The Wick Local Nature Reserve

Back in 1929 Sir Arthur Copson Peake handed 3.3 hectares of deciduous woodland to St Albans Council, as long as SADC (St Albans and District Council) pledged ‘To keep the land in its wild state, as nature made it’.

If you don't know where The Wick is, it's in St Albans, which is in Hertfordshire, which is in England. 

What’s a hectare? It’s a measure of land area: 100 metres by 100 meters, which is 328 feet by 328 feet. For scale, a tennis court is 23.77 meters long (78 feet). Heathrow Airport covers 2,277 hectares.

What’s deciduous? Basically ‘leaves fall off at maturity’ (and some other times). Oak, Maple, Birch are deciduous.

Who was Sir Arthur Copson Peake? He was a sportsman. He was a strong tennis player, playing in championship matches up in Yorkshire, a founding member of the Romany Cricket Club in Yorkshire and, also in Yorkshire, he was a director of John Waddington Ltd, later of Monopoly fame. Somehow finding time to be a Solicitor, he also became president of The Law Society.

He lived in Leeds for 50 years, passing on in St Albans in 1934, with an estate value of £76,120 gross.

If you want the same spending power £100 gave you in 1934 in the 2020s, you'll need about £9,160. That puts Sir Arthur Copson Peake's estate value at about £6.9 Million in today's money. Good work Sir Arthur

Hang on a minute, what's this website about?

It's about The Wick, obviously. There are indeed other sites about The Wick, including Friends of the Wick, plus a Woodland Trust page, plus a Parks Herts page. 

Anyway, this site is here to do the following:

To keep the land in its wild state, as nature made it’. Got that? Good. St Albans and District Council seem to be struggling to comply with it.

In February, 2023 works to resurface paths happened. Why? Because 'it gets muddy in rainy weather'. Yes, muddy. Who would have thought paths would get muddy in rainy weather? That's sort of the point of keeping it 'as nature made it' I'd have thought. Have a look for yourselve at a few before and after photos, admiteddly taken in different seasons, but you'll get the idea of what The Wick Looks Like Now versus pre-being interferred with right here.

Do you think Sir Arthur's request is being well and truly met? Let us know via the magic of The Wick's contact form right here or let us know by picking an answer from The Wild Wild Wick Survey also on that page.

What's that photo in the banner at the top of this page about? Is that a big wheel?

Good spot. Yes, it's an early draft (since developed) of the proposed Wick Wheel. More information is further down this page.

JULY  2023 UPDATE: We've launched our exciting DOGS OF THE WICK page along with a monthly (we're not saying WHICH months)  competition, where you can win a lovely dog-friendly gift courtesy of our 2023 sponsor. 

The East Anglian Air Ambulance after landing at The Wick, St Albans, in 2020.

The Wick Heliport

This is the East Anglian Air Ambulance visiting The Wick in April, 2020. Would you like to be able to get a helicopter flight from The Wick? Ideally not in an air ambulance. 

All we need is about £450,000* from SADC and we can pick up a perfectly airworthy late 1970s Bell Jet Ranger 206 that can carry 4 passengers up to about 350 miles. 

*we reckoned probably a bit MORE money would be required for pilots, maintenance, insurance, hangarage, security and admin and then the inevitable legal costs. We did a few sums and decided it would be best to leave it. 

See The Rules of The Wick

The Wick in St Albans is issuing noise abatement orders on the neighbouring properties, just to teach them a lesson.

Noise at The Wick

Complaints about noise from The Wick have already lead to SADC (or Friends of The Wick) stopping organised sports on The Wick by planting trees. I mean, we wouldn't want children persuing healthy activities if it disturbed people with massive gardens and big, detached houses would we? OH no.

Consequently we countered this action and raised 43 Noise Abatement Orders of our own:

22 Homewood Road addresses, 5 Marshal's Drive addresses (one address on Marshal's Drive got 5 (you know who you are) ) and 12 Marshalswick Lane addresses. 

Discover where The Wick is

This is a cow called Anne Main who used to occassionally be sighted in The Wick, St Albans, until she was banished by locals who found her to be, well, a cow.

Anne Main

We introduced a big old Cow, a Highland Cow at that, to The Wick in early 2022 to see how she would settle in and how the locals responded.

To cut to the end: not well. Not well at all. The cow started building some sort of nest near the playground, but didn't ever stay in it herself. She had no interest in mingling with locals either.

Back to the highlands she went. Well, we saw her off as far as St Albans City Station, she was on her own from there.  No idea why it says Anne Main at the top of this bit. None

Read reviews of The Wick

The Wick Wheel. This is a permanent London Eye-style Ferris Wheel planned for The Wick Local Nature Reserve, St Albans.

The Wick Wheel

We occasionally have brainstorming meetings, often in The White Hart Tap, where we discuss innovations that might benefit The Wick, such as a giant, London Eye-style, permanent big wheel.

This would not only provide enhanced views of The Wick, it would facilitate nebbing / nosing / peaking into the back gardens and windows of the millionaire's row that's Marshal's Drive. Or the millionaire's row that's Homewood Road. Or the millionaire's row that's Sandpit Lane. Or the millionaire's row that's Marshalswick Lane.

However, we realized it would attract people from miles around and at that point shelved the project at the engineering drawings stage, on the grounds that The Wick is a local Wick, for local people.

We still have the plans, which have cost tens of thousands of pounds so far, so might well revisit this important project next time we meet, which is scheduled to be in The Plough, down the road in Tyttenhanger, probably at about 6 o'clock this evening.

One day soon you might well be soaring 400 feet above The Wick in a gondola similar to the 32 glass gondolas on The London Eye, which weigh 10 tons each and have standing room for 25 people*

*Ours will probably be perspex and have room for one person lying down, or two if they can prove they've known each other for six months or more. Thank you.