Laindon Park Conservation

Managing the area for the benefit of the community

By Phil Jacek

We are all local residents, many born and raised in Laindon, with a passion for our area and we have been active on site for over 12 years.

We meet on site on Sundays, and other days when required, i.e. special works, open days, etc.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Laindon Park Conservation' page

We manage an area of approximately 45 acres, centred around St. Nicholas Church. This is situated between Basildon Town Centre and the A127 (Arterial Road), the latter being one of our boundaries. The other boundaries are St. Nicholas Lane, Pound Lane and Upper Mayne, with Church Hill Road dividing the area into two parcels of land. The area surrounds the church and includes the hill it is situated on.

This area is very complex. It consists of the church area and ex-plotland areas. The latter areas are now mainly natural succession woodland, in which there are fruit and ornamental trees, with associated planted hedges of privet and snowberry, etc., from the plotland era.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Laindon Park Conservation' page

The area also boasts ponds, open meadows, semi-ancient oaks and other features common to all nature reserves.

There are many trails, mostly following the old plotland paths and road system and has large open grass areas, which are used as a recreation asset by the public.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Laindon Park Conservation' page
We feel conservation of this area is very important, not only in terms of the direct benefit to the environment, but also so that the owners and the local communities can be seen to be taking an active lead in this area.

We also see education as important in view of all the developments in the area. We therefore view the woodland, etc., as an educational resource.

With this in mind, the area needs to be managed according to sound practices and at the same time show a diversity of management techniques.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Laindon Park Conservation' page

We also recognise the recreation value and are considering introducing a nature trail based on the site with numbered posts and a self-guiding tour sheet. We plan to have this ready for spring and have already supplied and installed display boards within the church area itself.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Laindon Park Conservation' page
We view this area as an oasis unique in the midst of a new town, which we not only maintain but also aim to enhance. For instance, hedge laying of existing trails, opening old plotland paths and creating new trails to highlight interesting features, some of which show a history of the area (plotland bottle wells, Anderson shelters, WW2 defences to name a few).

We aim to preserve this area and its history for past and future generations and also for the whole of Basildon and this part of Essex.


If you are interested in helping out you are more than welcome to meet us on site any Sunday.

This page was added by Ian Mott on 09/01/2013.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

This is a treasure for all locals and that includes the wildlife of the area. I would like to see the planting and establishing of a variety of wild plants such as bluebells, periwinkle and celandine to further enhance the beauty of the area. This I feel would increase the attractiveness and the educational interest of an already lovely, well managed site. If my health and the proximity of my home permitted I would gladly offer my services but unfortunately this cannot be. Well done to all who do put in the effort, it is well worth while. 

By Donald Joy
On 13/04/2017

I am a volunteer at Warley Place. I took someone round recently who said they were shown round in 1992 by a very knowledgeable and friendly young warden called Phil Jacek. I had included a list of wardens on a poster in the Information Room and did not know of Phil. Were you this person? If so I will need to amend the poster.

By John Cannell
On 12/04/2017

I am intrigued by the fact that people are actively involved in keeping this area conserved and are committed to preserving its history for generations to come. The article talks of plotland areas within the land being managed. I do wonder who the ownership rests with but this must already be resolved, I am assuming it is common land now. I can recall the plotlands there in 1957/1958 and the area we used to call 'the shacks'. There were few remaining traces of habitation but in our eyes it was an area where we could lift up discarded pieces of corrugated roofing and find Adders, Grass Snakes and Slowworms. My friends then were Stan Mortlock, Derek Grainger and Jimmy King, all from the Nichol Road area. Stan and I were at Laindon Park School and Derek and Jimmy were at Markhams Chase. There was also a big pond at the rear of the Church where we found Newts and Grass Snakes; presumably it is still there in the Conservation Area. Sometimes we would linger after school to search around the pond, often with other boys from Laindon Park such as Keith English and Barry Keeble. My early times in Laindon were special from a nature point of view and I wish all the helpers good luck in preserving this most important area.

By Richard Haines
On 12/10/2013

Further to my comment of 29/06/13, I now read thet Eric Pickles has rejected the idea of allowing a travellers park on thr Laindon Park Conservation Area.

By W.H.Diment
On 12/10/2013

It would seem that my remarks of 11/01/2013 that we are lucky this area had not become another Dale Farm, were somewhat premature, as I have read that the original decision not to allow this area to become a travellers site has been overturned and a further meeting will be held to discuss its future, but behind closed doors. This would seem to exclude all those who would wish to have their objections considered before any final decision is made.

By W.H.Diment
On 29/06/2013

I used to walk to school through this pathway, to then "Donaldsons" and hide in the bushes, if the air raid siren went off.

By Jemima Chapman née Rhind
On 15/01/2013

How lucky we are that people are devoting their time to preserve this area when it so easily might have become another Dale Farm.

By W.H.Diment
On 11/01/2013