Tag Archives: NATO summit Newport

NATO Newport, the Cardiff fallout: photos, links, and fringe events!

I was hoping to get away without posting much about NATO. I mean, we’ve already posted this story about the fence, and put up a load of photos on Instagram and shared stuff on Facebook about it. But I mean, the scale of thing. You can’t ignore it, can you? Even just for the 10,000 police that are standing around south Wales looking a bit bored at the moment. But I’ve read a number of interesting articles around NATO, seen some cool photos, and so on. So I thought I’d do a small digest for you.

Want some vital stats about the NATO Summit in Newport? Numbers of police, total cost, where the police officers have come from, where the money to pay for it comes from? Head to this article on the Guardian.

This morning, the Red Arrows did a flyby over Cardiff, en route to dazzle the political bigwigs in Newport. And fair play, it was pretty cool.

Red Arrows flyby NATO

Red Arrows flyby
(photo by the National Assembly for Wales)

Today, one of the top stories on reddit is this photo (unfortunately from the Daily Fail, but this link is on imgur so you won’t add to their traffic), with the following caption: “Shit – should have left the weed in the car”

(the comments are pretty funny, so I recommend reading through them.)

My favourite thing so far has been how creative people are getting with their photography. Some of these are cheesy, but they made me chuckle! All of these photos are from Facebook / Instagram / Twitter – click on the image to go through to the original.

So here goes:


Derek the weatherman gets a mention….


Obama gets leathered in Charlie Browns on cheapo Jaegerbombs


Nothing says ‘fun-fair’ like a machine gun (I wonder how many parents have avoided the Cardiff Bay ‘beach’ based on all the automatic weaponry that now surrounds it!)


The NATO leaders in front of Cardiff Castle … it’s a great shot, has something of the enforced end of year school photo about it (especially how some of them are looking off into different directions). Also the one in the front row who didn’t get the memo about wearing black …


Michelle’s heard about Cardiff’s reputation for being a party town. She’s off!


Glasgow says peace! (and get your tartan out). A Scottish viewpoint in one of the local NATO protests…



Barack’s lasting memory of Cardiff? Ninjah playing the bins of course…

There are also a load of great photos in this photo gallery of things happening around NATO, on the Guardian. This picture of the fake tanks on the golf course at the Celtic Manor is my favourite, though I’m not entirely sure why…





NATO fringe. Ha! Should trademark that. Alongside the usual protests taking place around anywhere the politicians might be, there are the following events taking place in Cardiff this weekend:

Saturday: Forage around the fence

Cardiff’s new fence has caused some controversy and plenty of grumbles. On September 6th we’re inviting people to enjoy Bute Park in spite of it’s new steel structure as we lead a family-friendly forage for tasty seasonal treats. Join us to forage around the fence! You never know, Obama might even join us!

You and your family will learn about the wild food available in late summer and autumn and have fun foraging for tasty wild edibles. We’ll have plenty of games and activities along the way – put your taste buds to the test, get crafty and discover some of the wildlife living in the park. Adults will develop skills and knowledge to find wild food for free in the city. You’ll learn what’s in season and how to forage safely. You’ll also take home plenty of suggestions for how to prepare your wild treats.

Also join us for a picnic in the park at 12.30. Bring along your own food and join us in tasting some of the wild food we have foraged and prepared.

£25/£30 family ticket /£20 adult
You can book your place here: http://www.greencityevents.co.uk/what-we-do/what-s-on/

Facebook event: Forage around the fence

Sunday: Meet the Armed Forces Day

The public are invited along to a ‘Meet the Forces’ event in Cardiff Bay. The day’s events will give people the chance to hear about what the Armed Forces do, and see some of the equipment used in its duties. There’ll be the chance to explore ships including the Type-45 Destroyer, one of the Navy’s most advanced ships, climb army walls, examine tanks and RAF replica planes and enjoy military bands.

The ‘Meet the Forces’ Day will run from 11am until 6pm, and according to the press release visitors will be able to:
Visit the eight Naval ships (from UK, France, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands and Norway) which are docked in Cardiff this week;
Study the Army’s military kit – tanks and other vehicles – and try out their climbing walls and inflatable assault course (Ed’s note: study them? will there be a test at the end??)
Enjoy the RAF’s replica aeroplanes (Ed’s note: I don’t even know where to begin with this sentence. Enjoy? Replica? Eh??)
Listen to five military bands playing at locations throughout Cardiff Bay.

The Ring of Steel! A security fence essay by Gareth Bundy

Intrepid reporter Gareth Bundy has been out undercover, examining the teeny weeny inconspicuous little fence that’s currently slicing through Cardiff ahead of the NATO summit. How he found it, I’ll never know. Apparently it’s still unconfirmed whether any of them will actually be making it to Cardiff. Which is exactly what the massive fence tells us, right? Anyway, this is the first time we’ve ever published an essay about a security fence, so I for one am enjoying that, if nothing else. Enjoy. Helia x

Cardiff’s “Ring of Steel” – A security fence essay for We Are Cardiff

On the 4 and 5 of September 2014, Newport welcomes world leaders (including President Obama) for the NATO Summit. There is a possibility that the leaders may dine at Cardiff Castle. For this reason a precautionary “Security Fence” – referred to locally as “The Ring of Steel” – has been erected around part of the city.

NATO Fence 1 Gareth Bundy

Our city is under siege! Or is it? Anyone approaching from the north would be forgiven for thinking they were entering a militarised zone or a low-security prison rather than one of the richest cultural locations in Wales.


The construction of the fence, some three weeks before the summit itself, has already caused traffic chaos and has resulted in bus stop closures, delays and detours to public transport routes. Cardiff Council is recommending drivers use public transport for the coming weeks while also promising long delays on all inter-city bus routes. Great news all round.


Encircling Cardiff Castle and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, running from North Road, through Duke Street and into Bute Park, the eight-foot-high ribbon of metal has transformed our city from a vibrant, beautiful place into something resembling a vast internment camp.


Also, dotted throughout the City Centre, are large yellow “checkpoints” that will most likely be manned by police in early September. One wonders what exactly the cost of such a project must be. And who is picking up the tab?


At the moment traffic is able – save for delays – to flow freely alongside the fence, within its “containment area”. However, one again wonders whether the roads “inside” the fence will be a “no-go zone” by 4 September 2014.


This imposing structure runs not only around Cardiff City Centre but also along the perimeter of the Celtic Manor Resort, the venue for the NATO Summit. Even here, it is ugly, though it likely will not have as much of an impact as it surely will in Cardiff, on tourism, local businesses and public transport.


While, to me, there is a nervous beauty to man-made structures dumped inexplicably into a beautifully natural landscape, I don’t think anyone could offer a valid defence of such a monstrosity as this fence snaking its way through Bute Park’s breath-taking wooded walkways.

Conclusion of sorts…

Is there any need for this to be built? Should the public be disrupted to such a degree on the off-chance Obama decides to pop into town for a snack? And just how much of an effect will this hideous construct have on the local economy? I suppose only time will tell.

Photographs and Words by Gareth Bundy @gabundy.


Editor’s note:

For more information on the massive inconvenience that this whole NATO thing is bringing to the city, check the following:

9,500 police drafted in for Nato summit in Wales (Guardian) (this article also confirms that costs for policing NATO are coming from a central pot rather than from the local forces)

For a full list of bus route changes, visit cardiffbus.com

Nato Summit 2014: More than 40 schools in Cardiff hit by shorter days, closures and other changes during September 4-5 showcase (Wales Online)

If you’re interested in getting a little closer to nature near the fence, those clever folks at Green City are doing a ‘Forage around the Fence’ event on the 6 September, which to be honest, sounds pretty flipping lovely! More information about that on the Forage around the Fence Facebook page