Monday 6 April 2009, 09:53
The gardens are owned and run by the Vale of Glamorgan county council and they maintain the formal gardens (created at the turn of the 19th century) and the more wild areas of the woodland and arboretum.
There's an assumption that artificial gardens won't provide a suitable habitat for indigenous wildlife, but animals and plants are adaptable. Hence, last weekend armed with my camera, it was nice to see a wealth of daffodils, buttercups and other British spring plants in among the introduced species and ancient oaks.
The estate's woodland was teeming with birds such as blackbirds, chaffinches, greenfinches, siskins, robins and wrens; there are some interesting other residents if you come on organised trips too: great crested newts!
So with the Easter holidays upon us, check your local area for locations worth exploring with resources like our Places to Go guides, and please feel free to share your suggestions for urban-area nature habitats.
James McLaren, BBC Wales Nature