawa Wetlands: A short boat ride away, these wetlands span 100 hectares and can be found at the far eastern end of Pulau Ubin. Make your way to the intertidal flats at low tide to experience its rich marine life such as mudskippers, sea cucumbers and starfish, also take the boardwalk through the mangrove forest to view its extraordinary range of plant and marine life. For November and December walking schedules on the 1.1km boardwalk, see this blog post by Naked Hermit Crabs. To find out how to get to Chek Jawa, and more details, check out this NParks web page. wildsingapore.com is also a wonderful resource of information, with lots of great photos.