My wife Beng Eng and I came to Singapore to visit our children.
On 1st April, 2006, we accompanied our elder son Chin Yih, daughter-in-law Jeek Yin and 14-month-old granddaughter Chin Jean on a day trip to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve of Singapore to walk the TreeTop Trail.
Before Singapore became a British colony in the early 19th century, the island was almost completely covered with lowland dipterocarp forest. Between 1820 and 1870, vast tracts of the pristine rainforest were cleared for cultivation. By 1882, less than 10% of the original forest cover remained.
Today, only about 2,000 hectares of forest is found within Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Central Catchment Nature Reserve. Despite representing only a tiny fraction of the island's original vegetation, these Nature Reserves remain an important refuge for a rich assemblage of plants and animals, many of which are forest-dependent.
In 1868, MacRitchie Reservoir was completed and its surrounding forest of about 600 hectares was protected as a water catchment reserve.
Located in the midst of the lush rainforest, the HSBC TreeTop Walk is a 250m long suspension walkway between the two highest points in MacRitchie and is part of the TreeTop Trail. With a maximum height of 25m from the forest floor, anyone standing on the suspension walkway will be close to the layer often described as the powerhouse. Known as the canopy, this forest layer is active in photosynthesis. Much of the flowering and fruiting also occurs here, attracting many insects and animals, which act as pollinators and dispersers.
article published 4/1/2006