Dairy Farm Nature Park
Dairy Farm Nature Park was developed in 2009 by National Parks Board covers an area of 63-hectare. It provides an alternative recreational venue to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. It is located at 100 Dairy Farm Rd, Singapore 679057.
The park features special amenities like the Wallace Education Centre, which houses Wallace Environmental Learning Lab, Singapore’s first field study centre for schools and an interpretative centre; a nature trail where visitors can learn about the flora and fauna of the park through the eyes of English naturalist.
History of Dairy Farm Park
In the 1800s, Dairy Farm Nature Park is situated at the foothills of Bukit Timah were cleared to make way for gambier and pepper plantations and settlements. In the 1930s, Fred Heron, then Managing Director of Cold Storage, established the world’s first tropical dairy farm on a 60-acre land. The farm was to meet the need for high-quality pasteurised milk for children of expatriates in Singapore. At that time, as the only dairy farm that successfully reared Friesian cows within the equatorial region, it attracted worldwide attention, drawing foreign scientists and farming experts here to view its success. This was how Dairy Farm Road and subsequently, Dairy Farm nature Park, got their names.The dairy farm ceased operations in the 1970s.
The area was then used for vegetable farming and subsequently other horticulture related operations. In 2002, the Dairy Farm Quarry area was identified as a nature park under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Parks & Waterbodies Plan.
Wallace Education Centre
Wallace Education Centre is converted from an old cowshed. One half of Wallace Education Centre consists of an exhibition hall and the other half houses the Wallace Environmental Learning Lab (WELL) with a holistic programme for students to discover Singapore’s natural heritage through interesting hands-on activities and field studies.
WELL was established by NParks and Raffles Girls’ Secondary School and sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline and Economic Development Board. For more information, please refer to www.well.sg.
Dairy Farm Nature Park is located at 100 Dairy Farm Rd, Singapore 679057
Take the Bukit Timah Expressway (towards Woodlands) and turn left at Exit 2. Travel along Dairy Farm Road and look out for the sign that says “Dairy Farm Nature Park”. Turn left into Carpark B. From Bukit Timah Road, keep left onto Upper Bukit Timah Road. After about 3km, turn right into Dairy Farm Road. Make a U-turn at the Bukit Timah Expressway junction and turn left into Carpark B.
SMRT 700, 700A, 966. Alight at the bus stop along Petir Road between Chestnut Avenue and Dairy Farm Road.
Wallace Trail Attractions
Look closely and you can still see signs of past ‘civilisation’ which include remnants of walls of houses, and wells. Along the way, you will notice some ornamental plants like arrowheads and heliconias. You will also come across a number of little meandering streams with crystal clear water.
2.Chempedak Tree (Artocarpus integer)
Long before Velcro was invented, nature already had its own Velcro in the leaves of this tree. Pick one of these leaves and stick the ‘hairy’ underside to your clothes and see how they stick to your clothes.
There are actually some Durian Trees on this trail. How can you spot a durian tree? Look for leaves with coppery or golden undersides. You can also spot coconut trees and wild yams, a common sight in kampungs of old. Look out the Betel plant (Piper betle), a cultivated woody climber. The leaves are aromatic and have a hot taste.
4"Apples" and Bracket Fungus
As you walk on, you will see the green fruits of the native Sea Apple tree, which look like small apples with tough rinds. Before the fruits form, you can spot the white powder-puff-like flowers on the tree which attract sunbirds and other species of birds. If you happen to visit after the rain, you will see many snails and slugs. This place has lots of bracket fungus as well.
Keep a lookout for a pretty bulb – the Rojak flower, also commonly known as Torch Ginger (Etlingera elatior). This is actually the bulb of the red ginger plant. It is an indispensable ingredient in rojak and in many nonya dishes.