Friends of Bute Park was started in 2012 and has been going on ever since, with Members helping Park Rangers with their conservation work, and carrying out their own conservation work by pulling up invasive species of Himalayan Balsam and allowing a diversity of native species to flourish. Friends also organise walks and talks which are an enjoyable way of learning about nature and the park. The Park itself is a wonderful asset to the City and is full of nature.
Bute Park extends to 146 acres and has a rich biodiversity which includes several hundred tree species, woodland and water birds, dragonflies, butterflies, moths, bats, many pollinating insects, wild flowers, fungi and lichen, the grey squirrel is ever present and there have been rare sightings of hedgehogs, otters and mink.
Some species within the Park have seen fluctuations (such as the lesser spotted woodpecker), but birds such as dippers, kingfishers, and goosanders (in the winter) have appeared with the improvements to the River Taff.
Likewise, some champion trees have been lost due to age but the site is noted for a colony of purple hairstreak butterflies and there are healthy populations of two other woodpecker species.
The Friends of Bute Park is a volunteer group. We are keen to manage the threats to biodiversity, such as loss of habitat, invasive species, pollution and litter; we work to raise public awareness of these issues and increase participation in conservation work. Whilst river quality has greatly improved, there is still work to do in the area of habitat connectivity to allow species to extend their range.
The park rangers organise sycamore coppicing work parties each winter to allow more light to enter the woodland areas and encourage the return of wild flowers in these areas – activities that the Friends are keen to support. We are people who are enthusiastic about the Park and believe that it is one of the great treasures of Cardiff, providing an open space in the heart of the city with a wealth of historic and wildlife interest
We want to help keep the Park special and so we work closely with the Park management in carrying out conservation and other work. We are also hoping to make the public more aware of the rich natural and historic heritage within the Park and so we organise guided walks and talks to explore and explain this heritage. We are also looking for volunteers to man the Bee Cam, Bird Cam and Fox Cam that are to be set up in the Education Centre by Bute Park staff and take all the most interesting moments and set them up to show in the display screen that will be in the Education Centre itself.
The current Members of the Friends of Bute Park Committee are:
Chair: Jane Williams
Vice Chair: Mike Harper
Secretary: Sally Phillips
Treasurer: Vacant – Please let us know if you want to fill this role.
We would love to welcome more volunteers to join us in our events; just come along or you can contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org; Facebook (closed Group): Bute Park Friends Group and Twitter: @friendsbutepark.