Organiser Melissa Boothman addressed a huge crowd outside the Secret Garden cafe before they set off
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People of all ages were out showing their support
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There were plenty of smiles as the walk got underway
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Lots of people were carrying placards preaching 'solidarity and resilience'
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The salsa band leading the group around the park made sure that they were heard
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The park was full of people making the most of the sunny weather
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The crowd were in high spirits as they walked around the park
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It was clear how much the park means to the people of Cardiff
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Around 300 people attended the event
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There were a lot of four-legged friends there too
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The walk followed the route of the damage that was done to the park last week
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Secret Garden Cafe owner Melissa said that the event showed the "beautiful energy and positivity" of Bute Park
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Participants then sat in the sun and enjoyed a 'People's Picnic'
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Those at the picnic were also treated to live music
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David Hall said "he couldn't understand" why anyone would vandalise the park
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Chris and Tanya Bedford (and Molly) said they felt "very lucky" to have a space like Bute Park in the city centre
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The event was a huge success
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Hundreds of people have joined forces to reclaim Cardiff's iconic Bute Park after a recent spate of incidents in the area.
The much-loved park is the green heart of the capital and has long been an valuable resource for those who live and work in the city, particularly during lockdown.
However, recent weeks have seen the park plagued by a number of serious incidents - from murder inquiries to sexual assaults and, most recently, extensive vandalism - which have led to questions being asked about its safety.
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Three people have been charged with the murder of father-of-two Dr Gary Jenkins, who died 16 days after being attacked in the park in the early hours of July 20, while just five days earlier, a woman was raped in the grounds of the park by a 20-year-old man who has since admitted the attack.
Last week, the park was subject to a "dark and sinister" attack of vandalism, in which more than 50 trees were destroyed between Blackweir Bridge and Pettigrew Tearooms, while plants, planters, and manhole covers were all broken and bins were ripped from the concrete. The attack caused thousands of pounds worth of damage, while police are yet to catch those responsible.
But while these incidents have shocked and saddened those who hold the park dear, it has also made them more determined to fight back with positivity and reclaim it as a safe and accessible green space.
After making an emotional plea to help find the vandals responsible, Melissa Boothman, owner of the Secret Garden cafe in the park, organised the 'Reclaim Bute Park' event as a "friendly show of solidarity and resistance".
Around 300 people joined together to walk around the park, led ably by a local Salsa band, before reconvening for a community picnic outside the cafe. People of all ages were out enjoying the sunshine, with many carrying posters that read 'This is a safe space'.
"What we've done today is provide a counteraction to the negative events that have been happening in the park and around Cardiff recently," said Melissa. "A lot of people feel angry about what's been going on and I think can often feel quite helpless about it too.
"So this was all about bringing the community back together and joining forces for the greater good. Today we've seen the beautiful energy and positivity that Bute Park is all about and I think we've helped to strengthen the community. With a stronger community, you bring back checks and balances, and I think that is so important for society."
"We're working on having more events for the future, so hopefully they will help to make the park even safer for everyone."
Check out the best photos from today's event below: