Team Bute Park crowned best in the UK

First published 23rd Nov, 2022

Cardiff’s Bute Park employees have been crowned ‘Team of the Year’ in this years’ Green Flag ‘UK Best of the Best’ awards.

The Green Flag ‘UK Best of the Best’ awards recognises the exceptional teams and individuals who work tirelessly to make their parks and green spaces fantastic places for everyone to enjoy.

Team Bute Park received the ‘Team of the Year’ accolade at a virtual ceremony on Tuesday 15 November.

Since 2010 the dedicated team at Bute Park have transformed and restored an underutilized space into the vibrant green heart of Cardiff that it’s known as today. With yearly visitors rising from 1 million in 2010 to now around 2.5 million, the team tasked with looking after Bute Park are being celebrated for their hard graft.

From a growing line-up of popular events, to thriving volunteer and education programmes, ‘Team Bute Park’ have demonstrated a top-class level of initiative and innovation that benefits the local community and visitors alike.

Despite the challenges of Covid-19 and a significant vandal attack at the park last year, the team are more determined than ever to spread the message that the city’s much-loved park belongs to the people of Cardiff and is a place that everyone can enjoy safely.

CCTV cameras were installed to improve detection and prevention of crime and a new community orchard and cherry blossom avenue were positive additions to the park, that emerged specifically in response to the vandalism attack and demonstrate the level of support the park has in the community . Ultimately, two trees will be planted for every one that was destroyed in the attack.

Julia Sas, Bute Park Manager, said:

“This is fantastic recognition for the whole Bute Park team: our amazing volunteers, new friends group, the dedicated team of staff who work so hard and take such pride in looking after the park, plus the wider Bute Park community who care so much about it. The Park has been through some tough times recently, so we’re delighted to receive this award.”

Cllr Jennifer Burke-Davies, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Events, said:

“Speak to the team and you’ll soon understand how much they care about Bute Park, it’s more than just a job, and that shines through as you walk around its Green Flag grounds. Hopefully, with more exciting projects like the community orchard, the return of the Christmas at Bute Park light trail and improvements made possible through the improvement project donation scheme, we can encourage even more people to visit the green heart of the city.”

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said:

“With a record-breaking 2,208 parks and green spaces receiving the prestigious Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award in the UK this year, winning ‘UK Team of the Year’ is a real achievement and testament to the hard work and determination of Team Bute Park.

We were heartbroken to hear of the terrible acts of vandalism at Bute Park this time last year, but delighted that the park has come back stronger than ever with many positive developments.

Thank you for your tireless efforts in restoring the green heart of Cardiff City.”

Wales knocked it out of the park in this years’ virtual awards ceremony with over half ‘UK Best of the Best’ awards going to Welsh winners:

  • Outstanding Contribution by an Elected Member – Andrea Mearns from Flintshire for leading the transformation of Green Flag awarded Bailey Hill Park in Mold.
  • Best Health Initiative – The Grow Well Project for improving hundreds of local people’s health and wellbeing through therapeutic community gardening at their two Green Flag awarded sites in Cardiff.
  • Volunteer Team of the Year – Caerphilly Miners Centre for the Community for the amazing gardening volunteer’s transformation of a pile of rubble into a lovely natural space at the centre which gained Green Flag status this year.
  • Climate Change Adaptation – Y Hwb at Incredible Edible Porthmadog. Y Hwb (Welsh for ‘The Hub’) is a beautiful little zero carbon building within a Green Flag awarded community garden made out of mostly eco bricks.
  • Team of the Year, Park Staff – Team Bute Park for the tireless efforts of the exceptional Bute Park team in restoring the much-loved Green Flag awarded park – the green heart of Cardiff City.

The Green Flag Award is the international quality standard for parks and green spaces and is delivered in Wales by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, with support from Welsh Government.