SINGAPORE: A new nature park that is 3km to the east of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is slated to open in mid-2022.
The National Parks Board (NParks) made this announcement on Sunday (Oct 7) as Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve celebrated its 25th anniversary.
The Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat will be conserved as a 72.8 hectare nature park that will act as an outdoor education, learning and research centre, with visitor amenities such as bicycle racks, a nature trail and bird hides.
Ecologically linked to the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, the new nature park will be situated along two future major recreational routes - the Round-Island Route and the Rail Corridor.
Visitors can visit the nature park while exploring both recreational routes.
Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee emphasised the need to “bring people in” to biodiversity areas.
“The management of the Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat reflects the continued approach of conservation, not one where we put in laws and fences and warning signs, and keep everyone out,” he said.
“This is really in line with our role as a City in a Garden - a small city with precious biodiversity surrounded by people and our developments, which requires our conservation efforts to be different from bigger countries.”
Dr Adrian Loo, group director of the conservation department of NParks, said the mangrove and mudflat at Mandai will be complementary to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.
“The birds will roost at Sungei Buloh and when the tides go down, the birds will come over to Mandai mudflat and they will feed there. When the tides start to come up, the birds will then fly back to Sungei Buloh,” he said.
To minimise impact on the mudflat, NParks said it will provide a minimum level of visitor amenities and Dr Loo said an impact assessment will be made.
“Migratory seasons only happen at the end of the year, around September until the end of the year. So most of the development of the nature park will be done outside the season.”
Member of Nature Society (Singapore) N Sivasothi welcomed the announcement of the new park and said researchers from the Asia-Pacific region excited upon hearing the news.
“We’ll roll up our sleeves and synch in to any kind of management group that will be set up to best understand how to work in Mandai. Many researchers, nature groups and volunteers will be involved to help in the surveys as well as the cleanups.”
Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who opened Sungei Buloh as a nature park in 1993, was also there at the event, celebrating Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve's 25th anniversary.