On the South West of the island we have a unique area named Canvey Wick. Canvey Wick, a 93 hectare site next to the Morrison’s superstore on Canvey Island, was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest on 11 February 2005 and was the first ‘brownfield’ or ‘previously developed’ sites where they have ‘blended into the landscape’, to be protected specifically for its invertebrates. This decision was the culmination of a 3-year campaign by Buglife and local residents to save the site from being destroyed to make way for a business park.
The East Thames corridor is particularly rich in invertebrate species and Canvey Wick is one of the most diverse and species-rich sites in the area, with nationally important assemblages of invertebrates. It’s not just invertebrates. In spring and summer, whole swathes of the site burst into colour as the grassland plants start to flower. On warm summer days common lizards come out to bask in the sunshine and you may hear skylarks singing overhead. Water voles nest and feed along the ditch banks and in autumn and winter pretty little stonechats gather to feed on the seeds of reedmace in the wetter areas of the site.