THE VISITORS LOG
What is this page?This page is written by YOU - the visitor to the Wick Country Park! If you would like to share your thoughts about the Park, or our events, or this website, please email them to the Webmaster, and shortly afterwards they will appear on this page!!!
Reflections on what being a committee member means, November 2017Committee Member and Website Manager, Alaric Cundy, offered these reflections: People ask me "what do I get out of being a committee member of the Friends of the Wick Country Park?" In summary, my answer would be:
Yes, running the events can be exhausting - though at the same time, huge fun. The key is, of course, careful planning, and with that aim in mind, we have developed a check-list with respect to each of the events so that when the need arises to 'pass the baton', there is the cumulation of 15 years of experience fully recorded. And, as we always try to freshen the events each year, there is plenty of scope for creativity and new ideas.
Comments on Nature Quest, July 23rd 2017 - reproduced from our FaceBook page
- 'We attended this event and our children had a great time, they enjoyed all the activities, well organised and very helpful staff working at the stalls. Thank you'
- 'We had a great day at the park today ! X'
- 'Me and my son had such a lovely day with you all today, he had so many new experiences today and met some lovely people. We have some lovely keepsakes and memories! Thank you for all giving up your time to make this happen!!x'
- 'Hi, we have been over at your nature day today, which we thoroughly enjoyed. My youngest made a candle from beeswax which she was most pleased about. Thank you, David'
Comments on the Skylarks 3K Race, April 19th 2017 - email from SaraThoroughly enjoyed the Skylark run last night. My daughter Rebecca was 'first girl', she smashed it. She totally loves this run.
Thank you to everyone for a successful run.
Comments on the Quiz Night, March 3rd 2017 - email from KathyThanks for a very enjoyable evening - do hope you made a lot of money for Friends of WCP. It was a huge success socially, but we also realize what a lot of preparation and sheer hard work (not least shifting chairs and tables around) had gone into it.
The Proposed Information Boards - general free-format comments from the Survey Questionnaire (March 2017)
- Install CCTV on the driveway to catch fly tippers
- The community needs open spaces
- Café, toilets - in time
- There are three geocaches at the The Wick park that might be used to increase exploration
- keep orientation same to use identical boards
- really good idea
- Explanation of grass cutting schedules and reasons for them would be interesting
- Reminders to take litter home, pick up after dogs, would be good
- It would be good if measured routes were colour coded, with small posts along the route to confirm route and act as distance markers
- Some mention of basic regulations - no swimming in the lake, no cycling or horse-riding, no fishing out of season
- Brilliant idea! We could also do with some rubbish bins - one here by the entrance to the main park would be better than none at all
- Great idea - look forward to seeing the finished product
- Height is important; rain resistant; vandal-proof
- This is a brilliant idea. I am sure it will be helpful to both regular users of the park and newcomers.
- People may not be aware of the wildlife / plants etc. that are in the park, showing these on the board would be a great idea.
- I fully support your application for funding
The Proposed Information Boards - free-format comments about the location of the boards from the Survey Questionnaire (March 2017)
- at the entrances
- next to the Pavilion
- entrance to the park; by the lake
- they should face towards the park - easier to interpret
- by gate off playground; at field by hedge adjacent to inner car car park
- prominent positions near pavilion and lake
- one at the entrance and one at the pavilion
- one by the children's playground, one by the entrance to the park from the staff car park
- at entrance; by lakeside
- One at the entrance to the park by the main gates, the other at the entrance of the park itself (where the staff park their cars) - there's a gap in the hedge where people walk through, it could be there
- By the entrance gates, and near the picnic area
The Proposed Information Boards - messages received via Streetlife (February 2017)
From Diane CI love walking round the Wick Country Park. If there were to be information boards in the park, I would appreciate a guide to the wildlife and perhaps also the trees, grasses, plants etc within. Also, measured walking routes. My thanks to the volunteers that keep the park going.
From Brenda LI agree signage would be great especially on the distance of each walk. Thanks for all your hard work.
From Mia WHi I definitely agree with both comments, signage is great for novices like me who haven't a clue but an interest in what the park has to offer. Best of luck
From Brenda LI want to start walking for my health so would love to know how far I have walked, also I could start with the shortest first and work up to the longer ones. Signage of wildlife would help parents and grandparents show and explain to children what is within the park and they could get involved at the end of their walk by looking at the boards, they could then state and point out which birds and wildlife they had sen that day.
From Robert BThe park is a great facility and would support previous comment about boards with information about dog bins, wildlife, fishing licences and walking distances. If possible also include potted history of land & Wickford area. Good luck.
From Nikki GI met someone who thought the playarea by the gates was the whole of the Wick Country Park. She did not know about the lake, boardwalk, stream and big open spaces full of wildlife just down that track. A couple of information boards would be great. I hope there will be some lovely wildlife pictures to show the grandchildren.
From William LI agree with all previous comments particularly on the information boards. A big thank you to all those people that work so hard for our enjoyment.
From Marie SI think it's a great idea to have information boards in the park. Details showing the paths and the distance of the walks, perhaps each walk could be colour coded. Some pictures and information about the different wildlife would be good too.
From Lee CExcellent idea! The information board will be very useful to all visitors to the park especially any on their first visit. Popular walking routes and points of interest would be informative and help everyone to make the best use of this open space.
From Penelope DMaps of where everything is and distances involved would be helpful. Am I right in understanding bikes aren't allowed?
The Proposed Information Boards - other messages received (February 2017)
From Dave MThought it might be good to have the distances of the paths on the map, as it is used by a lot of runners. My son said he would like to know when the two mounds were planted, as to give a idea of how fast things grow.
From Carol VEssex Wildlife, RSPB and other such sites have good boards, maybe take a steer from their efforts. Hanningfield is a good place to start perhaps.
No doubt you are ahead of me here ... I'd say the type of board that slopes and is not too high rather than a complete vertical board is also good. I am delighted that the friends of wick park are getting information boards which will be so helpful to the many users of park. They need to be prominent and ideally at the entrance and near the pavilion as people are not always awAre of the ponds and meadow land at the back. To support people pictorial boards with not too much writing would be helpful and a contact number for the part time warden to raise any concerns would be good.
From Sue FWill seats be marked on the map and will it include pictures of some of the wildlife which would interest children? I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the friends of wick park for all of the events and ongoing improvements that make it such a great place for the community.
From Paul CWith regard to the information boards I believe that it would be beneficial to place one general information board on the grass area as people pass through the entrance via the internal car park, with this being the very first thing they see. By having a panoramic map visitors can relate to the layout of the park and can decide to go left, right or forward depending upon what they wish to see.
For a second board this could be used to show flora and fauna with pictures so that the less educated in this aspect would then know what they may see, with all the pictures being annotated and cross referenced to the map numerically. This would, I am sure, potentially enhance the visit and I hope the appreciation. Good luck with the application for the funding
Kites and Classic Cars - email from Cass dated 17 September 2016Thank you for such a lovely day, my daughter had the best day, flying a kite for the first time.
Rubbish bins in the Park - Email messages, August 2016
Original messageDear Sir or Madam,
As a resident of The Wick and frequent visitor to the Wick Country Park, I often wonder at the lack of rubbish bins in and around the area. The amount of of litter on the floor is an obvious issue, and a few, well placed bins in the area would help immensely.
I'm aware of the cost, and the cost of manpower to empty and replace the sacks within, but surely the cost of assuring the beauty of a local site outweighs any monetary expenditure?
I'm also aware that this must not be the first time this issue has been raised, and would welcome any insight into previous requests and any movement on making it happen.
I await your reply,
ResponseLet me first apologise for not getting back to you sooner, but I have been away. I am so pleased you are a regular visitor to the Park and obviously care about it as much as I do. Thank you for taking the time to raise this issue. As Chair of the Friends group I have had this enquiry several times before. The answer and any future action lies with Basildon District Council and I will forward your e-mail to the Park Ranger. As a voluntary group, we have no powers on this type of matter, but I can tell you the response we have had in the past. It goes something like this. Responsible people using the Park will generaly take their rubbish home. Irresponsible people may not, and a minority will actually vandalise the bins and spread the litter further! You are also quite right in your understanding that there would be a considerable cost in providing and regularly emptying the bins. If you still feel strongly about this matter please persue it with the Council.
As a regular user of the Park do you know about the Friends of Wick Country Park and the work we do? We promote the Park to be a haven for visitors and wildlife. We organise free events and raise money for improvements to the Park, these include the picnic benches, noticeboards and cycle racks and we also maintain the Pavilion Garden. I would be very please if you would like to become a member, it only costs £3 for a household per year. I have attached a membership form.
If you have any other queries or suggestions, the committee and I would be very happy to hear from you again.
Third MessageHello Nikki,
No need to apologise for being away. I hope you were somewhere warm and sunny or at least more consistent than here!
Thank you very much for your reply. And thank you for the details of other responses and possible outcomes. Rest assured I will contact Basildon Council. If they insist on raising our council tax, I might as well ensure they spend it on something that benefits us properly.
Also, thank you for the attached form. I've brought my family and I to many of the events held in the park, most recently the Crickets and Dragonflies on Sunday the 7th, and if I knew the subscription was so low I would have joined a lot sooner. I will print off the form and post it to you as soon as possible.
Email sent to our Chair, Nikki, July 27th 2016[Referring to 'Nature Quest', held on July 24th..]
Thank you - we had a really enjoyable time on Sunday - my daughter, Mia, absolutely loved it. She did not stop smiling - everyone was so friendly & helpful. Even I learnt a few things. We hope to make the next 2 events and bring our son Zac as well.
Thank you for a throughly enjoyable morning.
Email sent to our Chair, Nikki, July 24th 2016[Referring to 'Nature Quest', held on July 24th, and to the Skylarks 3K race, which was held on July 20th at the end of one of our rare 'heatwave' days!.]
Just wanted to say thank you for two wonderful events this week - the Skylarks Run and the Nature Quest today.
Rebecca, my daughter, was the first girl for the Skylark run so walked away with chocolate as a prize, which she is in the process of eating and whilst it was very hot on the evening both myself and my son also joined in on the run.
Today Rebecca and I came up to the Nature Quest and it was nice to see a steady stream of people doing the activities and learning new facts.
Thank you to you and to all the volunteers.
Message Posted on Wickford Streetlife by 'Dave P', June 17th 2016[Referring to 'Paws in the Park', our fun dog show, held (in the rain!) on June 12th.]
I took Ted and Ruby, my greyhounds, but the rain unfortunately prevented me putting either into a class. Had there been a class for "The Wettest Dog" I would have certainly put both in! Nevertheless we had a good time and my thanks go to the organisers for putting on a great event - as always.
Editor's note (April 2022): Wickford Streetlife was a local Social Media facility that was widely used by visitors to the Wick Country Park. Sadly, it is no longer operational.
Email from an observant and happy Park visitor, June 2nd 2016Just a quick email to firstly say how great the Wick Country Park is looking and secondly, did you know there are blue tits / great tits (I struggle to tell the difference) nesting in your wildlife storage container now nature reserve?
If you did...great isn't it!
If you didn't, I saw an adult bird fly into a hole on the end with the doors and, when it flew out you could hear the chicks tweeting away. It made a few visits whilst I was there. It was using the hole on the right of about 5 which run along the top of the doors.
I've not seen such a great use of a functional object to promote wildlife before. The wild flower garden on the top was a real treat in full bloom - if it hasn't already, it should win an award!
Anyway - Me and the dogs have been enjoying the park since it opened and I hope that when time allows, I can join 'the friends' to put a little back.
Keep up the great work!
Featured in the Yellow Advertiser on April 21st 2016The Wick Country Park was the subject of an article in the "Liz at Large" column on page 41 of the Basildon edition of the Yellow Advertiser dated 21/04/2016. The article can be found via the YA's on-line archive, or for convenience, click here.
Message from a competitor in the Skylarks 3K Race, April 20th 2016Hi Nikki
Just wanted to say what fun. Joined you all for the 3K Race today. Ended up being myself and my two children, who were both very competitive. Really thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Thank you to everyone who helped organise the event and to all the volunteers.
Looking forward to coming to the next one.
Sara and family.
Messages from Wickford Streetlife, April 2016 [Bird Song Walk]
From LynneHad a great time with Dave and group of like-minded people talking and learning about various birds (flying kind of course) around The Wick Country Park. A big thank you to all.
Messages from Wickford Streetlife, June 2015 [Paws in the Park]
From Mark EThe Wick country park members obviously put a lot of effort into Sunday's Paws in the Park. It was beautiful weather and a great turnout with peoples hounds. Great to see the local community getting together for an event that didn't include tablets, androids, laptops etc. My thanks go to Nicky and her volunteers.
From Maxine C (one of our assistants)Thanks Mark...it was certainly a great event! The dog class registration desk was a hive of activity throughout the day! The Friends of the Wick volunteers worked really hard which certainly paid off.
From David Piper, April 2015I recently attended the Skylarks 3k race at the Wick Country Park and took a few photos. I'll look forward to the next race in July, might even get my running shoes on myself.
Editor's note (April 2022): The link to David's photo gallery is no longer active.