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NParks and SPH kick-start development for the SPH Walk of Giants at the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ new Tyersall Learning Forest

New elevated boardwalk allows visitors close encounters with flora and fauna in the forest

 
Singapore, 26 April 2014 – Today, National Parks Board (NParks) and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) planted two Sepetir trees along the proposed site for the SPH Walk of Giants to mark the start of development for the new 9.8 hectare Tyersall Learning Forest, bringing the total area of Singapore Botanic Gardens to approximately 74 hectares. 

The SPH Walk of Giants

The SPH Walk of Giants is an elevated boardwalk in the forest which will showcase a collection of “giant” trees – most of which, in time, can grow up to at least 60m in height (or about 20 storeys high). It is one of several thematic walks planned for the Tyersall Learning Forest. 

SPH’s donation of S$1.2 million, through NParks’ Garden City Fund, will co-fund the construction of the elevated boardwalk, which will cost S$2.4 million in total. The SPH Walk of Giants will take visitors from ground level up to a height of 8m and offer them an unobstructed view of the forest floor, mid-forest level and canopy. They will also be able to appreciate at close range the flora and fauna found in the different layers of the forest.

A special feature of the SPH Walk of Giants is a Seed Drop Area, where visitors, especially students, can learn about seed dispersal methods and even test their own seed dispersal devices. 

Mr Kenneth Er, CEO of NParks, said: “We are happy to partner Singapore Press Holdings in enhancing the tree flora of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The SPH Walk of Giants will provide a meaningful way for the public to learn about some of the most majestic trees in Singapore and the region. We hope more organisations will join us in creating a shared legacy for future generations by conserving the living heritage of the Gardens.”

Dr Lee Boon Yang, Chairman of Singapore Press Holdings, said: “The SPH Walk of Giants will be one of the new horticultural attractions for promoting botanical research and conservation. The learning forest marries our corporate citizenry efforts in education, as well as nature and conservation. We hope that visitors will enjoy the unique experience of walking through a forest that is being conserved and restored, and getting close to our very own flora and fauna.”

Restoring the Tyersall Learning Forest

The existing Tyersall area, which was destroyed by fire more than 100 years ago, has slowly and naturally reforested over the years and tree species such as the Sea Apple and Tembusu are present today. The Tyersall Learning Forest is an arboretum designed to integrate the Gardens’ existing rainforest to form an enlarged forest habitat.

To help further restore the forest, new emergent species will be planted. In time, the public can expect to see some of the tallest trees in Southeast Asia, including the Tualang, Kempas and Damar Hitam Siput. These species have the potential to grow up to 60 metres, and under the right conditions, even taller. Many rare species of trees, like the Damar Hitam Gajar and Giam, will also be planted as a measure to safeguard and nurture germplasm for research. 

Apart from the SPH Walk of Giants, there will be other thematic walks that feature trees with interesting forms and barks such as the Hantu Duri, Gelam, Tembusu Hutan and Pelawan. Rare fruit and nut trees such as wild durians, persimmons, oaks and chestnuts will be showcased in the Learning Forest, alongside a collection of diverse bamboos in Asia.

To be completed in 2016, the Tyersall Learning Forest will also feature a new freshwater swamp which will showcase wetland trees of the region such as wild nutmegs, Putat, Punggai, Ramin and other shrubs and herbaceous plants. 

Visitors can also look out for aquatic wildlife like the Malesian Frog, Malayan Giant Frog, Stork-billed Kingfisher and Red-legged Crake from the boardwalks along the swamp. Native fish species will also be introduced to enhance the aquatic ecosystem. As the forest matures, more wildlife is expected to inhabit the space, enhancing biodiversity in the area. 


Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Registration. No. 198402868E
 

For more information, please contact:

Chrystal Chua (Ms)
Communications Manager
National Parks Board
DID:  6471 7902
Mobile: 9627 8169
Email: chrystal_chua@nparks.gov.sg

Vanni Cheong (Ms)
Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications & CSR
Singapore Press Holdings 
DID: 6319 1553
Email: cvanni@sph.com.sg 

About National Parks Board (NParks)

National Parks Board (NParks) is responsible for providing and enhancing the greenery of our City in a Garden. Beyond building green infrastructure, NParks is actively engaging the community to enhance the quality of our living environment.

NParks manages over 300 parks and 4 nature reserves. Adding to this is the extensive streetscape, or roadside greenery, that forms the backbone of our City in a Garden. An island-wide Park Connector Network is also being developed to link major parks, nature areas and residential estates. 

As the lead agency on biodiversity conservation, NParks has developed an urban biodiversity conservation model, which aims to conserve representative eco-systems in land-scarce Singapore. NParks also monitors and coordinates measures to enhance the presence of biodiversity in our urban landscape.

NParks is working closely with partners in the landscape and horticulture industry to increase productivity, and provide training for all levels of the workforce.  Enhancing competencies of the industry will support Singapore’s vision of being a City in a Garden. 

For more information, visit http://www.nparks.gov.sg and www.facebook.com/nparksbuzz 

About  Garden City Fund 

The Garden City Fund is a registered charity and Institution of Public Character (IPC000104) established by the National Parks Board in 2002. The Fund works with corporations, organisations and individuals to better engage members of the public through conservation efforts, research, outreach and education.  In doing so, we hope to cultivate a love for the environment, promote a sense of ownership, and encourage the community to play its part in preserving Singapore’s legacy as a lush and vibrant City in a Garden.  For more information please visit www.gardencityfund.org.

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.SPH has 19 titles licensed under the Newspaper Printing and Presses Act, of which nine are daily newspapers across four languages. On an average day, 3.05 million individuals or 76 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH's news publications. SPH’s internet editions of its major newspapers enjoy over 300 million page views with 20 million unique visitors each month. Other new media initiatives include AsiaOne, omy.sg, ST701, Stomp and SPH Razor. SPH has also ventured into book publishing, broadcasting, out-of-home advertising and properties. For more information, please visit www.sph.com.sg.