This page was updated on Thursday, 04-Apr-2024 16:11:43 BST

NEWS HEADLINES (from February 2018)

Our next event: Bird Song Walk, Sunday 14th April 2024 - message posted on 4th April 2024

It's not long now to the Birdsong Walk on Sunday 14th April. For further details, please see here

If you are able to do so, please help with our publicity by downloading and displaying our poster

Volunteers requested for a Work Party - message updated on 26th March 2024

On Tuesday 26th March at 10.30 there will be a work party led by Frank Street of Basildon Borough Council. The plan is to tackle the growth around the trees in the meadows and cut back the willow circle, Frank will provide tools but any volunteers are welcome to bring their own tools. e.g. secateurs. It will be pretty muddy, unless we have some dry weather between now and then, so wellies might be needed.

Wildlife Walks February and March 2024 - updated 19th March 2024

Just a reminder that the next Wildlife Walk will be held on Wednesday 20th. Meet in the pavilion car park at 10.30am. Martin Singleton, the Event Leader, writes: "Weather forecast is good at the moment with 17oC forecast!! We will be looking for spring migrant birds and early butterflies. I have seen Red Admiral, Comma and Peacock already this year, so they are starting to emerge now things are warming up. Despite the recent dry weather, the park will still be very wet and muddy, so wellies are recommended."

The walk originally scheduled for Wednesday 21st February was delayed by the appallingly 'soggy' conditions, and it took place on the re-arranged date of Tuesday 27th February. The report on this walk is now available via a link on the Wildlife Walks page [Updated on Tuesday, 05-Mar-2024 17:57:07 GMT ].

Wick-ed Gardening Group - message updated on 16th March 2024

The next session will be on Thursday 21st March at 10.30 am. Any time you can offer will be much appreciated. Thanks.

We are always happy to welcome new volunteers to our team. We meet outside the pavilion (Playdays Nursery). Please bring your own gardening gloves; tools are provided, though you are welcome to bring your own tools if you wish.

More about the Pavilion Gardens and the gardening group can be read here. [Updated on Tuesday, 05-Mar-2024 09:32:35 GMT ]

New Committee Member - message posted on 16th March 2024

We are very pleased to announce that a new committee member was elected at the AGM held on February 18th 2024. Welcome to Les Finn.

Calendar of Events, 2024 - posted 11thMarch 2024

The Calendar has recently been updated to reflect recently agreed dates for the Birdsong Walk - Sunday 14th April 2024 at 9.30am - and the Picnic in the Park - Saturday 1st June, 2pm to approx 5pm.

Our Secretary, Marie Singleton, writes: "Hopefully, by April the paths will have dried out and we will get some fine weather for both of these events. ."

Winter Walk / AGM 2024 / Annual Summary for 2023 - Posted on 22nd February 2024

The Winter Walk and AGM was be held on Sunday 18th February. After a short walk in the Park, refreshments were provided in the pavilion, then followed by the AGM. Thirteen members participated in the walk, all but one of whom attended the AGM, for which we were joined by one additional member.

The Acting Chair, Chistine Lee, presented her annual report for the year 2023 at the AGM, and it has been posted to this website via a link on this page. Some photos from the day, along with a brief report, can be viewed here.

Ongoing works in the Park - a message from Frank Street, Countryside Supervisor, Culture and Health, Basildon Borough Council - posted on 17th February 2024

"Just giving you a heads up: we have been doing heavy work on the Wick Country Park's footpaths this winter and it does look a bit rough still. However, when it's dried up, we will be back in to tidy up. We also got stuck in the far meadow: we have filled in the ruts the best we can, but again we will be back in to make it right, and I might be able to even get some wildflower seed in there. Just letting you know in case you get any complaints, but any issues please just pass on my email address. "

Wildlife Walks December 13th 2023, January 17th 2024 and February 21st - updated 17th February 2024

A message from Martin Singleton:
"The next wildlife walk will take place in the park on Wednesday 21st February 2024 at 10.30am. Meet in the pavilion car park as normal. Weather looks a bit unsettled next week so I will see what the forecast says on Tuesday [20th] and confirm or otherwise Tuesday afternoon. Fingers crossed I will see you all next Wednesday."

The report for the December 2023 walk is available via a link on the Wildlife Walks page [Updated on Tuesday, 05-Mar-2024 17:57:07 GMT ]. The report for the January 2024 walk is in preparation, and will become available via the same link shortly.

REMINDER: Winter Walk / AGM 2024 - Updated on 10th February 2024

The Winter Walk and AGM will be held on Sunday 18th February at 2pm. After a short walk in the park we will have some refreshments in the pavilion followed by the AGM.

Everyone is welcome to attend and give input as to how the Park is run; new Committee members are always welcome. If you are able to, please print out and display our advertising poster, or, if you are able to, please circulate it to your local Social Media contacts.

Skylarks - February 2024 edition: posted February 10th 2024

The latest Skylarks newsletter - No. 72 - is now available via a link on our 'Archives' page. It includes items about The Autumn Walk (2023), Wildlife Sightings (2023), Wicked Gardeners, recent Improvements to the Park.

Improvements in the Wick Country Park in 2023: posted February 10th 2024

Thanks to Councillor George Jeffery we have been able to see lots of improvements over the last 12 months:
  • The playground has had repairs made to it and new flooring laid
  • The area to the left of the driveway has been mowed
  • Paths have been upgraded
  • There's better drainage
  • An extra bin has been provided
  • Wooden walkways have been repaired
  • There has been work on the dipping pond and it is almost ready to use again
The Parks Department has a budget to improve green spaces; we are grateful for our local Councillor for being proactive in directing some funding to The Wick Country Park, and Basildon Council for the work carried out.

We hope that you're enjoying the improvements!

Autumn Walk with refreshments, October 1st 2023: posted January 25th 2024

Many apologies for the huge delay with this posting, but the report on the event held on October 1st 2023 is now available via a link on the Wildlife Walks page [Updated on Tuesday, 05-Mar-2024 17:57:07 GMT ].

Monthly Wildlife Walks: summary for 2023 and dates for 2024 - updated 20th January 2024

The Annual Summary report for 2023 is now available via a link on the Wildlife Walks page [Updated on Tuesday, 05-Mar-2024 17:57:07 GMT ]

The plans for this series of walks for the year 2024 have been announced, all on Wednesdays at 10.30 a.m., meeting in the Pavilion car park:

January 17th, February 21st, March 20th, April 17th, May 22nd, June 12th, July 17th, August 21st, September 18th, October 16th, November 20th, December 11th

****PROBLEM ALERT**** - posted 13th October 2023

Please be aware that there is some weather / wear and tear damage to the long footbridge over the 'Alder Carr' in the Park. Cllr. George Jeffrey has reported it to the Council several times following his constituents bringing it to his attention. Our Facebook Manager, Ali Riley, reports: "I went there today and noticed that it was getting worse, although the footbridge is still currently useable. I've updated George and he is chasing it up again."

Chris Lee, the Acting Chair of the Friends of the Wick Country Park added: "We noticed the damage when we were out on the Autumn Walk on 1st October, and Marie reported it to Frank Street at Basildon Council by email the same day. I am pleased that Cllr. George Jeffrey is now involved, and I am sure he will get the repairs by Basildon Council underway."

Additional Event: sorry for the short notice: Wildlife Talk, Monday 2nd October - posted 30th September 2023

On Monday 2nd October at 7.30pm Martin Singleton will be giving a talk, Flying Wild - Beautiful Birds and Insects, at St. Andrews Church Hall, 11 London Road, Wickford SS12 OAN. Martin is a well-known member of the Wickford Wildlife Society, and leads the Wildlife Walks at the Wick Country Park.

The latest edition of Skylarks - posted September 25th 2023

Issue number 71 of our newsletter is now available and can be accessed via our on-line archive.

REMINDER: our next event, Sunday October 1st 2023, Autumn Walk - posted on 16th September 2023, updated on 18th September 2023

There will be an Autumn walk on Sunday 1st October at 10am. There will be free apple themed refreshments afterwards. For further details, please click here [ Updated on Monday, 18-Sep-2023 12:24:13 BST

If you are able to help us with publicity for this event, please could you download, print, and display our poster?

Wickford Community Showcase Event: Saturday 19th August - updated 15th August 2023

On Saturday 19th August we will be having a stall at the Community Showcase Event in conjunction with the Wickford Wildlife Society. The event is being held in Wickford High Street from 11am until 4pm. For further details:

Community Showcase.

Please come along and say hello.

Birdsong Walk, May 14th 2023 - updated 27th July 2023

This year's Bidsong walk took place on Sunday, May 14th 2023. A report on the event is available via a link on the Wildlife Walks page [ Updated on Tuesday, 05-Mar-2024 17:57:07 GMT].

MOTH NIGHT/STARGAZING - June 30th 2023 - updated 23rd July 2023

The report on our annual Moth Night/Stargazing in the Wick Country Park held on Friday June 30th 2023 is now available here. This event was a joint venture with the Wickford Wildlife Society.

Picnic in the Park - Saturday June 24th - updated July 18th 2023

The latest event at the Wick Country Park was the Picnic in the Park on Saturday 24th June. A report on the event can be found here.

Cycling in the Park: a Reminder - updated 18th April 2023

We have been alerted to the fact that cyclists are active in the Park and causing distress to the walkers. This is a reminder that the Bylaws prohibit cycling in the Park. We do, however, encourage you to cycle to the Park - please use the cycle racks provided near the Park entrance or in the Nursery's car park. See this page and issue 44 of our Skylarks Newsletter for more information about the cycle racks.

Provisional Calendar of Events, 2023 - posted 14th February 2023

The Calendar of Events for 2023 is taking shape - please visit the Calendar of Events. [Updated on Monday, 11-Mar-2024 19:31:21 GMT ]

January Jaunt & AGM, held on January 29th 2023 - posted 7th February 2023

A report on the event will appear in the February 2023 edition of the Skylarks Newsletter - please keep an eye out for it on our On-line Archive. Meanwhile, some photos from the day can be viewed here and the Chair's Report on activities in 2022 can be viewed here.

Photographic Competition, 2022: Winners announced - posted 5th February 2023

The results of the competition were announced just before the AGM, held on January 29th, 2023. Please visit this page for full details, including the two prize-winning entries.

The Skylarks Regeneration Project 2020: Update - posted 1st February 2023

We have some good news about this project: please scroll to the bottom of the Project Page for full details.

Widlife Walk - January 16th 2023 - posted 1st February 2023

The report for the first walk of 2023 is now available via a link on the Wildlife Walks page [Updated on Tuesday, 05-Mar-2024 17:57:07 GMT ].

Proposed Housing Development - Southend Road, Shotgate - updated 24th January 2023

The Committee of the Friends Group has been notified of plans to develop a housing site on Green Belt Land off Southend Road, Shotgate. Though this proposal does not impinge on the Wick Country Park we recognise that it may be of interest to some visitors to the Park. Further details can be viewed here - including news about the consultation on the plans, which closes on February 21st 2023.

Wildlife Walks - Annual Summary for 2022 - updated 15th January 2023

The Annual Summary for 2022 is now available: please visit the Wildlife Walks page [Updated on Tuesday, 05-Mar-2024 17:57:07 GMT ] to download a copy in PDF Format.

Our Programme of events, 2023 - updated 11th January 2023

Our programme for 2023 is beginning to take shape. First off will be the Monthly Wildlife Walk. Martin Singleton writes:

The first walk of 2023 will take place on Wednesday 18th January at 10.30am - meet in the pavilion car park as usual. With all the rain we have had recently I suspect wellies would be a good choice of footwear, despite the new paths. Sadly, you may recall that Marie was to arrange some nibbles etc after the January walk, to celebrate the new year but that is now not possible, so we may do this in February instead.

Our second event of 2023 will be the January Jaunt, followed by Mince Pies and Mulled Wine and then the AGM, which this year will be held on Sunday 29th January 2023, starting at 2 p.m. Please meet outside the Pavilion ("Play days") by 1.55 p.m.

Monthly Wildlife Walk December 2022 - updated 16th December 2022

The last wildlife walk of 2022 took place on Wednesday 14th December. A report on the walk has now been posted on this website - please see the link below. Also, please keep an eye out for Martin's Summary of the 12 walks of 2022, a link to which will appear on the same page shortly.

Reports on past walks are available via the Wildlife Walks page [Updated on Tuesday, 05-Mar-2024 17:57:07 GMT .

Our next event: Change of date for the AUTUMN RAMBLE - posted 8th September 2022

The Autumn Ramble, which was due to be held on Sunday 30th October will now be held a week earlier, on Sunday 23rd October, commencing at 10am. There will be apple themed refreshments served in the Pavilion after the walk. Apologies for any inconvenience this date change may have caused.

Please help us to publicise this event, if you are able to, by downloading, printing, and displaying our publicity poster. Thank you for any help that you can give.

Bat Watch and Night Walk, August 6th 2022 - updated on August 23rd 2022

A report on this event is now available here [Opens in a new window]. A report can also be found on the third page of Skylarks Issue 69

Introducing Basildon Council's new Biodiversity Officer - posted 21st August 2022

Basildon Borough Council has recently appointed a new Biodiversity Officer, Josh Childs. You can read an introductory conversation with Josh that has been reproduced from the Summer 2022 edition of Basildon our Borough by clicking here.

Skylarks Issue 69 now available (August 2022) - posted 9th August 2022

To access this issue on-line, please click here.

Picnic in the Park, June 11th 2022 - posted 8th July 2022

A report on this event is now available on this website: please visit this page.

Moths and Stargazing evening, July 1st 2022 - posted 7th July 2022

A report on this event is now available on this website: please visit this page.

OFFICIAL LAUNCH: The annual photographic competition - posted 23rd April 2022

Today we have launced our Annual Photographic Competition. Please click here for details - and get 'clicking' around the Park!!!

CANCELLED: Our next event - the return of our annual Bird Song Walk on April 10th 2022 - amended 9th April 2022

Our very popular Bird Song Walk returns for the first time since April 2019 on April 10th. All the essential details - including a link to a helpful publicity poster - can be found on this page.

Unfortunately, due to the leader of the walk testing positive for COVID earlier this week, and now his replacement also testing positive, we will have to cancel the Bird Song Walk scheduled for April 10th.

Apologies for the short notice.

More cherry trees planted alongside the access driveway into the WCP - posted 29th March 2022

Visitors will be aware that, thanks to a combination of the efforts of The Wickford Wombles and Basildon Council, a line of flowering Cherry Trees were planted in the right-hand verge of the access pathway in 2021. On Saturday, 26th March 2022 more trees were planted, this time along the left-hand side of the driveway! You can read about both the 2021 planting and this recent addition by going to Park entrance improvements (2021 & 2022).

Two "Good News" messages from Councillor George Jeffrey - posted 25/02/2022

Source: FaceBook

Message 1: please click here
Message 2: please click here

Event Calendar Updated - posted, and also further updated, January 2022

A committee meeting was held in January 2022 to discuss a programme of events for the coming year. The Events Calendar has been updated to reflect those discussions, and then further updated after a meeting with the Wickford Wildlife Society. Two further events remain under active consideration and development. Please keep an eye on 'Events Calendar' page for news of further updates.

One of the new events is to be an Annual Photographic Competition. Full details, including the rules and how to submit entries, are being finalised, but meanwhile, get 'clicking' around the Park!!!

Website Update - posted January 2022

The two most recent Annual Chair's Reports, as presented to the AGMs held in January 2020 and October 2021, can be accessed via this link

Litter Pick at the WCP - posted January 2022

The Wickford Wombles carried out a litter pick on Tuesday 18th January at 10.30am. The Group does an excellent job in keeping Wickford clear of litter, and we are all very grateful for their work at the Wick Country Park

For full details, please visit our 'Litter Picks' page.

Programme of events for 2022 - posted January 2022

A committee meeting was held in January 2022 to discuss a programme of events for the coming year. The Events Calendar has been updated to reflect those discussions, and now includes two new agreed events, and also lists others that are under active consideration and development. Please keep an eye on this page for news of further updates.

One of the new events is to be an Annual Photographic Competition. Full details, including the rules and how to submit entries, are being finalised, but meanwhile, get 'clicking' around the Park!!!

Wick-ed Gardeners - restart date for 2022 - posted January 2022

After the winter break, the next gardening session will be held on Tuesday 8th February, with a start time of 10.30am. Meet outside the Pavilion. Please bring a pair of gardening gloves. Tools are provided but you are welcome to bring your own.

We look forward to seeing some of you there.

Reminder: VOLUNTEERING AT THE WICK COUNTRY PARK ....... - posted January 2022

All of the events at the Park that are described on this website are organised, managed, and run by volunteers. Without a good, vibrant group of people who are prepared to give up some of their time to 'give back to the community', none of this could happen. At the moment we are short of help at three different levels - as a Committee Member, as 'on the day helpers', and as members of the 'group within a group' - The Wick-ED Gardeners. If you enjoy the Park and enjoy the events that the Committee arranges, have you thought about helping us out to ensure that our events keep going into the future?

To find out more about volunteering opportunities at The Wick Country Park, please visit the 'Volunteering' page.

New Event - Litter Pick at the WCP on Tuesday 18th January 2022: Please come and join in!

The Wickford Wombles will be carrying out a litter pick on Tuesday 18th January at 10.30am. They do an excellent job in keeping Wickford clear of litter. If you are able to help out please meet at the main entrance gate to the Wick Country Park on Tresco Way. It is suggested that you bring a pair of sturdy gloves to wear.

New Management Arrangements for the Fishing Lake - posted January 2022

Basildon Borough Council has concluded a deal with S & A Watercraft Ltd to take over the management of four lakes that are owned by the Council, including the one at The Wick Country Park. More details of this new arrangement - including the implications for those who fish the lake - will appear on the Fishing Page on this website shortly.

Monthly Wildlife Walks - Annual Summary, 2021 - posted January 2022

The report is available via the Wildlife Walks page.

Website Update: The Virtual Tour of the Park - posted January 2022

The page available through this link has been updated for the first time since 2018 as part of a web-site tidy.

Monthly Wildlife Walks - 2022 - posted January 2022

The date for the January walk has been changed - please see the Events Calendar link to the left.

Provisional Events Programme, 2022 - posted December 2021

Please visit the 'Events Calendar link to the left.

After suffering two years of devastation to our normal annual events programmes in both 2020 and 2021, the Committee will be meeting in January 2022 to consider a refreshed programme for the year. In addition to the difficulties caused by Covid-19, we have a chronic shortage of active supporters to plan and run our events. Unless we attract significant additional support to manage the Future Events Programme, we are likely to continue to adopt a 'low profile' well into 2022. If you have enjoyed our past events, or have ideas for future different events, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do volunteer to help to make them happen! Please visit the Volunteering page to read about ways in which you can become involved with the Friends' group, or contact us for more insight into what would be involved.

Monthly Wildlife Walks: December 2021 - posted December 2021

The report is available via the Wildlife Walks page.

Welcome to the NEW Wick-ed Gardeners!!!! (November 2021) [UPDATED 15/11/2021] [Updated 05/03/2022]

After a long break the gardening sessions have restarted at the Wick Country Park. New arrangements, new name - welcome to the Wick-ed Gardeners! Marie, the group's convener, writes:

"We had a lovely bright day on Tuesday (November 9th 2021) for our first gardening session. There were 5 of us and we cut one section of the Rosa Rugosa down and hoping to complete the rest on Monday when I am doing another session.

I'm probably going to alternate days as some can do Tuesdays and others Mondays and I may throw an odd Thursday in depending on my commitments. I will not be doing it every week though. I just wanted to get the roses cut back. Jackie and Denise went back on Tuesday and put bark down.

For the date of the next session of the Wick-ed Gardeners please see more recent posts above.

Everyone is welcome to come along and help out. Meet outside the Pavilion. Please bring your own gardening gloves. Tools will be provided but if you have your own favourite gardening tool/s please feel free to bring your own. Refreshments will be provided."

The Autumn Walk and AGM (October 2021)

These events took place on October 10th. A report and some photos from the day are available here .

Skylarks Issue 67 now available (September 2021)

Topics covered in this issue include the Autumn Walk; Wick Country Park - Wildlife Sightings; Wick Country Park Moth Night & Star Gazing; Planting of the Cherry Blossom Trees; and Improvements to the Wick Country Park Entrance. To access this issue on-ine, please click on 'The Past' then "Archive - Newsletters" links above.

For more Information about local wildlife, please visit the Wickford Wildlife Society website.

Moths & Star Gazing Night

A very succesful event was held on Saturday August 21st 2021. Please visit the Moths Night & Star Gazing page for a report.

Improvements to the Wick Country Park entrance

Three important upgrades to the entrance to the Country Park have been completed during 2021:
  1. Repainting of the entrance gates
  2. Planting of a line of ornamental cherry trees - see below
  3. New driveway and refurbished car-park
For full details, please visit Park entrance improvements (2021)

Criminal Act of Cruelty to Wildlife at the Park, February 2021 [Posted February 2021, updated March 2022]

It is with huge sadness and annoyance that we record that an act of mindless cruelty has been reported at the Park; under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, this event is classifiable as a criminal act, and has therefore been reported to Essex Police. It has also been reported in The Echo, and it has 'gone viral' on local social media platforms.

WARNING: by clicking on this link you will be confronted by a potentially distressing account of the incident, including a full colour image of a live wild Canada Goose in obvious considerable distress.

The Skylark Regeneration Project (April 2020)

There are many references to skylarks on this website - for a start, our logo is based on this irresistible and intriguing bird, and it is also provides the title of our quarterly newsletter. Back in the early days of the Wick Country Park, Skylarks were common flying high in the sky, but now they have sadly gone. You can read about our ongoing project to attract Skylarks back to the Wick Country Park here.

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) - May 25th 2018

The new GDPR regulations, effective from May 25th 2018, require us to make a 'Data Policy' statement available to all of our members. Please click here to access the policy. Please see the 'Why not Join us?' link to the left for details about membership.

Litter at the Park - posted February 2018

Most visitors to the Park do as we all would hope they would do - take any rubbish or recycling generated while visiting the Park back home with them and to dispose of properly. It is a tiny minority of extremely thoughtless and lazy individuals who spoil the Park for everyone else.

Please click here for more details, including some photos from the day.

The aerial video of the Park! [Posted March 2016] UPDATED February 2022

In February 2016, Keith Savill, having got the appropriate permissions, kindly took a second video of the Park. Please see the link in the list to the left!

Regretably, the link is no longer valid and it has been removed.

The On-line Archive: 2002 to date!!! [Posted March 2016]

Please visit the the on-line archive, through which all the editions from 1 to current of our Skylarks Newsletter can be viewed. Have a browse through them for a fascinating insight into the Friends' perspective as to what has been happening at the Wick Country Park since 2002! And if you would like to go even further back in time, then please note that the on-line archive, also includes the complete set of eight editions of The Wick Country Park News. These newsletters, which were published by the Countryside Division of Basildon Council, chart the progress of the development of the Park, spanning the years 2000 to 2005. Editions 1, 2, 3 and 5 all include a map of what it was thought the Park would eventually look like when the work was finished. The Park today is fairly close to the vision first presented in 2000, the main divergence being that the building originally described as the "Education and Information Building" is usually referred to by its shorthand name - The Pavilion - and it is now leased to a Commercial Pre-School Nursery.