Named in 1948 in honour of the 5th Marquess of Bute, Bute Park lies at the heart of Cardiff and was originally gifted to the people of Cardiff to enjoy this 56 hectares of green, open space.
It provides historical and wildlife interests within the park boundaries of Cardiff Castle grounds; a significant tree collection; an education centre; cafes and Sophia Gardens, the home of Glamorgan Cricket Club
Parks and green spaces play an important social and environmental role; allowing people to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of a large city. “Our park is extremely important to the community” says Jonathan Green, Senior Landscape Officer at Cardiff Council Parks Services, “giving them a place to attend and enjoy a wealth of activities; picnics, concerts, major cultural events, cycling commute or to just find a quiet place to relax.”
So with over two million visitors to the park each year, ensuring its sustainability for future generations and the local community has been vital. With help from a £3.1million grant from the HLF in 2008, the Bute Park Restoration Project could begin.
The project, which was completed in Spring 2014, saw the restoration of the park’s most distinctive features, including the deteriorating Animal Wall. The wall, which lines the boundary of the park, has now been restored to its former glory with the stone work cleaned and repaired. Notable buildings throughout the grounds have also been given a new lease of life as part of the project, including West Lodge, now home to Pettigrew Tearooms, and Blackfriars Priory, a scheduled ancient monument dating back to the 12th century.
Now re-opened for the public to enjoy, Cardiff’s park for the people can continue to act as the green heart of Wales’ capital city.