The National Parks Board (NParks) has also set up observation points in the extension, as well as a suspended bridge through the mid- canopy of a secondary forest. Six new guided walks have been added to the reserve's original one, including two walks meant for children under 12 years old.
These will be held on Saturdays and rotated. Each free, 1½-hour walk will be led by volunteers from the public and Regent Secondary School. The students have been training since last year to beef up their knowledge of the flora and fauna in the area.
Visitors can step onto mudflats during low tide to get up close to creatures such as the tree climbing crab, solitary tube worm and giant mudskipper. A new bird-watching walk at the original reserve will teach people to spot shorebirds such as plovers and sandpipers, and passerines, also called perching birds, such as sunbirds and bulbuls.
A coastal boardwalk offers a scenic view of the Kranji waterfront, and a lookout point to observe ospreys and white-bellied sea eagles hunting for prey. NParks deputy director of conservation Sharon Chan said the extension will help relieve pressure on the original reserve, which receives some 100,000 visitors a year.
Regent Secondary student Siti Nur Khairulhuda, 15, said she hopes to guide visitors on the walks every weekend once the extension opens. "I signed up as a volunteer with my friend. We're both interested in nature and we both really like to talk," she said with a laugh.
This article was first published on November 21, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.