Park could become home to long-lost heritage trees

Volunteers secure £1,500 to rejuvenate overlooked Canton park

CANTON’S Sanatorium Park could be replanted with long-lost Welsh heritage trees as part of a 
project to rejuvenate the area and help prevent flooding.

Ann Bateman, from Canton, is one of a group of volunteers who have secured a £1,500 grant to improve the park.

“Sanatorium Park is quite a wild park – there’s a lot of flooding and vandalism there, and building in the area displaced a lot of the amphibian population,” she said.

It is hoped that planting more trees would help with drainage as the park is often waterlogged since the development of new houses nearby. There are also three schools in the area.

Ann and the other volunteers are working alongside Cardiff Council’s Coed Caerdydd tree-planting project, launched in November. The aim is to plant around 466,000 trees by 2030.

“We had a lot of support from the council, and we were making headway but then Covid slowed it all down,” said Ann, who has a long history of helping with community gardens.

It is hoped that by replanting trees within the park, the risk of flooding will be reduced and oxygen levels will rise. Image: Ann Bateman.

“We are hoping we can plant heritage trees, Welsh trees native to the area that have since died out. Heritage fruit trees, for industries such as cider-making, used to be planted all around the area, and it’s great that we can bring those trees back.”

Cardiff has seen a large amount of damage to trees in recent weeks, with eight saplings in Splott destroyed in late January.

Sanatorium Park is frequently the target of vandals and trees have been destroyed there.  

Ann said: “A lot of trees are being cut down in Cardiff at the moment. I did a walk of the site with a park ranger recently and a lot of the trees in the area have sadly been vandalised.”

The volunteers hope to work with local schools in future to discourage vandalism.”

Ann’s group secured the £1,500 grant via ChangeX, an Irish company that describes itself as a
“marketplace for social change.” 

“I saw this funding and we were able to get £1,500 for the park. A lot of the initiatives they fund are in Ireland or the United States, so we’re hoping it gets international support.”