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Parks volunteers are a ‘big help’

It’s been the week of ‘The Big Help Out’ across the UK to mark the coronation.

But in Cardiff’s parks, volunteers have been a ‘big help’ all year – with the number of hours they spend working in the city’s green spaces returning to pre-Covid levels for the first time.

Grangemoor Park, a former landfill site in Grangetown, is one of many parks to have benefitted from the hard work of volunteers recently. Jon Wallis, a regular conservation volunteer with Cardiff Council works alongside council staff to manage the habitat.

“I enjoy it a lot,” he said. “I would, and did during Covid, feel quite lost without it. You see the results of what you do, immediately you take the fence out and it looks more natural, or you plant something and you see it come up next year.”

Figures for 2022/23 show that volunteers carried out 19,385 hours of volunteering in Cardiff’s green spaces – that’s 274 hours more than 2019/20, before the pandemic.

According to Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Parks, Cllr Jennifer Burke, the commitment of the city’s parks volunteers hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“Having our volunteers back is fantastic news for Cardiff’s parks and green spaces,” said Councillor Jennifer Burke, cabinet member for culture, leisure and parks. “Whether it’s working in the greenhouses at Bute Park, helping out with tree planting, getting stuck into habitat management and conservation work, or devoting their time to one of the many Friends Groups across the city, every volunteering hour really counts, and helps our own hardworking teams achieve far more than they could alone.”

There are Friends Groups for several parks near the Rhiwbina area, including Heath Park, Forest Farm, and Hailey Park. Find out how you can get involved with volunteering in Cardiff’s parks here.

Photo: Parks volunteer Jon Wallis

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