Natural reserve
Picture for representation Reuters

Singapore's Bukit Timah Nature Reserve has opened its door to visitors two years after enhancement and restoration works began.

The park was closed down on 15 September 2014 to allow the National Parks Board (NParks) to carry out repair and enhancement works that would make the park safer for the public.

Bukit Timah is known for activities like strolling, running and hiking. There are also provisions for rock climbing, abseil and mountain biking in the natural reserve. However, over-usage of several trails had caused them to widen and the natural reserve witnessed small landslides in some areas.

As a safety precaution, sensitive enhancements were also carried out to protect the nature reserve's biodiversity, reported Channel News Asia. Slope stabilisation works and restoration of trails was also carried out to make hiking safer and accessible.

It was also reported that other measures, like installing raised boardwalks to minimise the impact of trampling and setting up railings which help visitors to keep to the designated trails, were also carried out.

The restoration work, other than benefitting the visitors, also proved rewarding for environmentalists who found several interesting things. For instance, according to the news agency, researchers recorded the first ever sighting of the Malayan porcupine and slow loris at the reserve.

Moreover, NParks announced that a community called "Friends of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve", comprises the nature community, residents, and recreational users, is likely to be formed. It was also decided that the group will play a part in ensuring education, research and recreation which will be sensitive to the conservation of the nature reserve.

The news agency reported that the National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who reopened the reserve, urged people to come and visit the park and see what it had to offer.

"We are not just co-owners, but also custodians and stewards ... we protect it, we preserve it, and make sure we have this slice of nature for future generations to enjoy," he said.