There have been some complaints about the Secret Garden Café recently. Firstly when Friends of Bute Park were told, by other users of the Park, that the Manager of the Secret Garden Café refused to have dogs within the cafe’s premises and that even part of the outdoors space had been fenced off to prevent dogs accessing the seating area. Later on, the reasons given for such a move, were that disreputable dog owners were putting their dogs on counter tops and table tops, and also washing their dogs dirty feet in the toilets and creating a mess and it was not hygienic. Whether this is true, or just rumours is not for us to comment upon. All comments and complaints should be made to the Bute Park Management as the Council are responsible for the leasing of the café.
The next problem to be given to us is that the toilets were closed due to water coming up through the floor, which if true, does mean that the café should have been shut down for hygienic reasons. However, we have been given another reason for the closure; that it was due to the technical malfunction of some equipment, which has now been removed, and that the toilets should now be open again.
Management of the Park have asked for comments on the café, and these can either be made on the Council’s own Bute Park Website (not the Friends), or you can do this via our Friends of Bute Park email which has circulated a form so you can give your views. If you have not received this email, and you are on our mailing list, please email to inform us.
And Now to the UEFA CUP and its effects on the Park. Apparently Cardiff are due to make £40,000,000 from allowing the UEFA to take place there, however the effects on Bute Park are already being felt, with a large part of Coopers Field being unavailable since the construction and de-construction of the RHS Show and now the, supposedly upmarket Hospitality Village for the upmarket fans which is in the process of being built. Apparently there is also to be a bridge built over the road so these fans do not have to cross the road. The road that, according to Wales Online, will be closed anyway, so not sure there is a point to that. Maybe it is more secure that way?
Due to security a large part of the Park on actual match days will be closed off with security fencing, somewhat along the lines of the G8 Summit. The Summerhouse café and Pettigrews, apparently, will not be available, so the cups of tea will have to come from the Secret Garden Café (if that is not also closed for security), and the only toilets accessible in the Park will be at the Secret Garden, but that will probably not be a problem as the technical fault has been fixed. Would be lovely if the Summer House Café could be given a temporary structure outside the security fencing and allowed to trade but that probably would not be feasible due to water, electricity and drainage reasons. Dog owners will not be happy as the Summer House Café is very dog friendly with free bowls of water. Though I am not sure they go as far as the previous management of the SGC who also used to supply dog biscuits and were much mourned by the canines of the park.
The upside of the taking over of Coopers Field by UEFA is that, afterwards, the surface of Coopers Field will be removed and resurfaced and planted with hardier varieties of grass to increase the resilience of the surface for all future foot falls and park uses. This does mean however, that with replanting, and waiting for seeds to root and grow enough to stand being walked on, this area will be out of commission for at least 13 weeks altogether.
Pontcanna Fields is also going to take a hit, with a Glamping Village for those with tickets, as accommodation within Cardiff is going to be brimming over. A good time for those with spare rooms apparently.
Many people will enjoy the UEFA experience in Cardiff, and the money also will be welcome, though people accessing the City Centre at its height may not be too pleased as it could be very chaotic, but hopefully it will be a short, trouble free period, and something to tell the descendants. We will see what happens.