A Year of Walking the Wick!

Wednesday 27th December 2023

…a blog written by Jo Loman, Canvey Wick Community Warden

It’s time to celebrate!

At the end of November 2022, we started a walking and social group at Canvey Wick called “Walk the Wick!”. The concept was simple, to provide a regular social setting where people could engage with nature at Canvey Wick through light exercise and hopefully enhance their wellbeing too.

It’s true that November probably isn’t the best month to start such a venture, and with only one week of advertising, it was heartening to have 3 ladies attend the very first session. They were fantastic in helping to spread the word via other walking and community groups.

WtW litter pickers
WtW Litter Pickers

So, here we are, a little over one year on and we’ve done a little number crunching.

  • We have completed 23 walks.
  • More than 150 people have attended.
  • Our walks are between 7,000 – 10,000 steps, that’s over a million steps in total!
  • We plan to go out whatever the weather but have only been rained on once.

Walk the Wick! has been a story of collaboration right from the beginning.

We meet in the Community Room at Morrisons thanks to the support of Morrisons Community Champion, Alan Browne.  Each walk is promoted widely by a host of businesses and community groups including Canvey Island Town Council, Castlepoint Council, Canvey Island Library, The Knightswick Shopping Centre, United in Kind, Sandy Bay Resident’s Association, The Canvey Primary Care Network and the NHS Social prescribers/Linkworkers.  As a result, we have seen an array of people attending the sessions, mostly from Canvey and Benfleet, but also from other parts of Essex and even North London!

Kai feeling festive
Kai feeling festive

Walk the Wick! regulars are a super friendly bunch made up of walkers, litter pickers, photographers and wildlife enthusiasts and they come along for a wide variety of reasons; from simple exercise, wellbeing, social interaction, through to treatment and surgery recovery referrals.

Kai attends regularly and has been kind enough to share his Walk the Wick! experience: “When I found Walk the Wick! I wasn’t in the best of places, but I quickly felt welcomed among the group and found freedom. It clears my mind and eases the stress that has amassed over the weeks. I’ve never really been one for the outdoors, but coming to the Wick made me gain interest and now I enjoy learning about the wildlife from our very knowledgeable guide.

“I have very fond memories of attending the Walks, the first being the ‘Long arm of the law’ for one of our litter pickers, assisting them where I can. Also, when it started pouring with rain, yet we did not care; it’s nice to not have to run under shelter as soon as a droplet of water fell. Soon after the rain, it stopped to unveil the bright sun as well as its heat. Very cinematic to say the least.”

Walk the Wick! is open to everybody and we’re always happy to welcome new members.  We walk twice a month, usually on the second and last Wednesday, and we meet at 10am in the Community Room, Morrisons Roscommon Way.

You can stay up to date with our walks, join in the chat and see photos of our finds by joining the Canvey Wick Community Facebook Group

Why not make it your New Year’s resolution to learn more about the wildlife on your doorstep? Our first walk in 2024 is scheduled for Wednesday 10 January.

Come and join us.  Come and Walk the Wick!

Canvey Wick is a 93 hectare Site of Special Scientific Interest on Canvey Island in Essex. Rich in plants, insects and animals, there are more species per square metre here than any other site in the UK. It has even been referred to as ‘England’s Rainforest’.

As such, it’s one of the most important British sites for endangered invertebrates. The RSPB manage just under 19ha of the SSSI as a nature reserve in partnership with Buglife, on behalf of the Land Trust, with work underway to bring more of the site under management with public access.  Buglife’s work at Canvey Wick is funded by the Ida Davis Foundation and Milkywire