Got Milk?

January 21, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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Did you know that Singapore used to have the first tropical dairy farm? Originally a pig farm until an epidemic of swine fever broke out and killed most of the pigs, the 24 hectare patch of thick secondary jungle was then converted to a dairy farm around 1930. Unfortunately, the dairy farm stopped operation in the 1970s. The area went through several changes – from growing vegetables, to tobacco, then orchids. A horticulture-related company occupied the area that used to house the farm from 1981 to 2006. The following year, the estate was taken over by NParks for development.

Today, the same area has been reopened as Dairy Farm Nature Park, what used to be an old cow shed has now been converted to an education centre. The Dairy Farm Nature Park has two sections. One trail leads to the Wallace Education Centre and the other goes to the Singapore Quarry.

Frankly speaking, I never knew that Singapore had cows before :p and I have never visited that part of Bukit Timah Nature Reserves too. So when news that the new Dairy Farm Nature Park has been made more accessible, Itchyfingers decided to go take a look.

The way to the quarry was fairly straight forward as there is only one straight road..hahah…it’s a long walk though, especially if you were to carry heavy photographic equipment. A nice place for a picnic…but please do not feed the fish or litter around!


A former quarry that was in use till the late 1980s, it has been transformed
into a wetland. Look carefully and you would be able to spot many birds
as well as fish, dragonflies etc.

We headed to the other side of the nature park – the Wallace Education Centre, to take a look…


How it looked like before renovation…


How it looks like now

The Wallace Education Centre is named after English naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, who collected specimens in the area in the 19th century.


Singapore was Wallace’s first stop in the Malay Archipelago in 1854. “His
vast field experience and astute sense of observation led him a step closer
to unravelling the evolution puzzle…After years of watching, recording
and analysing, Wallace concluded that similar species seemed to have evolved
from one another by a natural process of descent and transformation.”


This is where the former milking shed was housed. It is now an information
centre that traces the history of the area. The only thing that reminded us of
its past is this little cow statue…a little empty huh…would be wonderful if
the tools and equipments used during that time could be recovered and
displayed here…


Peek-a-boo…no more milk here.. :p


Another moo-moo…


This Learning Centre was closed on weekend


The first thing that greeted you when you see the centre must be this wall
murals done by students featuring our local flora and faunas…


The co-existence of man and nature is possible!


Can you recognise all the plants and animals on the mural?
8) Oooo…
my favourite animal is here too..
🙂


The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Central Catchment Nature Reserve
were separated by the Bukit Timah Expressway in 1983, a miscalculated
move indeed by the policymakers at the time! Now, a linkway is under
development in the hope that the wild lives will be able to move between
the two reserves


Outside, just opposite the Education Centre, Itchyfingers got attracted by
this charming little shed with plants growing all over….


The door had the old Public Utilities Board (PUB) logo…So this was an
old substation?


Being itchy backsides, Itchyfingers went in to check it out…hmmm..must
be some substation…

We decided to explore the Wallace Trail, which turned out to be a very easy trail. If you look carefully, you would be able to find evidence that this area was some kind of vegetable farms before. Should have taken a picture.. 😦


Gotta walk past this carpet of African Tulip on the ground… :p


Wallace Trail…a very nice walk


Can you imagine Singapore with Tigers? What a pity….of course if we
still have tigers around, we won’t be able to venture into the forests
anymore…

On our way out, we saw this abandoned home with garden. This one-storey house is believed to have been built in the 1920s.


According to reports, there are no plans to restore it. Wonder why…When
we were there, there were workers around the area. So if it is not going to
be restored, does it mean it will have to go?


Itchyfingers checking it out…again... 8)


Old planter box

Wonder who was the owner…could it be the owner of the Dairy Farm…? Interesting…

It was an overcast day so the walk was fairly pleasant even though it was almost close to lunch time. After this first visit, we went back to the quarry a few more times to check out the bird lives there. Will write about it when Itchyfingers gather more and better pictures! 🙂

Also see related posts:
> The Image of our Landscape
> Hunters & Collectors – The Orgins of the Southeast Asian Collection
> When the Hunters Became the Hunted – Hunters & Collectors

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