Though Dover Forest is a regenerating secondary forest with a history of rural settlements and agricultural practices, it is also part of the former Pandan forest reserve and – going further back in time – the original primary rainforests.
Hence, the forest retains the rugged appearance of wild nature, with naturalised streams and forest-dependent wildlife such as lineated barbets, hill mynahs and raptors, which aren’t found in the usual parks and gardens.
We felt the coolness of the forest interior amidst the densely growing trees and their evapotranspiration effect.
We breathed in the immune-boosting phytoncides released by the lush evergreen natural vegetation, which provides an immersive forest therapy experience.
We enjoyed the spontaneous discoveries of rare or unusual flora and fauna, which cannot be replicated in manicured parks and gardens where cultivated plants look orderly and predictable.
We appreciated the usefulness of the deep loamy soil and plant roots that absorb rainwater and help prevent floods and landslides along Ulu Pandan river, even as we are experiencing more inclement weather brought about by human-induced climate change.
All in all, it is a memorable experience with invaluable lessons from Mother Nature, who is sovereign over us all, despite the self-proclaimed sovereignty of an island-state that endeavours to be a City in Nature.