Here’s everything to do at the Botanic Gardens’ new extension, which will now open at the end of this year

Among the new attractions is an exhibition of rare botanical art and a garden of ‘forest giants’.
National Parks Board

The new extension of Singapore Botanic Gardens will open 12 months late – but for a good reason.

The 8-hectare Gallop Extension, which was supposed to be finished by 2018, will instead be opened at the end of this year, the National Parks Board (NParks) said on Thursday (Jan 10).

NParks needs additional time to finish the extension as contractors have to work with minimal noise and vibration so as not to affect wildlife living in the area, the Straits Times reported.

When finished, the new space will span 15 football fields and offer visitors new attractions such as a children’s play area and treetop bridge.

Here’s what the new space will hold:

A 200 metre-long treetop bridge, called the HPL Canopy Link, will let visitors get up close to forest trees native to Singapore.

These include the critically endangered Cinnamomum javanicum and the endangered Beilschmiedia madang.

The route will also have a sweeping view of the Botanic Gardens.
National Parks Board

There’s a hiking trail among recreated hill-slope and cliff-edge habitats of Southeast Asia, which lets visitors see species like the endangered Spike Oak (Lithocarpus elegans) and Braided Chestnut (Castanopsis inermis). 

The Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge will offer views of the Botanic Gardens as well, though not as high as those on the canopy link.
National Parks Board

A quieter area called Gallop Valley offers streams, a pond, and soft foliage. 

It will be located at the Farrer Road entrance to Gallop Extension.
National Parks Board

A children’s playground will have play areas inspired by trees found within the Botanic Gardens.

These include a swing designed to look like the aerial roots of the Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina), and a climbing zone that resembles the warty surface of a Cempedak fruit (Artocarpus integer).

Named the COMO Adventure Grove, it hopes to encourage kids to learn more about nature.
National Parks Board

There will be an arboretum (a garden devoted to trees) containing 2,000 species of rare and endangered forest trees, including 200-over species of Dipterocarp, which are also known as ‘forest giants’ and can live for hundreds of years.

Gallop Extension’s collection of Dipterocarps will contain at least half the total species of Dipterocarps in the world, many which are threatened by logging and deforestation.

The arboretum will also study if Dipterocarps can be grown in Singapore’s urban areas.
National Parks Board

Visitors can learn about local forest habitats and conservation at the Forest Discovery Centre, which will be housed in the oldest surviving colonial-era bungalow in Singapore, Gallop House No. 5.

Inside, there will be interactive games teaching visitors how forests are conserved, and more about local forest ecology and native animals.
National Parks Board

Another black and white colonial bungalow will house an art gallery featuring a rotating exhibition of over 2,000 rare watercolour paintings, ink drawings and woodblock carvings of botanical art.

This includes a 16th century book of medicinal plants donated by the British Museum, and a set of tropical plant engravings made in Singapore by the Japanese during World War II.

The Botanical Art Gallery will also display botanical illustrations from botanic gardens and galleries around the world.
National Parks Board

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