Cardiff Council has nominated four Cardiff recreation grounds for Royal protection under the Queen Elizabeth Fields II Challenge. If the nominations are approved by the charity Fields in Trust, Rumney Recreation Ground, Roath Recreation Ground, Pontcanna Fields, and Wilson Road Recreation Ground in Ely will be protected for generations to come by covenants of the land. In the first of four guest blogs on the nominated sites, Rumney Recreation and Eastern Leisure (RREEL) campaigner Denise Taylor talks about why Rumney Rec should be given Royal protection.
“Communities living in East of Cardiff were stunned and delighted on hearing the news that Rumney recreation ground has been nominated as a QEII Playing Field to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year.
The thought of losing their much-loved playing fields never crossed people’s minds so, when the Council announced its plan to develop a school on the Rec, it stirred up emotions and caused an outpouring of anger amongst local people. In September 2007 the RREEL Action Group formed giving local people a voice. So began their four-year campaign to save and protect their parkland and playing fields.
On hearing the unexpected announcement, chair of RREEL, Don Taylor said: “Our main objective has always been to protect the playing fields. We’re all absolutely delighted. This is great news for us and the City of Cardiff.
“We had approached the council suggesting they nominate the Rec but we heard nothing back. This may be a complete U-turn, but one that is very much welcomed.”
Local people firmly believe the Rec deserves to receive Royal approval, meeting all the relevant criteria.
Lying at the heart of the communities of Llanrumney and Rumney, the playing fields have remained in constant use by generations of families and sportsmen for more than a hundred years, providing social cohesion.
Covering nine hectares, over 500 trees surround the grounds. Many are broad leaved and include a number of ancient oaks providing a safe habitat for a diverse range of wildlife including bats, squirrels, hedgehogs and grass snakes.
A children’s play area, two rugby pitches and three football pitches are complimented by changing rooms in the soon to be refurbished Eastern Leisure Centre. With a central, open aspect, children and people of all ages are clearly visible making it a safe place to take exercise.”