Saturday, 27 February 2010


ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER so just for once raising this disaster..
27th Feb '10

Yesterday, Western Power began emptying Llanishen reservoir. They have set up pipes through which they are pumping water over the embankments into the Nant Fawr. 
It seems they can draw off the top three metres of water without requiring permission, but thereafter need to obtain a drainage consent from the Environment Agency. 
The reservoir engineer who has been employed by RAG estimates that there will be a minimum of 10,000 cubic metres of silt on the bottom of the reservoir. 
If only a small fraction of this is washed into the Nant Fawr it will do enormous environmental damage to the stream and it will all end up in Roath Park Lake, adding to the silting problems there. 

Draindown could not have come at a worse time for the exceptionally large population of toads which normally breed in Llanishen reservoir. Within the next two weeks they will be migrating to their traditional breeding site to spawn

Western Power tells us that it is keen to be green - their new environmental initiative? It claims its aim is to protect and enhance the communities served by us. And they do exactly the opposite!! Green wash of the year award!!!

I wrote to Mr. James Miller Chairman, President & CEO Pennsylvania Power and Light Corporation re their subsidiary Western Power Distribution objecting to the draining of the reservoir.
The reply... 

I’m writing to acknowledge the receipt of your e-mail to James Miller regarding Western Power Distribution’s activities related to the Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs.
While I know that there is some understandable concern among nearby residents regarding development plans for the reservoirs, PPL believes that the plan being pursued by WPD is appropriate.
I have passed along your letter to our offices in the U.K. for an additional response to your inquiry.

Rick L. Klingensmith
President, PPL Global

You can email them too!,,

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Contractors destroy/Damage tree roots in Bute Park

Complaint to Cardiff City Council re destruction of tree roots in Bute Park and the lies by contractors

On the 11th Feb campaigner  Max Wallis  wrote to Richard Cole,
Senior Planning Officer,
Cardiff County Council to raise the issue of damage to tree roots in listed Bute Park.   –

I see they are running a loaded dumper truck along the track of the path from which the surface tarmac and base have been stripped, taking gravel etc. to the north of the Nursery.
This presumably means the truck runs over the tree roots that were supposed to be protected at great cost. Though dumper trucks have wide tyres to spread the load, this means less damage to near surface roots but not to those a foot or so deep.  
Have the contractors obtained technical advice that their procedure does not damage the tree roots?
And if not, will you intervene to stop it to prevent further damage?
And the reply …
Dear Mr Wallis
                    Richard Cole , ( Senior Planning Officer ) has asked me to respond to your e-mail dated 11 th February in which you express concern regarding the protection of tree roots as part of the above works
                     The roadway in question is one of a number of internal roadways and paths that are being upgraded using a "no dig " specification specifically designed  to overcome the potential root damage associated with conventional methods of roadway and path construction . The " no dig " method involves the contractor removing only the existing tarmac surface and leaving the existing sub base material intact . The  new roadway construction is then built up using a cell web system . This avoids excavating and cutting tree roots and results in little or no additional compaction .The whole operation is supervised closely by the contractor and the Council .
                 At the time of your visit and from your description the existing tar macadam surface had been removed exposing the existing sub base material . The contractor was using a dumper truck with floatation tyres to run stone material along the roadway on the existing sub base in advance of the cell web being laid . No tree roots were evident and certainly none were exposed .  Our records show that site conditions were surprisingly good during this period with no evidence of water ponding or wheel rutting on site .  I can also confirm that the contractor is fully aware of the " no dig "construction requirements .
                Under the circumstances whilst I appreciate your concern I am satisfied that no damage has occurred to adjacent tree roots and the "no dig " method  of roadway and path construction being used will ensure that this remains the case .
            The contractor has been made aware of your concern and I can assure you that we will continue to supervise the work .
            Thank you for your interest .   Mike Clark   Bute Park Restoration Project
Clark, Mike   -
Cole, Richard -

Richard Cole,
Senior Planning Officer,

Cardiff County Council.

Richard - This reply from a rep of the developers is untruthful. The video on shows them scooping up top soil with roots and quickly covering up the damage with sheeting .  Of course there were lots of roots where the track was being widened over current meadow, as well as roots in the roadway 'base' (over the 'sub-base he says they left).  Their use of a tracked JCB as well as running a dumper truck over it would inevitably have damaged finer roots in compressing the material.  From the reply we should infer they had no technical advice, on which I asked.

It's your department's responsibility to enforce planning conditions.  Omitting independent inspection and enforcement would be preferential treatment.   In this case did you simply refer my complaint to the 'developers'?   And delay inspection till they have covered the excavations and their tracks.  What action is now open to you, in the light of this untruthful and unprofessional behaviour, after the damage?
Regards / Max

This is a story of the Destruction of trees and the concreting over of Bute Park particularly the building of a bridge and road for articulated lorries. There is no organisation here in Wales prepared to protect trees and the environment in listed Bute Park.
Already the extremely rare Wilson’s holly (Ilex altaclarensis
‘Wilsonii’) may have been removed/chopped down.

A considerable number of the trees lie adjacent to the paths that
would be affected by the scheme and one lies in the line of the
realigned path at the east end of the bridge. I wrote to CADW to find out what has happened to it without a result and you can read this correspondence here
Other mature trees are being damaged at this moment and the council will do nothing to stop the roots being damaged. A very short film (3 mins) on utube shows the damage being done. Pictures of the damage to trees can be seen here

Friday, 19 February 2010

Goodbye Bute Park Hello Howells Highway

check this out...Edward writes....what's this really all about?
I was looking at a map of Bute Park recently and noticed something which might 
give a clue as to why the council is building this illegal and immoral road.

I wrote a blog item about it and mocked up some images.
Keep fighting them!
See also our Face book group here

Will Jane Davidson AM save Bute Park?

Max has written to Jane Davidson, Minister for Planning, Welsh Assembly Government - 

The Request to the Minister under Article 4 of the GPDO is to issue an Order withdrawing permitted development rights for developments including upgraded paths and/or roadways in Bute Park, Cardiff
The letter, was delivered to her office, together with the e-files of enclosures for it.
Kindly confirm that you will consider this request with urgency, in view of the fact that damaging developments are already underway. And all, he got back was an email saying ..."This to confirm that we have received your correspondence to Jane Davidson Dated 11/02/2010. This is receiving attention and we aim to respond within 17 working days 15/03/2010." This is too late. Please write now to Jane Davidson and ask her to act NOW!
Write to the paper too. More info and pictures in last post.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Bute Park destruction in pictures

Due to its location at the historic core of Cardiff, Bute Park contains a wealth of historic interest dating back to Roman and medieval times. Cardiff Castle, the famous Animal Wall, the Gorsedd stones and the Blackfriars site are just a sample of the park’s rich history. The Castle Green was landscaped in the late eighteenth century by Capability Brown , but the park itself was laid out from 1873 on by Andrew Pettigrew, Head Gardener to the 3rd Marquess of Bute[1]. In 1947, the 5th Marquess of Bute presented the park to the Council. Today the park is still owned and managed by Cardiff Council.


The size of the park and its variety of habitats make Bute Park a haven for wildlife until the diggers and articulated lorries move in.
 It is possible to see a great variety of wildlife including woodpeckerskingfishersegretsbats and grey squirrels. The woodlands adjoining the River Taff contain an excellent spring flora and there is an interesting range of wax cap fungi within sections of closely mown lawn in the arboretumSalmon and sea trout can be viewed on Blackweir.

An interesting mix of rare and ornamental trees have been planted since 1947 to complement some excellent specimens that formed part of the original park design. Many of the trees are known to beChampion Trees, the biggest examples of their species anywhere in the UK.

Shame many trees have been felled including a very rare species of Holly Tree. Trees roots will be damaged by the building works. Champion trees have been lopped as you can see to allow for dumpers and lorries to go by! 

You would think that the Pliad cymru/Lib dems running Cardiff would protect our heritage! But you would be wrong...Join the facebook group for more information..

The dock feeder canal forms a tranquil corridor along the eastern edge of the park. Its origins go back to medieval times when it was a millstream, constructed to feed the Lord's Mill, situated below the western walls of Cardiff Castle. This line is clearly seen on the Bute Estate Maps of 1824. [2] In 1833, the line of the mill stream was incorporated as a water source for the development of the Cardiff Docks by the 2nd Marquess of Bute and was reformed as the dock feeder when the docks were constructed 1836-1841. [3] The dock feeder is still the main water supply to the port of Cardiff.
The River Taff runs along the western edge of the park providing great visual and wildlife interest. Each autumn, salmon and sea trout can be seen jumping up the weir below the footbridge at Blackweir, and herons and cormorants have been observed fishing in this area.[4]
  1. ^ [1],[2]
  2. ^ Bute Estate Maps of 1824
  3. ^ Plan showing the route of the dock feeder, 1833. Glamorgan Records Office
  4. ^ "BBC Wales Nature Q&A". Retrieved 2008-01-16.

Bute Park destruction in pictures

Green Flag secret judges? WHAT HAVE THEY GOT TO HIDE?


I can not understand why the identity of the green flag judges can not be disclosed! Why is there the need to keep this information secret? Judging parks is hardly something to be secretive about! Unless of course, if disclosed the judges would then be identified as having links to the Lib Dems or/and Plaid Cymru politicians in Cardiff. It is in the public interest to know who these judges are. It is in the public interest to know that the judges are impartial. My conclusion is that there is something to hide from the public.
See more here

Bradshaw, Phillip
Cardiff Council

12 February 2010

Dear Ms Greagsby

I am disappointed to note that you have flagged this request as rejected. It was not rejected and we provided the information you requested other than the redaction of the names and contact details of the Green Flag judges. At no time during the request or review did you make any representations on this point.

I have sympathy with the point you make about knowing the identity of the judges being in the public interest. However the exemption under FOI for personal data is not subject to the public interest test.

The Council accepts that you have a legitimate interest in requesting this information. Nevertheless we consider that disclosing it is unwarranted having regard to the prejudice to the rights freedoms and legitimate interests of the judges.

Award judges are unpaid volunteers and in our view we should respect their expressed wishes for anonymity. Our understanding is that they receive appropriate training and guidance from the Green Flag organisation and would be expected to disqualify themselves if there was any suggestion of conflict of interest.

I am sure that the Department for Communities and Local Government can provide you with further information about their procedures and processes on request.

Phillip Bradshaw

Information Manager
Democratic Services

Room CY4A, County Hall

EMail: [email address]

Phone: 029 2087 3346
[mobile number]

Fax: 029 2087 3349

Information is the Currency of Democracy

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Listed Bute Park tree destruction

 The destruction of listed Bute Park continues against the wishes of the people of Catrdiff to build a road in the park for articulated lorries!!! 

Cardiff council are allowing contractors to run a loaded dumper truck along the track of the path from which the surface tarmac and base have been stripped, taking gravel etc. to the north of the Nursery.
This presumably means the truck runs over the tree roots that were supposed to be protected at great cost.
Though dumper trucks have wide tyres to spread the load, this means less damage to near surface roots but not to those a foot or so deep.
We haveasked the council if  the contractors obtained technical advice that their procedure does not damage the tree roots? And if not, will Cardiff Council intervene to stop it to prevent further damage?

The 'Heritage' lottery fund is  paying for this destruction of Bute Park. 
CADW have nothing to say!
Plaid  Cymru and Lib Dems fought to destroy the park ignoring the people of Cardiff and indeed Wales!