There is now an extra place in Penarth where residents and visitors can now admire, and smell the scent of, fresh wild-flowers -Dingle Park.
The park, a slice of land sandwiched between the railway line and Windsor Road, was originally given to Penarth Urban District Council in 1921 by the Earl of Plymouth but was neglected for many years until the local organisation the Friends of Dingle Park took it in hand.
The “Friends” – led by enthusiast Robert Donaldson – negotiated successfully with the Vale of Glamorgan Council to improve the park, install benches, maintain the grass and this year sow – for the first time – wild-flowers.
A central bed was sown with a seed mixture developed in Kew Gardens to give a natural and informal appearance. The recent rain and summer sunshine is now bringing those flowers to bloom. Stocks and alyssum are already in flower and more flowers are appearing almost by the day.
Despite all the recent improvements, comparatively few Penarthians seem aware of Dingle Park and its tranquil atmosphere remains one of the town’s hidden treasures.
The same cannot be said though of Penarth Town Centre’s Clock Roundabout – the veritable hub of the town .
Traditionally the roundabout has always been planted with perennials to provide a splash of colour throughout most of the year – but evidently not this year
Local green campaigners have posted vintage postcards on social media contrasting the roundabout’s appearance today to the colourful look it once had in vintage postcards from times gone by . For the first time in years the roundabout is an arid desert where nothing grows – not even grass.
There was a half-hearted attempt to pave-over the roundabout during the winter (quite why no one seemed to know) – but then the paving slabs were removed again, leaving the roundabout – the central feature and “Piccadilly Circus” the entire town – as just bare earth.