5 Reasons Why Bute Park is the Ideal Place for the Tree Charter Pole Celebrating the Cultural Impact of Trees
On Saturday the 25th of November, Bute Park unveiled the Welsh Pole launched by the Charter for Trees, Woods and People. Cardiff has thereby been selected as one of 10 cities across the UK to welcome a carved wooden pole, each representing one of the Charter’s principles. Given Wales’ rich culture, it comes of no surprise that the Welsh Pole depicts the principle recognising the cultural impact of trees and their power to inspire. Here are 5 reasons that demonstrate the suitability of this latest addition to Bute Park.
Cardiff is considered the tree capital of the UK. The diversity found in Bute Park and Roath Park make the capital of Wales stand out from other cities in the UK. The parks have become a vital part of Cardiff’s culture, where many different events and festivals have taken place. With Bute Park in the city centre and considered to be one of the locals’ favourite spots, it has become the green heart of Cardiff. Trees within the various parks have become an integral part of the city’s culture, strengthening local identity.
Many of the parks and trees around Cardiff were planted by the Bute family and Bute Park was gifted to the city by the fifth Marquis of Bute in 1947. Consequently the trees around Cardiff celebrate the rich heritage of the city and the Bute family, who have had such a large impact on Cardiff. The trees are considered part of Cardiff’s history and its living heritage.
Community and Unity
The shared love for trees around Wales has led to different projects to support the community and celebrate trees. Welsh charity Size of Wales was the first to protect a woodland area the size of its own country when they planted one million trees in Uganda. The trees alleviate the pressures put on people and resources caused by climate change. Specifically, they provide sustainable supplies of food, fuel and shelter, as well as improved incomes, alleviating poverty. The trees protect local communities from the effects of soil erosion caused by deforestation, which can lead to deadly landslips. This project also planted a tree for every child born or adopted in Wales through the Welsh Government’s “Plant!” scheme. Project like this bring people from different backgrounds together to honour the power and importance of woodlands.
Charm and Allure
As can be seen in the around Cardiff and its parks, trees enhance the charm of the city through all four seasons. Even when trees have their tops removed for safety reasons Cardiff knows how to continue to celebrate their beauty. An example can be found in the Wood Sculpture Trail of Bute Park, where local artists were inspired by Welsh heritage themes. These sculptures show artistic ingenuity, highlighting the timeless beauty of trees.
Arts and Folklore
The allure of trees and their stories have long been reflected in Welsh folklore. If the trees in Wales could talk, imagine all the stories they would tell. When we look closely, some of the trees actually show us their history and tell the folklores which are based upon them. The Oak sculpture Coed Tregib in Camarthen for example, tells the story of a cursed tree and the danger that will fall upon the town when these trees will be brought down. Similarly in Bute Park an old tree has been carved into a sculpture illustrating Dwynwen, the Welsh Goddess of Love, ready to put her spell on the park and it’s visitors.
By: Tirza Kreuwel