Wick: the green
Wick shown within Dorset
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
|UK Parliament||Bournemouth East|
Wick is a village on the southern bank of the River Stour in Dorset, just short of the Stour's entry into Christchurch Harbour. The village originally formed part of the vast Manor of Christchurch, then became part of the Southbourne Parish Council - in turn, part of the Christchurch Rural District - with the implementation of the Local Government Act 1894. It was absorbed into the Borough of Bournemouth, as was the whole of Southbourne Parish, in November 1901.
Etymology and early settlement
The village name derives from the Old English wīc, meaning "dairy farm". The village is mentioned in the ministers' accounts for the Manor of Christchurch in 1301, at which point the king (as Lord of the Manor) could claim the second-best sheep from every customary fold in Wick (there being at that time six folds), while the tenants in return were allowed pasture in the "demesne arable land" outside the ditch of Hengistbury.
Wick today retains much of its historic character, including some very old timber-framed buildings.
Wick Fields form an important part of the Hengistbury Head Nature Reserve and constitute a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Hengistbury Head, Wick Fields and adjacent land were declared a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) on 18 May 1990 under Section 21 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.  The meadows here have not been improved for agriculture and are therefore regarded as ‘ancient grassland’, rich in flowering plants and rushes. An increase in birds has been reported here, including the rare Dartford Warbler and the Cetti's Warbler. Other birds include the Song Thrush, Skylark, Kestrel, Barn Owl and Little Owl. The Otter is seen here occasionally, as is the now 'uncommon' Water Vole. A herd of Galloway cattle graze the land; these cattle are ideally suited to the harsh conditions of the coast and estuary and help manage the land by chewing and trampling down any overgrowth.
There has been a passenger-ferry service from Wick across the Stour to Christchurch since about 1815, though this was discontinued for a short period in 1957.
- L. Popplewell, Wick: The Last Village on the Dorset Stour (Bournemouth Local Studies Publications, 1989, 2nd edn.), p. 4.
- "Hengisbury Head Management Plan 2005". Hengisbury Head Management Plan 2005, page 15. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wick, Bournemouth.|