A - Z of the Vale's parks and green spaces
A is for
Belle Vue Park in central Penarth has been awarded the coveted
national 'Green Flag' award four years running for being welcoming,
clean, safe and well maintained.
B is for bowl up, bowl up!
There are eight bowling greens across the county, one of which,
at Romilly Park, celebrates its centenary this year.
C is for canine friendly
Dogs are welcome in the Vale's parks, but please remember to
after your pooch.
D is for Dyffryn Gardens
One of the Vale's crown jewels are the immaculate Edwardian
gardens at Dyffryn.
is for environmentally friendly
The council's parks team is the proud holder
of the national 'Green Dragon' Level Five Award – the pinnacle of
the award recognising environmentally-friendly practice.
The team's 'green' activities include allowing
residents to collect bark and logs from the Court Road Depot in
Barry on the last Sunday of every month.
F is for football pitches
The Vale of Glamorgan Council provides 65 football pitches
available for public use in 19 different sites through out the
area. This includes 39 senior pitches and 26 mini pitches.
Find out more.
G is for growing
Anyone who lives in the Vale can apply for a
plot on any of our nine allotment sites. You can use the plot to grow
vegetables or flowers and even to keep hens (but not cockerels)
and, with permission, other limited livestock. Most plots
cover 250 square yards and cost on average about £25 a
H is for howzat!
The gentle thwack of leather on
willow can be heard during the summer months on the Vale's
cricket pitches. Council parks staff also mark out and maintain
many rugby and football pitches, including Jenner Park in
for Italian Gardens
The impressive Italian Gardens in Penarth were
laid out in 1926 on the site of a building once used for storing
bathing machines. Overlooking the Esplanade, the gardens are full
of colourful flora that prosper near the coast.
J is for jumpers for goalposts
There are more than 20 recreation grounds in
the Vale, perfect for a kick-around and other sporting
K is for Knap
The Knap lake in Barry was cleaned earlier
this year and it is hoped that boating will soon be re-introduced
after an absence of more than 20 years. When viewed from above, the
Knap lake is the shape of a Welsh harp.
L is for Limestone to Lakes
Cosmeston Lakes Country Park had its origins
with the advent of limestone quarrying in the early 1890s. The
quarrying ended in 1970 and this saw one of the quarry sites
being used for landfill. Underground springs flooded parts of the
quarried area, creating lakes. The quarry spoil areas were landscaped and together
with the lakes form the main features of the beautiful park which
we can see today which contains over ninety hectares of
woodland, grassland and wetlands.
M is for music
Bandstands flourished in late Victorian and
Edwardian times, and several grace Vale parks today. If you are
interested in providing some musical entertainment on a bandstand
then the parks team would love to hear from you.
N is for nature spotting
With its mix of coast and countryside, the Vale is a haven
for all sorts of nature. Keep a lookout and help the council build
up a picture of the wide varieties of interesting local flora and
fauna by submitting your sightings.
O is for
New orienteering routes have been set up to help
explore the much-loved Porthkerry Country Park in Barry. There are
three routes around the park, with distances ranging from 1.5km up
to 4km. The permanent orienteering course is complemented by a new
P is for play
There is plenty to keep youngsters occupied in
our parks, with many boasting modern play equipment. Children can
also have fun at the many play ranger events, organised by the
council's sports and play development team, which take
place during the school summer holidays.
Q is for quality
In the council's 2008 public opinion survey,
an impressive 93% of Vale residents surveyed were pleased with the
parks and grounds maintenance service, an 23% increase on the 2005
R is for rare
Porthkerry Country Park is one of the few
places in Britain where you can find the rare True Service tree and
Gromwell flower, while the Great Crested Newt, a protected species in
Europe, is also flourishing in the Vale.
S is for safe
The council is proud to say that its parks are
safe places to be with very low crime rates. The parks team work
with the local police and the Safer Vale Partnership to address any
issues that arise and recent safety initiatives include the locking
of gates at some parks between dusk and 8am to deter any
T is for topiary
Alexandra Park in Penarth, named in 1902 after
the wife of King Edward VII, features wonderful examples of
intricate and skillful topiary.
U is for unique views
Many of our parks and open spaces boast unique picturesque views
of the Bristol channel and coast.
V is for Victoria Park
One of Barry's most prestigious parks,
Victoria Park, was refurbished in early 2008, complete with new
W is for worm sculpture
Art features in many of the Vale's parks, with
a highlight being the six-metre high 'Bookworm' sculpture in
Central Park, Barry. Produced by
environmental artist Dave Welton from the trunk of an ash tree that
had its crown removed because of disease, the design was chosen
because of the park's close proximity to the county library.
X is for Xerscape
After the Penarth Women's Institute contacted
the council recently to ask about a possible over 60s 'fitness
area' to improve health levels, the parks team are looking into the
possibility of installing 'Xerscape' outdoor fitness equipment at
Cliff Top Park in Penarth.
Y is for young and young at heart
You can learn and perfect a whole host of
tricks at the Vale's nine skate parks for the young and young at
Z is for zzzz
After a full day at work in the summer, one of
the best ways to enjoy your local park is to take it easy and relax
in the evening's sunshine!