WHAT IMPACT DOES THE EVENT HAVE ON NORMAL PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE PARK?
We are pleased to say that hosting the Christmas at Bute Park trail has limited impact on normal public access to the park. Visitors to Bute Park can enjoy the site in the normal way during daylight hours throughout our hire period.
Bute Park is locked 30 minutes before dusk throughout the year, and for the period of the trail, the normal park locking time is 3:45pm. However, a section of the park will be closed off slightly earlier so it can be prepared for re-opening to trail ticket holders.
An evening-only cycle and “active travel” diversion is in place whilst the trail is in operation. This maintains what is an important route across the city centre. As park visitors will know, the east-west designated commuter route ordinarily stays open, even after park locking, to provide a useful route for active travellers. We are pleased to have been able to maintain this popular route by implementing the diversion. In daylight hours, when the park is open as normal we advise the usual path is used for people’s convenience. PDF version of the purple map below can be found here.
HOW COST EFFICIENT IS THE LIGHT TRAIL IN TERMS OF ENERGY?
99% of the bulbs are LED with the remaining 1% being high efficiency low-energy lighting. All generators are powered by Green D+, renewable and sustainable biofuel. The lights are turned on at approximately 2pm. This allows maintenance and repair, plus daily operational and safety checks to be carried out before the trail opens to the public at 4pm.
While we do have an increased energy cost compared to last year, it is manageable and is covered by our income from tickets.
ARE DOGS ALLOWED?
Well-behaved dogs with responsible owners are welcome. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and be comfortable with large crowds, loud noises and fire.
ARE THERE FOOD & DRINK STALLS?
Yes! There is food and drink available throughout the trail, so come hungry! From snacks to a full 3-course meal, we’ve got you covered. There are three bars serving winter warmers including mulled wine and hot chocolate. Our marshmallow stand sells marshmallows to toast over our flaming BBQs. At the finale of the trail, there are a selection of street food traders ready to feed the whole family, from Hot Dogs to Indian, Churros to Brownies and Burgers to Pizza, there is something for everyone. Check out the food & drink section on our website for more information. All food & drink traders take card payments only, the event is fully cashless.
ARE THERE FLASHING LIGHTS?
The trail includes pulsing, flashing, and moving lighting effects that may affect people with photosensitive epilepsy.
ARE THERE ACCESSIBLE TOILETS ON ROUTE?
We will have accessible toilets on the route. If you need any assistance during the trail, please ask one of our stewards who will be more than happy to help.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SENSORY SESSIONS?
Our quieter sessions will take place on Thursday 8th December (4:15pm, 4:30pm, 4:45pm & 5pm slots) and Thursday 15th December (4:15pm, 4:30pm, 4:45pm & 5pm slots). These sessions are for those with additional needs, who will benefit from a quieter and softer experience, with reduced crowds.
HOW LONG IS THE TRAIL?
The trail is 1.4KM in length and will take approximately 60 minutes to walk around. We will allow camping chairs/small folder chairs to be brought into the trail, if you require to sit down during the trail route.
IS THERE DISABLED PARKING?
HOW MANY PA TICKETS CAN I OBTAIN?
A disabled person purchasing a ticket can obtain 1 free Personal Assistant ticket (all tickets must be pre-booked through our ticketing site).
WILL THERE BE ANY NEW INSTALLATIONS FOR 2022?
Yes, 80% of the light trail will be brand new installations.
WHERE IS THE ENTRANCE TO THE EVENT?
The trail takes place at Bute Park and Arboretum, North Road, Cardiff, CF10 3DF. The Trail starts from The Mews next to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. The nearest postcode to the entrance is CF10 3ER. The Trail cannot be accessed from any other location including from any other Park gate.
WHERE IS THE NEAREST CAR PARK?
There is no on site parking at Bute Park, however there are a variety of car parking facilities nearby.
Pay and display car parking facilities are available nearby in Castle Mews (CF10 3ER) and North Road (CF10 3EA), College Road, King Edward VII Avenue & Museum Avenue.
Download the Park Cardiff app to help you find a place to park in Cardiff using live information from the Smart Parking sensor system that has been installed into parking spaces around the city. Links to download the Park Cardiff app and more details can be found here.Or you can visit Cardiff.govfor further details about parking by Bute Park.
HOW LONG CAN WE STAY AFTER THE LIGHT TRAIL?
For as long as you like! The Trail and associated catering outlets will close no later than 90 minutes after the final advertised trail time on any given event night.
IS THE EVENT WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE?
The pathways throughout the light trail will be accessible to wheelchair users. Please be aware that some areas may have some uneven flooring as we are on a public park site. Accessible, disabled toilets will also be available on site.
I CAN NO LONGER ATTEND MY SELECTED DATE & TIME, CAN WE SWAP MY TICKETS FOR A DIFFERENT DATE?
For any ticket enquiries, or to change the date of your tickets, contact See Tickets at https://www.seetickets.com/customerservice.
WHAT PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES ARE BEING UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE TRAIL DOES NOT HAVE ANY ADVERSE IMPACTS TO ITS SETTINGS?
The trail takes its responsibility for working in such a valuable setting seriously. The trail will improve access to the site and actively celebrates the park’s heritage features and tree collection. Both an independent tree and an independent ecology specialist were commissioned by the trail to ensure flora and fauna are not negatively impacted by the trail. They have worked with us to develop appropriate methodologies and ensure the trail production adequately mitigates any risks. The conclusions of our independent consultants are included below for reference.
Acer Ecology said: “Provided the precautionary and mitigation measures detailed are implemented, the development is not anticipated to result in adverse impacts to any protected sites, habitats, or species. The site’s ecological value is not considered to represent a fundamental in-principal constraint to the proposed development. Providing the recommendation within the report are followed, the proposed lighting will not significantly affect the local distribution or abundance of bats within the site and a protected species licence from NRW will not be required.”
Treecare Consulting said: “The light trail is using areas of the park not commonly used. The lighting needs also mean that trees feature heavily in the support for lighting systems. On this basis, Treecare Consulting has undertaken a further tree safety assessment (specific to the trail) in addition to the normal Cardiff city council tree safety assessments. The public safety need for the trail has highlighted some key areas of tree work required. Some trees within the park have age related defects that have been considered and where required management specifications recommended to ensure the greatest level of safety for the event yet retain the important tree collection to its fullest.
Removal of dead wood over paths used by the trail is also being carried out. The expected high volume of pedestrians in the vicinity of trees means that loose or unstable sections of dead wood has to be removed.
All trees within the park arboretum are treated with the greatest respect. Therefore there is a positive schedule of recommended tree work that will help maintain trees for the light trail and also the long term future of the public visiting the park.
Treecare consulting have worked closely with the Christmas at Bute Park trail team to ensure all their lighting works are undertaken with a methodology that protects tree health. The site team have experience of working in similar settings (e.g. Kew Gardens) and are competent to undertake the work. Dead trees and branches identified along the trail will be felled in advance of the trail opening to manage risk and promote the safety of the trail audience. This is positive maintenance of the arboretum collection and will allow it to be enjoyed by visitors in the best possible condition. We can assure visitors that all recommendations will be followed.
WHAT IS THE LAST ENTRY TIME INTO THE TRAIL?
The last entry into the trail is at 8:30PM. After this, ticket-holders will not be permitted to enter.