All future events can be found on the Events page but below is a brief mention and a follow up to the events and other interesting information for you.

Pettigrews now stock our cards.

Events and Issues 

Natural Resource Wales is beginning work on both sides of the River Taff as part of the flood defence scheme. This will involve clearing scrub and low branches. Their bio-diversity officer is aware of our concern that as much cover as possible is left for the wild life.  Chippings will be piled up for use on the paths near Blackweir Woods.

The Stories They Would Tell Exhibition

Explore part of the history of Bute Park recorded across the lifetime of one of the park’s oldest sweet chestnut trees.…/inside-stories-tell-exhibition/.  Cardiff Story Museum, The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1BH.   Sat 2nd Dec ‘17 to Sun 25th Feb ‘18 (10am – 4pm).  

(Would have been lovely if they looked more at the ordinary staff who worked in the park across the ages, but that is merely the opinion of one person.)

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, again on the second Saturday of the month.


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. Please let us know if you witness other disturbances to wild life and also let your Councillors know.  Hedghogs are a threatened species so lets stop this killing

Events told to us by other people.

Cardiff Naturalists Society is holding a talk on the 19th February on Saltmarsh Restoration.  For details visit their website.

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

Cardiff Council have said that Schools have until Friday 2nd February to enter this year’s School Wheelbarrow competition at the 2018 Royal Horticultural Show – Cardiff.  
The theme this year is ‘The Sea’.




Links below to our Photos page.

Photos in Gallery

Gallerysub directory Photo of the Month

Well done to those who have submitted their photos

Posted in Uncategorized


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


 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.

Posted in Uncategorized

Future Events – see our Events Page


 December’s Conservation event has been cancelled due to outside events.  We look forward to seeing you in January.  

Posted in Uncategorized

Feedback to Events

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

Update Closure of Secret Garden Café

Unfortunately the café has now closed down again.

The Secret Garden Café  has re-opened and so the toilets are available thank goodness.  The new management have banned dogs from the café courtyard and tables near to the courtyard entrance, apparently due to inconsiderate dog owners washing their dogs paws in the toilets and leaving a mess, and also putting the dogs unhygenically upon the Counters and the table tops.  If anybody wishes to comment upon this, please contact Bute Parks own website.

Posted in Uncategorized

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

Posted in Uncategorized

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

Posted in Uncategorized

Results of Himalayan balsam clearance!

ButeThis photograph was taken very recently by a Friend and shows Blackweir woods looking beautiful in the spring sunshine with wild garlic and bluebells growing in profusion. This lovely carpet of flowers is due to the hard work you have put in to clear the invasive Himalayan Balsam over the past two years. Thank you!

Posted in Uncategorized

Identification of Bulb Planting Task 2014

Throughout the Restoration Project, bulbs have been planted throughout the Park by various groups. Many of these plantings have not been based on any previously drawn plans or recorded after they were planted. This left a significant gap in the data Bute Park staff had about the park and made it difficult to plan future bulb planting as they did not know what they had already got and where it is. Volunteers were needed to gather information on various things so that they ended up with a reasonably accurate plan showing the distribution and type of bulbs planted in grass areas throughout the Park.

The project took place over a 12 month period (starting January 2014) and entailed volunteers:
· Walking the park every few weeks and recording the location of emerging bulbs
· Plotting the location and size of the groups on a plan with reasonable accuracy – within a couple of meters accuracy would be fine for most groups.
· Identifying main species groups – daffodils, crocus, mixed (with species) etc..
· Identifying variety if possible – we may have records of what was planted but not necessarily exactly where it was planted
· Making a note of the flowering time and period.
· Attending sessions to help plot the data into Bute Park auto cad and map info records

Posted in Uncategorized

Excavations at the Mill Leat Cardiff Castle: 24/25th October 2013

Dr Amelia Pannett of Archaeology Wales led the team of volunteers.  On the Thursday there were four volunteers from The Friends of Bute Park, and four students from Cardiff University Archaeology Department.

The excavation team had discovered a variety of items which could have belonged to people living in Cardiff Castle during the period ca.1580-1650.  There were also items from various industries close to Cardiff Castle.

There were many fragments of pottery, including necks of  drinking flagons, bowls, dishes with a variety of glazes, and cooking pottery.  There were also a number of clay tobacco pipe fragments – the bowls of the pipes were very small as tobacco was extremely expensive at this time.  The findings included some pretty pieces of  patterned Venetian glass. The volunteers also washed a large number of animal bones, including some (very large) teeth.

By way of change, we then washed lumps of slag which had been deposited in the river from the industries operating there at the time – these will be analysed for their metal contents. Metal objects had to be dry dusted, to prevent them from corroding, and included dress pins which were very fiddly to brush clean.

At the end of the session we agreed that we had all had an extremely interesting and enjoyable day, and would be happy to volunteer again.

Elizabeth Pengilly

Posted in Uncategorized