NParks opens northern portion of Chestnut Nature Park, marking the completion of the largest nature park in Singapore
25 Feb 2017
25 February 2017 – The National Parks Board (NParks) launched the 64 ha Chestnut Nature Park (North) today. Together with the southern portion opened last year, Chestnut Nature Park now totals 81 ha, making it Singapore’s largest nature park to date. The nature park also extends the buffer for the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. The park has also more than doubled the biking and hiking trails from 1.6 km to 8.2 km and 2.1 km to 5.6 km respectively. Hikers are now able to trek directly from Chestnut Nature Park to Dairy Farm Nature Park.
Chestnut Nature Park was developed in consultation with the community. Following its establishment last April with the opening of the southern section, the Friends of Chestnut Nature Park (FoCNP) was actively involved in formulating the trail etiquette to educate visitors on responsible use of both the hiking and mountain biking trails. In addition, the FoCNP biking community has also organised several activities at Chestnut Nature Park (South) including the Singapore Open Enduro 2016, an inaugural enduro biking event, as well as participated in repairing a mountain biking trail.
Prior to Chestnut Nature Park’s development, the community’s inputs were also actively sought during an engagement exhibition in 2014 where public feedback on the park was gathered. Suggestions such as shelters and mapboards were implemented. NParks also involved the biking communities closely in the design and implementation of the mountain biking trails.
Amenities and activities at Chestnut Nature Park
As a shared community space for different users, visitors to Chestnut Nature Park can look forward to a range of recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking and bird watching. Bird lovers will be able to spot globally threatened species such as the Straw-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus zeylanicus), as well as species such as the Banded Woodpecker (Picus miniaceus), Dollar Bird (Eurystomus orientalis) and Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica). Chestnut Nature Park (North) is also home to animals such as the White-bellied Blind Snake (Typhlops muelleri) and Striped Kukri Snake (Oligodon octolineatus).
The mountain biking trails at Chestnut Nature Park are classified as moderately difficult to extremely difficult. There are also shelters with informative map boards. Park users can also make use of facilities to rent or wash bikes, as well as buy pre-packaged snacks.
Nature parks like Chestnut Nature Park are important buffers that help to strengthen the ecological resilience of the nature reserves. As part of the habitat enhancement efforts, members from FoCNP were involved in a community tree-planting event to plant 50 native trees at the nature park. Some of the native tree species that were planted include the Kayu Arang (Cratoxylum cochinchinense), Small-leaved Oil-fruit (Elaeocarpus mastersii), Mengkulang (Heritiera elata) and Fan Palm (Licuala ferruginea).These native tree species will allow animals to thrive by improving the ecological connectivity between green spaces so that animals may move around safely.
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