FACILITIES AT THE PARK
Ownership and Management of the Wick Country ParkThe Park is owned and managed by Basildon Borough Council. One of the key aims of The Friends of The Wick Country Park is to encourage as many people as possible to come along to enjoy the facilities and opportunities available at the Park, and for this reason we carry, here on our own website, some basic comments about the main features that the visitor will find.
What you can find or do at the Park
Car Parking & Cycle RacksThere is parking for around eight cars at the end of the entrance drive-way - but please keep the green gate clear for possible emergency access. Some of our events are very popular and there can be pressure on the available parking spaces. We use the grass verge on the right-hand side of the drive as additional parking when necessary; please park 'herring-bone' style but take care not to obstruct the adjacent pathway, so that prams, mobility scooters, etc. can have free access. If possible, please car-share, or, better still, come on foot if you live close enough to do so. Except when an organised event is on, there are no special arrangements for parking for the disabled.
The Children's Play AreaThe Children's Play Area is close to the roundabout at the junction of Tresco Way and Mersea Crescent, and it has its own small car-park - but better still, it has its own set of three cycle racks. It is fully enclosed within a substantial rectangular area that is bounded by railings to keep children safely within its boundaries. The Park Ranger inspects the area regularly to check the equipment and to clear away litter - just why do people throw it down in the first place? The Play Area boasts a wide range of modern play equipment, including the usual slide and swings, but also a climbing wall, rope ladder, tunnel, and much, much more, as shown in the pictures below. Children absolutely love it, so why not bring yours along to try it out?
If your children have enjoyed playing on the equipment, afterwards, why not have a picnic on the tables provided, or be adventurous and continue down the driveway and take your youngsters to the wide open spaces of the Park itself?
Casual Activities in the ParkThe Park is a great place for walking, jogging, dog-walking, picnicking, bird-watching, fishing, and for children to play ball games or fly kites. The Bylaws of the Park require users not to interfere with the wildlife and always to be considerate towards other users.
Pathways around the ParkThere are several circular routes around the Park, and many more minor paths. If you have a smart-phone thenwhen you visit the Park, you can now carry a map with you - please click or touch here to see the map and the accompanying notes. Unless the weather has been very wet, the main paths should be suitable for prams, buggies, and mobility scooters. The starting point for all these suggested routes is the pedestrian 'pinch point' entry gate from the staff car-park, by the 5-bar vehicular access gate.
The Peripheral Path will take you all the way around the edge of the Park and is just under a mile in length. To follow this path in a clock-wise direction, as you enter the Park turn left towards the walkway over over the Alder Wet Woodland, and continue over the North Benfleet Brook and around the edge of the 'Top Field'. Just after you cross the brook for the second time, just by the big old oak tree, turn left again to walk around the lake. Take the left fork whenever you reach a junction, and eventually you will be back at your starting point.
The Lake Field Path is about three quarters of a mile, but it is circular, and for much of its length, it follows the longer route. To take this route in a clockwise direction, on entering the Park, take the defined path that runs to the right of the hedge in front of you. Continue straight past (without crossing) the two bridges over the brook, i.e., keep the brook to your left. By the second bridge, near the big old oak tree, you will 'pick up' the peripheral path, so follow the guidance above to return to your starting point.
For an even shorter, but never-the-less still very interesting, route of approximately half a mile, simply walk around the smaller 'top field'. Follow the route of the 'peripheral' path as above until you reach the bridge by the big old oak tree. At that point, turn right to head straight back to your start point.
There are numerous routes that you can create for youselves. One of my favourites is to incorporate a complete loop around both fields, following a 'Figure of 8' shaped walk. This route is about 1.2 miles. The route followed by the runners in the two Skylarks 3K races involves two loops of the Lake field plus one loop of the Top field, and is about 1.9 miles.
Dog Waste BinsPlease be a responsible dog owner. Ensure that you have a suitable 'poop-scoop' bag, and please use the bins provided.
The Picnic Areas
|There are two picnic areas provided. The smaller one is located adjacent to the Children's play area by the roundabout entrance to the Park, and clearly it appeals mostly to the users of the play equipment and their supervising adults.The main Picnic Area is inside the Park itself, just a few yards on the left from the entrance. These picnic tables were provided through a donation from the Friends of the Wick Country Park and are there to be enjoyed by all. We do ask all users of the picnic areas to act responsibly and to set a good example to others, especially to children. Please take your litter home with you.|
Bird WatchingAs a Country Park, and located adjacent to open country-side, the Park attracts a lot of wildlife. The mammals and reptiles are rarely spotted, but the birds are a bit more obliging!! In conjunction with the Park Ranger, the 'Friends' hold a few organised bird-watching events each year - see this page for more details. But of course, there is nothing to stop you heading off to the Park with your binoculars and / or camera to see what you can find whenever you wish to! More details about past sightings can be read about here and here and here.
To encourage the birds to breed in the Park, the Friends have helped to fund the purchase of various specialist Bird Boxes. The Kestrel box on one of the telegraph poles has been improved to make it more appealing for Kestrels to nest and a Barn Owl box has been secured at the top of the telegraph pole nearer to the lake. Additionally, a Tawny Owl box has been placed in a tree near the board walk. Why not stop by to look for signs of activity?
Fishing in the LakePlease note that Fishing is by permit only and only during the permitted hours and during the 'Open' Season. Please visit this page for more details.
Ball Games and Kite FlyingPlease note that much of the open grassland in the Park is deliberately left uncut to encourage the Park's varied Wildlife. However, an area in front of the Pavilion is cut quite regularly, and there, balls can be kicked and kites can be flown - providing you don't inconvenience other users.
Hiring the Pavilion (previously referred to as the Education Centre)The Pavilion is now leased to a commercial Children's Nursery, so availability for hiring is now restricted to a very small number of weekend days per year. If you have interest in booking the facility, please contact Basildon Council's Countryside Officer on 01268 533333.
The Dipping PondThe 'dipping pond' is located alongside the Pavilion. Note that it is 'out of bounds' EXCEPT when an organised event is in progress. If you are the leader of a Children's Group and have interest in a special session at the pond, please contact the Basildon Council's Countryside Officer on 01268 533333.
Seating around the ParkIn addition to the picnic benches, a number of bench seats are provided around the Park for the visitor's convenience. Some were installed as part of the original Park development, but others have been added through Funding provided by The Friends, and another through a generous donation in memory of a regular Park visitor.
With The Friends' help, five additional benches were purchased and located at strategic positions round the Park in 2012. Our favourite is close to the Pavilion where one can sit and enjoy the garden. Another at the highest point in the Park gives wonderful views across the Park and towards the lake. Which will be your favourite?
"SUE'S CORNER"In 2013, the family of Sue Agate made a generous donation to the Friends of the Wick Country Park in memory of Sue following her sad and sudden death. Sue was a Friend of the Park in every way. Helping in the garden and also enjoying peaceful walks round the Park. The thoughtful bequest was spent on plants for the Pavilion Garden. The family also donated a bench seat and had it placed in a beautiful quiet corner near the planted woodland mound, and with delightful views across the Park towards the lake. This bench makes a lovely memorial for someone who enjoyed great comfort from the tranquility of the Park.
The picture below shows Mark, the Park Ranger, with Nikki and Dorothy enjoying the tranquility at "Sue's Corner".
What you cannot do or find at the Park
Some activities are not allowed in the Park, including:
- Cycling (please use the cycle racks provided near the Park entrance)
- Lighting of fires and / or barbecues