PENARTH residents have expressed their shock and upset at the town council’s removal of plants at a popular play area.

Those living in the area had expressed a wish to see more planting in the much-loved play area on Pembroke Terrace at a consultation carried out by Penarth Town Council, who manage the site.

More than half responded saying that they would like to see more flowers across the site. However, were shocked to discover that the hedge that runs the entire length of the park was cut back to the ground. 

“We noticed that the entrance to the park had been closed off," said resident Gareth Clubb.

Penarth Times: What is left where the hedge used to be What is left where the hedge used to be

"Later in the day, we saw that the hedge had been cut right down to the ground.

“We were really shocked. By December, the hedge had been removed completely.”

Another resident, Elen Robert, said “The hedge was 82 feet long, and at the time of cutting.

“We reckon that’s almost 75% of all the trees and shrubs in the park! That’s a huge amount.

“It’s a completely shocking response to the consultation Penarth Town Council published less than two weeks prior. I’m absolutely heartbroken, to tell you the truth.”

Ms Robert says the council told residents that there were health and safety concerns, but “didn’t go into detail”.

“Health and safety is really important, of course. But as street residents and parents of young children, we’ve never found the hedge to be a health and safety risk, so we really don’t understand.


“We have been trying to set up a meeting with them to find out more.

“Really, we cannot imagine a bigger health and safety risk than climate change and biodiversity collapse.

"Removing the hedge doesn’t seem to be addressing these huge existential threats at all.

“We know a hedge is a mere drop in the ocean. But that’s exactly what makes an ocean – billions and billions of tiny drops.”

Ecologist Dr Eleanor Kean, who is also a resident in the Penarth area, said the ecological impact of this decision should not be underestimated, as a large hedge, like the one along Pembroke Terrace play area, can be home to thousands of insects.

A Penarth Town Council spokesperson said: “Penarth Town Council understands residents’ concerns about this much-loved park and its biodiversity.

“Ongoing health and safety assessments of this park identified that the large hawthorn hedge presented an issue in close proximity to young children’s play equipment.

“The town council is undertaking a redevelopment of the park, of which the consultation is an important step.

“As part of this redevelopment, the council has removed this identified risk, to be replaced by new planting, more appropriate to a play area.

“Officers and local ward members will be meeting with residents to discuss the next stage of planting and redevelopment.”