Fly-tipping at Grangemoor Park. Credit: Alfie Reynolds

Fly-tipping just the latest issue following Grangemoor Park repairs, say locals

Council contractors working on a leachate problem are accused of leaving gates unlocked, breaking fences and ‘devastating’ areas of the park

MORE than 25 boxes containing soil and household rubbish were fly-tipped at Grangemoor Park over the weekend in an incident which locals say is just the latest of many at the site.

The boxes and items such as paint were dumped along a path at the park in the Grangetown area of Cardiff, with one local group speculating that it was the remnants of a cannabis factory.

At least 25 boxes were disposed of illegally along the path.
Credit: Alfie Reynolds
Paint and other household waste was among the rubbish. Credit: Alfie Reynolds
There was also a large amount of compost among the boxes, with some suggesting it may be a cannabis grow.
Credit: Alfie Reynolds

Prior to the fly-tipping, the main problem in recent years had been the leachate issue caused by the landfill that the site sits on leaking into the nearby River Ely, with works to rectify this carried out last year.

The park closed for repairs on January 31, 2022, before finally reopening in December. However, locals have raised concerns about the state in which council contractors have left parts of the area.

Fiona McAllister, of Keep Grangetown Tidy, regularly walks her dog Dave in the area and has been litter picking with the 20 to 30-strong group for the last seven years.

Fiona and Dave (centre front) go on regular litter picks with other volunteers as part of Keep Grangetown Tidy.
Twitter @tidygrangetown

She is frustrated by the recent fly-tipping but feels that it could have been prevented if the council had listened to the group’s concerns about gates in the park being left open or damaged following the works.

“As regular park users we’ve been asking for these gates to be locked since the park was reopened in December,” she said.

“We’ve also asked for the other gates which were knocked down by contractor vehicles to be reinstalled on the Ely Trail path, to block access to the path to vehicles.

Gates at the park have been knocked down following repairs at the site, likely to allow works vehicles through.
Credit: Alfie Reynolds
The gates are there to prevent people driving along the path, while also encouraging cyclists to dismount.
Credit: Alfie Reynolds

“That’s why we’re really disappointed about this. Before the park closed, vehicles couldn’t access the park so you couldn’t go there and dump loads of stuff from a van,” she added.

“I’ve been walking along in the park before now and saw a woman drive in in her car. There’s also nothing stopping motorbikes or dirt bikes getting in which has been a problem in the past.”

The main access point for vehicles is at the Dunleavy Drive car park and although the gate there has multiple padlocks attached, there was nothing anchoring it shut and stopping it from being opened.

Despite the Dunleavy Drive gate appearing to be padlocked, there was nothing anchoring the bolt to the gate post and stopping it being opened. Cardiff Council say this has now been fixed.
Credit: Alfie Reynolds

There are then three gates within the park designed to prevent access for motorbikes, and to encourage cyclists to dismount. All three have been left broken. 

Aside from these issues, Ms McAllister has previously raised other concerns about the condition of the park since the works finished.

“There’s areas where the contractors have turned it up (the ground), broken fences, knocked down benches. Gravel paths have been put in with not much thought for the wildlife,” she added.

“The work had to be done, we know that, it’s just that the way some of it was done has devastated areas of the park. They’ve done lots of things which need putting right.”

During a walk in the park on Monday, The Cardiffian saw these issues first hand, as well as others, and mapped them (above).

There was graffiti on signs, bins in poor condition and discarded building waste, including piping which lay in the undergrowth, unattached to any destination.

The Grangemoor Park sign, near the site of the fly-tipping, has fallen victim to vandalism.
Credit: Alfie Reynolds
Bins on the Ely Trail have fallen into disrepair.
Credit: Alfie Reynolds
Unconnected piping like this is dotted around areas of undergrowth along the trail in the park.
Credit: Alfie Reynolds

Regarding the fly-tipping, a Cardiff Council spokesperson told us: “Officers have visited the site, recovered evidence, cleared the waste and will now be taking enforcement action against the alleged offender.

“A new lock has now been put on the access gate by Dunleavy Drive to ensure that only authorised vehicles are able to access the site.

“Although the majority of underground infrastructure (repair) works are now complete, work is still taking place to reinstate and improve this important green space for the Grangetown community.”

Even though the rubbish has now been cleared, it is still a symptom of a growing issue in Cardiff. 

Between 2017-2022, the number of reported fly-tipping incidents grew by 21%, above the Welsh average of 14% for this period. In addition, there are more incidents occurring for every 100 people in the city than there are nationally. 

This rate is disproportionately higher than the 1.8% population increase in the city over this period, too, which puts to bed the notion that a growing population is solely to blame for rising fly-tipping.

Ms McAllister hopes that the council continues to rectify the issues. She also highlights the importance of the park to locals.

“Over lockdown, people really started to appreciate having access to green spaces and Grangetown is a very built up urban area,” she said. 

“That park is really important to lots of people who go running there, who cycle there, people like me who walk their dogs. We want to raise awareness of the issues and make Grangetown a nicer place.”