Bukit Batok Hillside Park area: what it used to be, and what we may lose if parts of the forest are destroyed for development

This post is a summary of the open petition letter that I have sent to the authorities on 24 December 2020 regarding the conservation of the entire Bukit Batok Hillside Park (BBHP) area. This area was formerly joined together with its neighbouring forested hill to form a long continuous ridge.

Before 2018, Bukit Batok Hillside Park (BBHP) area used to be a long ridge about 35 ha in size, serving as a continuous ecological corridor. It connects to Tengah forest in the north and the forested hill where Bukit Batok Civil Service Club is located in the southeast. (Source: Google Earth)
In 2018, the ridge was divided into BBHP Hill 1 and Hill 2 by a new road construction along Bukit Batok West Ave 5. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was conducted at BBHP Hill 1 area (shown in the background) in April to June 2018. (This photo was taken on 19 August 2018, showing that the road construction was still going on.)
After the new road was built through the ridge and divided it into two hills in 2018, the present BBHP area (Hill 1) is restricted to 17 ha, and its neighbouring forested hill (Hill 2) comprises about 18 ha. (Source: Google Maps)
View of BBHP Hill 1 from Bukit Batok West Ave 5. This part of the forest may be destroyed if HDB proceeds to build BTO flats here.
View of BBHP Hill 1 from Bukit Batok West Ave 2. This part of the forest will remain intact as it has been designated as BBHNP (8.9 ha) in December 2020. However, the slopes on this side of the hill are mostly steep and not very accessible for many hikers and native ground-moving wildlife such as wild boars (if they wish to move to and from Tengah forest).
View of BBHP Hill 2 (18 ha) from Bukit Batok West Ave 6. As this hill is just next to BBHP Hill 1, we can infer that the forest, shrubland and scrubland here are rich in biodiversity too. From my observations, the flora include Christmas candle shrubs, and the fauna include lineated barbets and oriental whip snakes. Alas, this hill is designated for development, according to URA Master Plan 2019, as shown below.
BBHP Hill 1 is at risk of further forest fragmentation if HDB proceeds to build BTO flats on 2 plots of land in BBHP area. The designated 8.9 ha BBHNP is deemed too small and fragmented to be able to sustain much biodiversity on its own. BBHP Hill 2 (18 ha) is in danger of being totally destroyed for development, thus losing vital ecological connectivity. (Source of base maps: URA and SDP)
In summary, this diagram shows:

(1) What BBHP area used to be before 2018;

(2) What BBHP area has become in 2020;

(3) What BBHP area might be by 2030 if it is not conserved fully.

(Source of base maps: Google Earth, Google Maps, NParks)
An infographical poster on top 5 reasons to conserve BBHP area fully

For more details on why we should conserve Bukit Batok Hillside Park area and its neighbouring forested hill (i.e. BBHP Hill 1 and Hill 2), please refer to the open petition letter here.

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3 thoughts on “Bukit Batok Hillside Park area: what it used to be, and what we may lose if parts of the forest are destroyed for development

  1. Pingback: Bukit Batok Hillside Park area: First forest tour of the new year 2021 and notes on nature conservation – Nature and Us

  2. Pingback: Our future of our survival as a nation depends on how sustainable our development is – Nature and Us

  3. Pingback: My feedback on soil erosion and tree fall at Bukit Batok south hill (via One Service) – Nature and Us

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