by Reece Harrison-Strati, Megan Lockie-Monk and Eleanor Fox
Cardiff Council and local businesses have thanked people who have come together to show their support for Bute Park after vandals caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage.
More than 50 trees were destroyed, bins were pulled from the concrete bases, signs were removed and plants and planters were pulled over and broken in the attack two weeks ago. In addition there was damage to a historic stone bridge and to internet cables.
The vandals also targeted plants and trees outside the Secret Garden Café. Café owner Melissa Boothman said she was impressed by the support from the community.
She said: “The park was quieter for a few weeks after the incidents but people have decided to strike back, rally together and come back to the park.”
Hundreds of people came to a Reclaim the Park” walk and picnic last weekend to offer their support.
Cardiff Council leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: “It was really heart-warming to see so many people come out to show their support for the park, and for all the work our parks teams and our volunteers do every day, making it the beautiful, green, jewel in Cardiff’s crown.”
The council has already carried out repairs in the area, including on the fibre optic cables and sign posts. Planters have been restored and litter bins have been re-instated.
Damaged sign posts have been recovered and will be put back soon. Stonemasons are carrying out an inspection of the damage to Lady Bute’s Bridge.
Melissa Boothman would like to see extra lighting on the main walkways in the park to increase safety but rejected the idea of CCTV because of concerns about “the Big Brother effect”.
She said locking the park at night did not work as it would deter people from coming in and make it less safe.
Cllr Huw Thomas said: “The police investigation is on-going and the team continue to contribute information while the CCTV footage is reviewed.”
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.