Bukit Batok West ridge with lush tropical grassland, scrubland and secondary rainforest

Sometimes, we don’t have to travel too far to enjoy Nature in relative solitude.

In Bukit Batok West, a couple of natural ridges stand close to newly constructed BTO flats.

One ridge has about 70% forest and 30% grass/scrubland (as shown in the photos).

The other ridge is almost covered with secondary rainforest (aka Bukit Batok Hillside Park area).

Unlike their more well-known neighbours (Little Guilin and Bukit Batok Nature Park), these two forested areas hardly have human presence.

It is probably because of the dense plant growth and steep slopes that circle round much of their perimeter.

Nevertheless, it is becoming rare to see wild nature scenery in an increasingly urbanised Singapore.

It is better to cherish these nature places before they disappear, especially since they are marked for development according to URA 2019 concept plan.

In the meantime, I am recording their tranquil beauty to advocate for the conservation of the natural habitats and our biodiversity.

No doubt the vegetation has been modified by humans to some extent, mainly due to our past history regarding rubber plantation.

But the grassland, scrubland and rainforest are recovering and taking on some resemblance of natural landscapes.

I believe they are worth conserving rather than having the hillslopes cruelly dug and the natural vegetation replaced with concrete buildings and manicured gardens.

If that were to happen, not only we will lose our biodiversity, we will also have to bear the consequences of environmental degradation, such as:

  • warmer microclimate
  • higher risk of flash flood due to increased surface runoff over impermeable ground
  • more insect pests such as cockroaches and dengue-carrying mosquitoes invading our residential areas.

As one article noted:

“Plant biodiversity can limit herbivore pest outbreaks.

By contrast, pest control that relies heavily on insecticides can lead to detrimental rebounds of herbivore pests as pesticide application may destabilize the communities of natural enemies.

“Our experiments show that conserving plant diversity provides multiple benefits for controlling herbivore pests”

(from “More plant diversity, less pesticide“)

Christmas candle stick bush

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