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NParks to develop 18km of recreational trails to link Rail Corridor to Dover Forest and Jurong Lake Gardens

SINGAPORE — Hikers looking to embrace their inner naturalist may in future take to the 18km of walking trails, including a new Park Connector, that will connect the Rail Corridor to Jurong Lake Gardens, and even a route to the upcoming nature park at Dover Forest.

NParks to develop 18km of recreational trails to link Rail Corridor to Dover Forest and Jurong Lake Gardens

An artist's impression of the upcoming Clementi Nature Trail, using a photograph by K Yap, along Clementi Forest stream.

  • The Clementi Nature trail will take visitors to an upcoming nature park in Dover Forest
  • It is scheduled for completion by 2023
  • The Old Jurong Line trail will eventually be linked to Jurong Lake Gardens
  • This will be progressively completed from 2024
  • NParks said the trails will help minimise impact to biodiversity

 

SINGAPORE — Hikers looking to embrace their inner naturalist may in future take to the 18km of walking trails, including a new Park Connector, that will connect the Rail Corridor to Jurong Lake Gardens, and even a route to the upcoming nature park at Dover Forest.

The National Parks Board (NParks) said on Saturday (July 31) that the network of trails is part of the recently announced Clementi Nature Corridor, and will be progressively completed from 2023.

The launch of the corridor was announced by NParks on Friday.

It will provide an ecological connection for wildlife between the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the 10km Southern Ridges that connects Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve.

The corridor comprises forested sites in the Rail Corridor, Maju, Toh Tuck and Clementi.

A map showing the upcoming recreational trails. Map: National Parks Board

CLEMENTI NATURE TRAIL

One of the upcoming trails that is being targeted for completion by 2023 is the Clementi Nature Trail, which will provide a route from the Rail Corridor to a new nature park in Ulu Pandan’s Dover Forest.

An artist's impression of a nature trail in the upcoming nature park in Dover Forest, also described by NParks as the Ulu Pandan west greenfield site. Photo: National Parks Board

Visitors heading down this about 2km-long trail will be able to walk along the Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal — at present, a sloping field lined by trees that is located across Ewart Park — which will then take them past a natural stream in Clementi Forest.

The trail will then continue to the upcoming new nature park before it leads back to a segment of the Rail Corridor closer to Buona Vista.

The stream was the subject of some of the striking images taken in Clementi Forest by photographer Brice Li that went viral last year, which propelled the 85ha secondary forest to national stardom.

The creation of the nature park at Dover Forest was announced on Friday by the Housing and Development Board, along with the development of the eastern portion of the forest for public housing.

Although the “sizable” park’s boundaries are still being studied, the authorities said that it will help safeguard the rich biodiversity in the western portion of Dover Forest, which serves as a stepping-stone habitat for wildlife travelling between Clementi Forest and the Southern Ridges along the newly unveiled Clementi Nature Corridor.

OLD JURONG LINE TRAIL

Another trail that NParks is curating is the Old Jurong Line Trail, named after the historic railway track run by the Malaysian rail operator Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM), which will be completed progressively from 2024.

The 4km-long trail, which will have access points from Clementi Road and the Rail Corridor, will similarly take visitors through parts of Clementi Forest.

An artist's impression of the upcoming Old Jurong Line nature trail at the Clementi Road tunnel. Photo: National Parks Board

NParks said that the trail will allow hikers to “appreciate the natural and heritage elements” of the Old Jurong Line such as old tunnels, railway tracks and bridges before it takes them onwards to the Jurong Lake Gardens via a new 3km-long Jurong Town Hall Road Park Connector.

The agency added that the Old Jurong Line Trail will also be part of the 62km Coast-to-Coast Southern trail, which extends from Changi Beach to Tuas.

Members of the public will be able to walk along the Old Jurong Line Trial and the Clementi Nature Trail as part of a loop that is completed by a section of the existing Ulu Pandan Park Connector.

MINIMISING IMPACT

While Singaporeans have been hiking through Clementi Forest, there are no dedicated paths at present, leading some people to forge their own.

TODAY previously reported that this indiscriminate trampling through the forest could result in the accidental destruction of seedlings and other plants, which are important for the forest.

A team of researchers who conducted a study on the forest in 2012 identified about 98 species of vascular plants — among them rare native species such as the Dienia ophrydis. Also known as the common snout orchid, it was presumed to be extinct here.

NParks said on Saturday that with the increasing number of people going off-trail, the orchid’s natural habitats have been affected and this has resulted in a “significant decline in their population”.

The trails, it added, will help minimise impact to biodiversity.

An artist's impression showing the upcoming Clementi Nature Trail along the Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal. Photo: National Parks Board

Related topics

Dover Forest Clementi forest National Parks Board wildlife conservation environment

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