Making a Difference with 400 Bags of Litter

Penylan resident Pete Davies has been making a difference to Roath Park since moving to the area four years ago.

Regular visitors to Roath Park pleasure gardens, and the recreation ground, will often see Peter out and about with his litter picking equipment. As long as the weather is looking dry, he heads out up to 6 days per week with his litter picker, red bags and ring along with his faithful shopping trolley. “I rescued the trolley from the brook nearly four years ago, and realised that with a little t.l.c. I could put it to good use,” laughed Peter, “I can use it to store my equipment, collected rubbish, and of course my interesting finds. I usually have a supply of lost balls and keep these for presents for passing dogs.”

In the summer Pete collects up to 5 bags of rubbish most days, the aftermath of all those sun-drenched picnics, bar-b-queues and ice lollies. He is solely responsible for collecting around 1000 bags every year.

“Even in the winter months, I go out and collect 2-3 bags per day” continued Peter. “It’s not always food wrappers and tin cans of course. Sometimes I find mobile phones, wallets and push bikes. There’s often clothing too, which I take home, wash and drop into a nearby charity shop. I like to put anything a bit different to good use.”

When I moved to Penylan in 2020, I was undergoing treatment for cancer and was suffering from tendonitis. A physiotherapist recommended walking, and it was on my first weeks of walking around Roath Park that I was disappointed to see it so much rubbish lying around. Combining litter pricking with my daily walks soon became part of my routine and I enjoy getting out and about and stopping for a chat with some of the regular walkers on my routes. Living in Penylan is very different from my 48 years as a navigator in the Merchant Navy, and my years living on a narrow boat in Manchester, but Cardiff is my home now and I care deeply about helping to take care of the park and serving the community.”

“Collecting around 1000 bags every year is just me doing my bit. I like to cover Waterloo Park and Roath Park up to Fairoak and sometimes venture onto Newport Road too. If others are keen to help out, then visit the Keep Wales Tidy website to find your local group – in our area we have Keep Roath Tidy and Keep Penylan Tidy.”

Local businessman and physiotherapist David Saunders from Agile on Penylan Road, overlooking the recreation ground, said “Peter is a real local hero. It’s vital that our city’s green spaces are valued and looked after and it’s good citizens like Peter whose commitment helps make Roath Park such an asset for everyone. If you see him when you visit the park or the rec, do say hello and thank you!”

Peter has also developed a love of baking and ever since the outbreak of covid, when attending his regular treatments and scans at Cardiff’s Velindre Hospital, Peter has been taking the staff lemon drizzle and Guinness fruit cakes. “It’s become my way of saying thank you to them. They often refer to me as lemon drizzle man!”