What Drover’s Way Park means to me, my family, my friends and the local community

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Photo Tegid Roberts

Dr. Radha Nair-Roberts

When my husband and I moved to Clos Parc Radur in 2006, part of the reason we chose our new home was the lovely park and playground (Drover’s Way), practically at the bottom of our driveway.

As newlyweds we were hoping to start a family in the years to come, and having a playground nestled in a beautiful green public space just a short walk away was ideal!

And so it was for the next 12 years.

We welcomed our 2 beloved children, a girl and a boy, and soon a daily trip to the park/playground was essential – there they learned to walk, swing, climb and cycle.

Friends and neighbors

The social aspect was equally important for the acquisition of motor skills – meeting neighbors and new friends of all ages (and their dogs) was a chance to stimulate language and cognition.

On snowy days, the park was the best place to build a snowman and go sledding (if you dared).

Through all of these healthy outdoor activities, we quickly connected with a vibrant community that had sprung up around our park: children of all ages and their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.

Unfortunately, over the years, signs of neglect of our park have appeared. Not only with playground equipment, but also with basic park equipment.

Erosion has made the paths a dangerous slip hazard, especially in total darkness at the entrance to Plymouth Drive.

The entrance to the park (on the left).

It was an accident waiting to happen, and in September 2018 it happened to me. (see picture above)

Despite our best efforts, nothing effective has been achieved. The paths remain treacherous in pitch black to this day.

This is dangerous not only for people with reduced mobility, but also for anyone who might be afraid to walk alone in total darkness in an isolated public space.

I certainly wouldn’t want my teenage daughter walking home from the station that way.

To drop

Residents of Clos Parc Radur have been seriously disappointed by Cardiff Council on this important health and safety issue.

Even worse was to follow with our playground.

Despite promises of refurbishment and a list of new amenities presented to us in a meeting with Cardiff Council’s Park and Playground department in 2018 (my husband and I, and another resident), our playground has been dismantled piece by piece and finally chained together. Shamefully it is now empty and abandoned.

Children have nowhere to play, even at a time when children needed to play outside more than ever, during lockdown and post-pandemic.

It has been almost five years since our children had a fully functional playground, but at the same time hundreds of houses have been built on green fields in our area without playgrounds or public green spaces.

We now have two new Radyr Advisors, Helen Jones and Calum Davies.

Congratulations to you two!

I and my fellow citizens implore you to urgently solve the problems of our park: problems with lighting, condition of the trails and renovating our playground. Don’t let our kids face another playless summer in 2022.

You can contact Dr Nair-Roberts at [email protected] if you are interested in free play sessions at Drover’s Way Park during Summer 22, as part of the Welsh Government’s ‘Summer of Fun’ initiative.

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