Events – see our Events Page

Important Notice

The Bute Park Friends Group is currently dormant pending recruitment to the necessary committee posts. If you would like to become involved with the Bute Park Friends Group please make contact with Paul Barratt…


Yesterdays AGM (29/06/19)was poorly attended and our committee remains the same. Julia Sas, the Park Manager, queried the poor attendance and suggested that we become more proactive in gaining support from the public.

Barry Embling then led a very interesting walk amongst the trees in the park, pointing out insect and nemotode damage. Sadly too many trees are dying or dead because of the prolonged drought last year and the squirrels are stripping bark from branches and roots, which in turn is affecting the trees’ health – too many squirrels. Did you know that they are classified as pests? And this is why. The second photo shows the bare patches where the squirrels were taking off the bark as we arrived.

Many thanks to Barry for a very informative walk.. It indicated how much care is needed to care for the trees to ensure they survive.

Helping and protecting your park.

WE REALLY NEED YOU TO SUPPORT OUR ACTIVITIES IN THE PARK, especially as there will be more cuts in the parks’ finances this year and staff are depleted.  There are conservation tasks, helping in the nursery, arranging talks and walks about any relevant subject that interests you – we would welcome any help in any form – would you like to join our committee?  We meet for an hour a month – it’s not onerous!

 So please email us or put suggestions on our Facebook page or tweet us.


If you have any views on what activities/events/conservation work you would like to help us do in the park, or which you would like to attend, then pop over to our Events page and look for our email address.


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All future events can be found on the Events page

The Committee would like to thank all the anonymous litter pickers who help to keep our lovely park clean.

Future conservation work

The system for conservation tasks has been changed by the Park Manager. Instead of the Friends working direct with the ranger to organise conservation, the Park Manager will now discuss tasks with the ranger, and the Friends will be invited to participate, along with other volunteers.

We raise matters in view to keep protecting the Park

Previously – The council cut down the brambles along the banks of the dock feeder at the Blackweir end of the park. Thus removing the  shelter and nesting sites for the birds, butterflies, insects and hedgehogs.  Also they mowed the grass under the trees opposite the playing fields, killing several hedgehogs.   There was no method or reason as to how they mowed and cut back the brambles. We would still like you to please let us know if you witness other disturbances to wild life and also let your Councillors know.  Hedgehogs are a threatened species so lets stop this killing

Events told to us by other people/organisations.

Cardiff Naturalists Society
See their website for details.

Cardiff Rivers Group hold volunteer events over the year.  For details visit their website.

Cardiff Council usually have a School Wheelbarrow competition at the RHS show.  Look out for next year’s 2020  theme.

dsc_0068-3.jpgLinks below to our Photos page.

Photos in Gallery

Gallerysub directory Photo of the Month

We need more entries.  If you have photos that you do not mind displaying on our website/Facebook /Twitter pages and we can use for postcards and cards, please email us;

Pettigrews now stock our cards.

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AGM and walk






Our AGM will be held on Sat 29 June at 12 noon at the Education Centre.

Conservation – Saturday 8 June 1030 – meeting at table by the river outside the Secret Garden Cafe

On this occasion we will be joining the ranger for some litter picking, followed by a River Shuffle – dipping nets into the river to see what we find (provided that the river is running low). Please wear suitable clothes and wellies for this.

All welcome, including children if well controlled!!

AGM – Saturday 29th June at noon in the Education Centre Bute Park – 
we need your support and would welcome your attendance at this short meeting.

This will be followed by a walk and talk with Barry Embling, who worked with the renowned Dendrologist Tony Titchen, whom many of you will have met here.
Barry will lead a walk, talking about and discussing why our British trees are under attack from ever more pests and diseases and what we can do about it.

Do come and learn more about our beautiful parkland and trees – and bring your friends. This event is free

We would welcome your support and participation

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Friends of Bute Park AGM Sat 29 June at noon

We will be holding our AGM on Sat 29 June at 12 noon in the Education Centre. This will be a short meeting in which we would welcome your support and participation.

We recommend that you bring your own refreshments if you are staying for the walk as the cafe can be very busy. Coffee and tea can be provided.

It will be followed by a walk and talk with Barry Embling, who worked with the renowned Tony Titchen whom many of you will know. Barry will be talking about and discussing why our British Trees are under attack from ever more pests and diseases and what we can do about it. This should be very interesting and we look forward to seeing you.

Best wishes

Jane Williams Chair

PS Conservation on Sat 8 June 1030 – litter picking and river dipping – all welcome

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See future events including an official Bute Park event on the events page.

Spring is coming.  But so is the snow and ice.

Its been lovely in the Park.

Nice walks down through the park to the City Centre or a stroll through the woods looking at the bulbs coming up.  Pity if the Beast from the East strikes again, but the plants are tough and still come back for more.

Trying to take photos of Kingfishers but far too fast, and not sure which trees they love to stand on, whilst they watch the river for their dinner.

Did you hear the woodpecker as you strolled along the Blackweir muddy path to the Education Centre?  Seems to have switched trees this time.  Definitely need to carry the camera around at all times.  What are the best lenses for taking bird pictures?


National Federation of Parks and Green 


To all Friends groups – please forward to your members…

Please check out this major Sunday paper article below, paying tribute to the thousands of dedicated Friends Groups volunteers throughout the UK. Includes a statement from the NFPGS chair recognising the vital role of Friends groups and calling for proper investment and resources for all the UK’s parks.

Let’s try to keep up the good work and support each other in 2019!

Dave, NFPGS Chair


We salute the park saviours! Pruning, picking up litter and even patrolling at night

… how a volunteer army of 300,000 keep open green spaces that have been abandoned by councils 

  • The number of park volunteers has rocketed in just two decades – from a few thousand in the 1990s to more than 300,000 today
  • The Mail on Sunday’s Save Our Parks campaign has revealed that one in three parks no longer has any staff on site
  • Residents say they have felt compelled to step in after seeing their beloved green spaces become no-go zones 

By Michael Powell and Andrew Young For The Mail On Sunday




If you have an interesting story to tell about your visits to Bute Park, your knowledge of people in the past who were involved in the Park, history of events in the park, then email us and we will put this on our website.   Please be aware that we may edit your stories.

We love our park and want to know that you love it too.  We also want to find out, what events would appeal to you?  Would you like to get involved more in the park, or just chillax?  What do you love about our Bute Park and what do you hate?

We also are putting up a gazebo in the park once a month and would like you to stop off and chat to us, tell us all about what you enjoy, what your history is about using the park.  

So talk to us when you see us.


 Hedgehog Alert

Hedgehogs – if you see them in daylight they may be unwell and need to be rehydrated.   Please phone The Hedgehog Helpline  07557646773 or take them to a vet. 


Red Oak Down

 Wild and stormy night.

We all heard the wind that blew whilst Irma was battering the Caribbean and USA, this was mild compared to that, this was Storm Aileen, still challenging on her own account.  The amount of branches and trees that have been blown down in Bute Park are immense.  Like this Red Oak that had fungal damage at its roots, which led to its toppling over when Storm Aileen hit.  Gorgeous in Autumn with its red leaves, only its sister oak next to it, is left to glow in autumnal colours.  One of our Friends of Bute Park is showing how huge the root ball is.  He is a tall chap, but is tiny against this massive mound of roots and earth.  Well, we will need to start planting trees again if this keeps up, so if anyone knows of a free supplier of such trees as the Red Oak tree, get in touch.

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Calendar Photo Walk

We had a photo walk for our Bute Calendar for 2019.  We will need photos for 2020, so keep snapping all through the year.

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Feedback to Events

Planted the Hollies in the pouring Rain on Saturday 10 February 2018.  Well done to all those who attended and helped plant the Ilex, got soaked for their troubles, but remained in good humour.



Saturday 13 January at 10:30 am meeting at the Summerhouse Café for coffee and discuss ideas about our activities in the coming year.  All sensible ideas very welcome.  Then afterwards we will follow our coffee with a wander down towards Blackweir Woods to spot the birds.  Please bring your waterproofs,stout footwear, binoculars and spotter books.  We hope to have a guest to help us out if we are lucky.  However, this is not guaranteed.  Also this walk will not take place in heavy rain as the birds have more sense than us and will be sheltering.

Himalayan Balsam pulling

Well done to all our Friends of Bute Park volunteers who steadfastly pulled Himalayan Balsam from May this year till late September.  You are stars each and every one of you, and at the last meeting the Committee wanted their thanks to be passed on to you.  We, who pulled beside you, thank you too.

We have pulled a few since then, one being the 25th June as mentioned in our News.

Himalayan Balsam Pulling 14th May 2017

We all enjoyed it.  A couple of new people joined us, but they were old hands since they had volunteered at Fforest Farm and Hailey Park.  One of our newest volunteers is doing his Duke of Edinburgh Award, so our best wishes go for the completion of that.

One of the piles of Himalayan Balsam we made.



Himalayan Balsam Pulling 7th May 2017.

Went very well.  Enjoyed by all and they decided to do another pull 
on the 14th May

Himalayan Balsam Pulling 30th April.

Went very well. Loads of HB where we were pulling but we are making a difference, especially looking at what it was like when we started.    We are very fortunate in our volunteers, once they get the bug, most come back again and again.  So satisfying, social and keeps us fit.

Himalayan Balsam Pulling last Sunday 23rd April.

This didn't quite go to plan as we were hijacked first off to help out 
with the Bat Groups Wild Flower Meadows Project, but my trusty 
group of volunteers were happy to help tromp the seeds into the 
ground so they had more contact with it, and break up the hard soil a 
little bit more.  Then the group took some wild flowers out of their 
plant pots and dug those into the ground, then gave them a 
good watering.  Hopefully they will survive the lovely weather we've 
been having and thrive and provide a lovely sight to humans and a 
good source of insect food to Bats.  Personally I am on the side of the 
insects, but its a Bat eat Insect World.  
Very proud of our stalwart volunteers because after having a go at the 
wild flower meadow, they continued with the project they had gathered
 at the Secret Garden Café for, and went and pulled up Himalayan 
Balsam in order to  give other flowers a chance at thriving and feeding 
the bees, and preventing a monoculture developing which could end in 
disaster.  As I said I am very proud of our volunteers for their 
dedication and hard work. 

19th April.

Dawn Chorus heard and/or saw these:  May have missed a few but generally this was it:

Cormorant, heron, mute swan, mallard, goosander (loved the 3 males flying past), tawny owl, wood pigeon, feral rock dove, green woodpecker, greater spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, herring gull, lesser black backed gull, blackbird, song thrush, mistle thrush, robin, treecreeper, jay, magpie, crow, jackdaw, blackcap, chiffchaff, willow warbler, goldfinch, chaffinch, coal tit, blue tit, great tit, dipper, wren, goldcrest  =  33

(hedge sparrow)

15th April.  Spoilt for choice.  Mike’s History Walk and/or Otters at the Bridge.  Which one did you go for?


Saturday 1st April 11am met for a WOODLAND WANDER to observe the wild flowers popping up and to look for nesting birds.

DSC_0039 (4)

Conservation – Saturday 25 March

Dead hedged to save some of the ever widening path destroying the Blackweir Woods.  Ongoing project, so more helpers needed.

DSC_0062 (4).JPG

Saturday 25th at 10:30 to plant the wild flower bulbs in Blackweir Woods.   Lovely job .  Well done.


Saturday 18 Feb – Planted some more whips to continue the creation of our wild life hedge, and planted wild flower bulbs in the Hazel copse we coppiced before Christmas. This went really well and we had a couple of very good diggers of the hedging, and a few determined bulb planters, so that went really well.


Monday 23rd January   Removing epicormic growth (the suckers and shoots formed at the base of trees – especially limes).   This went very well.  There are some fabulous photos on the Facebook page.

CONSERVATION WORK Saturday, 14th January at 11am, Planted the native hedgerow whips near the ambulance station.  Keep an eye on our hedge as you go past, and see how it grows.  We all enjoyed ourselves and even dug up some modern archaeological finds.  2 to 3 inches below the surface we started seeing litter!  Presumably over time the mowing has buried these items under mown grass which has composted down into soil. We even uncovered a drain that was not on the maps. 


Saturday 26 November 12:00 – Conservation with the Rangers

A marvellous time was had by all.  Brief pit stop for mince pies and hot drinks, then we shouldered our tools and off we went to coppice some of the Hazels with Rangers Kevin and Jim.  Some of our hardy band sawed off the hazel trunks, while others crunched off the side shoots so that the gardeners could use the cut items for staking out plants. We might have a few of the hazels tied up into faggots and used to strengthen the river banks.   After sawing and clipping, we had a massive sort out of all the cut wood.  We piled up a load of branches in one corner as shelter for hedgehogs.  Well done also to those who sawed up some of the massive tree that had fallen down nearby.  Far too big to do in one go and most of it will be left there to provide food and shelter for nature.


Sunday 27 November 1am    Tree Walk led by Malcolm Frazer and Terry Davies.

This was a marvellous walk led by people who actually worked in the park and planted many of the trees we talked about.  Did you know the London Planes are not as old as you think?  At the most they will be 50 years old as  Malcolm Frazer and Terry Davies actually planted them!

Sat 15 October 11am         Glamorgan Fungus Group led a Fungus Walk.


This went really well.  See some photos on our Gallery page.  Did you know that the park was full of hidden ecosystems?  Thanks to our Glamorgan Fungus Group friends for giving us a lovely walk through the Park and pointing out the hidden and the  unsuspected world of Fungi.

Last organised EVER, (for this year), Himalayan Balsam Event took place on the 28th August and the people involved did very well.  Well done!  We will start earlier next year, so if you see any peeping through in April/May that you think need to be pulled up quickly before the brambles and nettles grow, then please feel free to let us know.


Out of the Woods event on 20th August got a little damp.  A bit like last year, but thank you to everyone who went.

Tour of the Park walk went very well.

Himalayan Balsam pulling on the 28th August – thank you to all who turned up despite the confusion.  Very good job.

Himalayan Balsam pulling on the 21st August went great.  Really tackled some tough jobs.

Hamalayan Balsam Pulling on 14th August went very well.  All did a sterling job

Himalayan pulling on the 24th went well.  We did a very good job.

10th July .  Had a great time pulling the Balsam.  A lot of work got done.  Well done everyone.




Well done to those who took part on the 26th June.  Did a really good job.  Also saw a Heron on the river and a Heron in the park by the feeder canal.  Also one of our Friends of Bute Park members spotted what we think was a pair of Scarlet Tiger Moths, but it has not been confirmed yet, but its amazing what you can find.

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Update Closure of Secret Garden Café

Café closed down, re-opened, closed down and now has re-opened.  Heard good things about the new people so far.  Keep it up.

The Secret Garden Café  has re-opened and so the toilets are available thank goodness.

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New Facebook Page – Posted 2015.

Friends Facebook Page

Unfortunately our Friends of Bute Park Facebook page has been hi-jacked by an unauthorised person. We therefore have had to abandon it and have created a new closed Facebook page called: Bute Park Friends Group. Please ask to join, as this is a closed group you cannot post or read posts until you have been accepted.

We apologise for the inconvenience but this has been out of our control. If you want to get in touch use our e-mail:

Jane Williams

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Previous Fungal Foray


Last October or the year before, the Friends of Bute Park were treated to a fungal foray organised and led by members of the Glamorgan Fungus Group (see their Facebook page here). Looking forward to the next  walk this October 2016.

The attendees at that time received many useful tips, including how to differentiate between edible and poisonous mushrooms.

Here are some photographs of our finds at the time, but these represent only a few of the many. I have done my best to name the species but, if a mistake has been made, please do get in touch and corrections can be made.


The Glamorgan Fungus Group were kind enough to send us a complete list of the species that we saw on the day, so if any of you are trying to identify a photo that you took- have a look at these:

Sycamore Tarspot Rhytisma acernium
Alder Tongue Taphrina alni
Southern Bracket Ganoderma australe
Stump Puffball Lycoperdon pyriforme
Glistening Inkcap Coprinellus micaceus
Beech Milkcap Lactarius blennis
Jelly Ear Auricularia auricula-judae
The Deceiver Laccaria laccata
King Alfred’s Cakes/Cramp Balls Daldina concentrica
Purple Jellydisc Ascoryne sarcoidis or cylichnium
Oysterling Crepidotus
Oyster Mushrooms Pleurotus ostreatus
Lumpy Bracket Trametes gibbosa
Common Inkcap Coprinus atramentaria
Wolf’s Milk Lycogala terrestre or epidendron (Slime Mould Myxomycetes)
Orange Bonnet Mycena acicula
Crystal Brain Exidia nucleata
Clouded Agaric Clitocybe nebularis
Yellow Stainer Agaricus xanthodermus
Candlesnuff Fungus Xylaria hypoxylon
Redlead Roundhead Stropharia aurantiaca
Blue Roundhead Stropharia caerulea
Beaked Earthstar Geastrum pectinatum

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