‘Access to forest trails should be sealed off to remind visitors that they are off limits’

A group of visitors to Bukit Kledang before the movement control order was implemented. The site is a popular spot among hikers. — Filepic

SOME people are still unaware that the forest trails at Bukit Kledang in Menglembu, Ipoh, have been temporarily closed.

Those who spoke to StarMetro think the Perak Forestry Department should have

cordoned off the entry points to the trails to prevent visitors from entering.

Lecturer Ahmad Shahir Mohd Sahran was among those who recently trekked along the trails. The 31-year-old said he did not know that the area had been closed off.

“I was excited because it was my first time hiking up this hill. During our hike, I uploaded a few videos on Instagram and that was when a friend told me that the trail was off limits, ” he said.

“I was quite surprised because there was no signage placed at the entry point of the trail to inform visitors about the closure, ” he added.

Perak Forestry Department had on Oct 15 said that all forest reserves in the state, including Bukit Kledang, would be temporarily closed to the public due to the monsoon season that began in September.

The temporary closure will continue until early next year.

Members of the public can still walk on the tarred roads at Bukit Kledang.

Ahmad Shahir said he and his friend were not the only ones who used the forest trail.

“When we were there one weekend, many people were hiking with us.

“However, I did notice that some small paths had been cordoned off with tape.

“Had my friend not informed me, I would not have known about the closure.

“The authorities should seal off all entry points, ” he said.

A visitor who wished to be known only as Jessie, said the only signage she spotted reminded visitors not to feed the wild animals there.

“I have been going to Bukit Kledang for quite some time now, in the morning and evening. There are no signs or barricades to block the forest trails.

“Signs should be put up if they do not want people to use the trails.

“I usually go there on weekdays and even then, many people use the trails, ” she said, adding that she learned about the closure from a friend.

When contacted, state Forestry Department director Datuk Mohamed Zin Yusop said they would seal off the entry points to the trails at the hill.

“We hope people will stop trekking on the trails for their own safety.

“We will conduct enforcement and take action against trespassers, ” he added.

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