SINGAPORE – The next phase of enhancements for an upcoming 2km nature trail within Clementi Forest will be done near sensitive areas along a stream, which is home to the common walking catfish and the globally critically endangered straw-headed bulbul.

To minimise the recreational pathway’s impact on the environment there, the National Parks Board (NParks) is roping in members of the public and environment consultants to help.

This weekend (Aug 27 and 28), members of the public, including student volunteers, will help to survey and record the flora and fauna along Clementi Forest Stream, which is part of the upcoming Clementi Nature Trail.

The data collected by the “citizen scientists” will help to guide habitat enhancement efforts for the area, such as the choice of plant species along the stream banks to support aquatic life, NParks said in a statement on Saturday (Aug 27).

The biodiversity surveys will eventually be sent to environment consultants who will closely study how the development works near the stream will impact the plants and animal life, and come up with mitigation strategies.

To this end, NParks has called for an environmental impact assessment to be done before the second phase of enhancement works are carried out at the trail.

The assessment will cover an 800m stretch which includes the stream and a path along the Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal.

Last year, it was announced that two new nature trails running through Clementi Forest will be created and the 2km Clementi Nature Trail is one of them.

This pathway will run from the Clementi Forest Stream to a new nature park in Ulu Pandan West. In the first phase of enhancements for the trail, work began last year on the middle stretch of the trail, south of the Bukit Timah First Diversion Canal. That stretch is about 500m long. 

The second upcoming nature trail is the 4km Old Jurong Line Nature Trail which will run along a stretch of the old Jurong Railway Line.

These trails will be progressively completed from 2023.

The freshwater Clementi Forest Stream is home to various dragonflies, freshwater fish and amphibians.

The biodiversity survey carried out by the public this weekend will cover the aquatic fauna, hydrology, dragonflies and vegetation along the stream, as well as bird species nearby.