On a mission to spruce up Grangetown’s lanes and alleyways

In March this year, the Safe Play Lanes Project was piloted in Grangetown to transform the lanes and alleyways behind houses.

From 2009, Cardiff Council installed alley-gates in Grangetown, blocking off public access to these lanes. This was in an effort to combat anti-social behaviour such as fly-tipping, littering, and loitering, which had been creating unease among the residents.

But the gates made the lanes feel industrialised and “it wasn’t the best use of space,” says Dan Ware, assistant manager at Grange Pavilion, the centre which supports community-led projects in the area.

Dan is one of the people involved in the Safe Play Lanes Project. He says this initiative aims to make Grangetown’s lanes more functional and child friendly.

“The Play Lanes Project was introduced in order to beautify these spaces and turn them into multi-use facilities… but also trying to encourage safe play. So there would be a few toy services – basketball hoops, things like that – encouraging children to use the lanes,” Dan told Cardiff News Plus.

Dan has developed a multi-seed packet for growing native British wildflowers. In addition to cleaning up the lanes, he says honeycomb planters will be added for vertical gardening, introducing nature into the spaces.

Some local people have commented on social media about Cardiff’s parks and public areas, saying more can be done to improve their accessibility. The organisers of the Safe Play Lanes Project say it is one step towards turning the city into a safer, greener place for its children.