This page was updated on Tuesday, 26-Apr-2022 18:32:04 BST
TAKE THIS VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE PARK..........
This page is under construction - more pictures to be added
Map of the Park
Please click on this link to view or download a map of the park.
There are three main circular routes around the Park - as listed below - but these can be 'mixed and matched'
with each other, and with the mown grassland routes, to give numerous possibilities.
CENTRAL AND WESTERN LOOP (distance 0.7 miles or 1.2Km)
A long varied walk, with a moderate slope, and circling many of the park's key features, including open fields, the lake, and hills planted as woodland.
EAST HILL LOOP (distance 0.6 miles or 0.9 Km)
The park's highest ground, affording comprehensive views over much of the park.
PERIPHERAL LOOP (distance 0.9 miles or 1.5 Km)
Combining the outer circumference of the West and East paths provides an even longer route that takes the visitor past all of the main features in the Park.
A network of short-mown grass paths that span the areas of open grassland, which are rich in wildlife during the summer, prior to being cut in autumn. The grasslands offer an attractive feature, especially when the grass sways on breezy days.
Pictures - Grassland swath in wind or grassland with butterflies
THE VIRTUAL TOUR STARTS HERE.....
This virtual tour of the Park starts at the entrance from the Staff Car-park, and proceeds around the Peripheral Path (see above) in a clockwise direction - a total distance of just under one mile.
ALDER WET WOODLAND AND BOARDWALK
A wildlife-rich habitat that provides a pleasant walk-way through an Alder tree canopy, with its dappled shade and seasonal shallows containing small pockets of golden reeds. The boardwalk continues over the North Benfleet Brook.
Pictures - Alder catkins with feeding goldfinch(es)
THE NORTH BENFLEET BROOK
A brook running through the heart of the Park provides a secluded area for wildlife. From its bridges, Kingfishers and Little Egrets occasionally can be glimpsed fishing for Sticklebacks. [An in-line pond provides an open area along the brook that can be looked
over from the larger bridge close to the centre of the park.]
Picture - Kingfisher with stickleback
HEDGEROWS, SCRUB AND WOODED COPSE
A mixture of ancient hedgerow, scrub and a recently planted copse (an area of shrubs and small trees) provide attractive walk-through features along the park's network of paths. It also provides shelter, food, and nesting sites for wildlife, and during spring and
early summer, especially, various bird songs can be heard.
Pictures - A winter feeding redwing eating hawthorn berries
GRASSLAND - THE SEASONAL CUT & BALE AREAS
Two areas of Grassland - one in the West Field and one in the East - that are cut and then baled in autumn. The bales of hay are used to feed locally farmed livestock throughout the winter. During the spring and summer the long grass is an attractive feature
bristling with wildlife including many insects and small mammals.
Picture - Circular bales of hay with or without tractor
THE FIVE ACRE LAKE
An attractive artificially-created lake, incorporating reed beds, scrub, and undisturbed islands, which provides an opportunity to see some of the wildlife that is found in and around open water. The lake has been stocked with Rudd, Roach, Bream and Tench;
seasonal angling is a popular pastime.
Pictures - A pair of displaying Great Crested Grebes
THE WOODED HILLS
The earth removed to create the lake was used to build the two hills, which were then planted with species of trees and shrubs that are native to the British Isles. The trees were chosen for their beauty and their wildlife value - providing both food and shelter. In the
long-term, as the woodlands approach maturity, it is planned to make provision for public access.
Pictures - Oak stem with leaves and acorns.
There are three pill boxes on site, which were part of the anti-invasion preparations in the early 1940s. The one near the Pavilion is an unusual example of one that was designed to house an anti tank gun. Each pillbox was part of a defensive static line of pillboxes
that ran north-west from the coast, through the county and up into Cambridgeshire.
Click on the picture of the Pillbox for more information.
One of three ponds whose still waters are diverse in plant, insect and amphibian wildlife. The pavilion pond has been used in the past for dipping as part of organised events and school-led activities. Sadly, it is now somewhat overgrown.
Click on the picture of the smooth newts amongst the water myfoil plants for more information about these newts
THE PAVILION BUILDING AND ORGANISED EVENTS
The Pavilion is the starting point for guided walks and larger events. Typically these activities are organised by The Friends of the Wick Country Park
in consultation with Basildon Borough Council. Most of the events are free to attend. Very few events
were held in 2020 and 2021, due to the twin effects of the Covid pandemic and a hortage of available volunteers and helpers. Please see the two links to the left: the Events Calendar
and Past Events: reports and Photos
Pictures - Dog show handler with dog, or a group of runners or pond dipping
GRASSLAND - THE REGULARLY FORMAL CUT AREA
The grassland in front of the Pavilion is cut regularly, often on a monthly basis throughout the spring and summer, leaving large open areas for visitors to use for leisure.
Picture - family activity playing catch etc.
THE PAVILION GARDENS
This garden, with its array of perennials and flowering shrubs, was, in the past, diligently tended by the Wick Weeders
, and now by the WICK-ed Gardeners
; please see the link to the Pavilion Gardens
to the left. The gardens
provide a colourful spectacle throughout the year as well as food and shelter for a good number of the Park's wildlife species.
Click on the picture of the Gardens for more information.
STORAGE CONTAINER WITH ECO CLADDING
The cladding work was carried out so as to provide a habitat and food source for the park's wildlife. The cladding incorporates many small drilled holes for nesting insects, such as Solitary Bees, and a green roof planted with meadow wild flowers. Birds have also
nested in the larger cavities.
Click on the picture of the cladded container for more information.
More information about the Park, the Friends group and the Organised Events can be found elsewhere on this website and on the Park's noticeboards, and on The Friends' FaceBook page.