Task Programme

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These are our forthcoming events. Details of pick up times and locations are on our FAQ and we send out an email during the week before each task on our Mailing List. For any other questions please contact

Sunday 22 Oct 2017Fen Raking II (North Fen)Lye Valley, Oxford
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Day two in Lye Valley. Whichever fen we raked last Sunday, today we'll rake the other one! At the time of writing that should be the larger north fen. Check the general task email that will be circulated sometime in the preceding week. There's also a chance we'll be cutting back and pollarding encroaching willow. OCV have been involved with the Lye Valley Nature Reserve in East Oxford for many years now. Even though it's a small acreage, it's an important, long-standing, and relatively rare, urban habitat. As last week, you'll need wellies even if there's been no rain.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Volunteer to drive

Saturday 28 Oct 2017Reserve MaintenanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
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Another Saturday task at the Trap Grounds: a small pocket of countryside in the middle of urban north Oxford between the canal and the railway. A group of local residents fought and won an epic legal battle to stop it being developed for housing. Formerly a dump (literally!) it's now a designated Local Wildlife Site and consists of several interrelated habitats: ponds, wetland, woodland, and meadow. Despite years of successful reclamation work on the site there are still strata of junk and rubbish to be found and dug out in the more remote corners. We'll be working in collaboration with the Trap Grounds Friends. On our last visit in September we cut down several large willows in the reed bed. One of the things we'll do today is set a bonfire to burn the brash. There may also be some seasonal bramble bashing.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 29 Oct 2017Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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The beech woodland of the Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve always looks magnificent from late October to the onset of winter. This month's visit will most likely see us working in the woods themselves or on the more open slopes of the escarpment cutting back invasive scrub and undergrowth. As usual, we'll be working with one of the Reserve's wardens, and, again as usual, the details will be announced in the weekly OCV email. We're always looking for volunteers who might lead tasks, indeed without leaders we couldn't keep going, and we're significantly short of volunteers prepared to lead at the moment. If you're interested contact Phil Hunter via tasks@ocv.org.uk . At Aston Rowant we always work under the guidance of one of the reserve's wardens, so today would be a great opportunity to try it out. Note that British Summer Time ended last night!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 5 Nov 2017Reserve MaintenanceStansfeld Park, Oxford
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November 5th. Gunpowder, treason, and plot? Probably not. But a decent bonfire is a racing certainty. Today sees us back at Stansfeld Park to continue work on the rejuvenation of the 18 acre site that includes woodland, ponds, and meadow grass. We'll work for the Oxford Trust, who have taken on the job of developing the site as a combined innovation and science education centre, and as a new space for the local community to enjoy. By arrangement with Dr. Roger Baker (The Trust's Educational Support Officer) we hope to involve local families in today's task - everyone's welcome!
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 7 Nov 2017Committee meeting 8pmTown Hall
The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly.This month we're in the Jury Room - if you'd like to come along and see how we run things and perhaps get more involved, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Ed

Sunday 12 Nov 2017CoppicingShotover Country Park, Oxford
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A return to Brasenose Wood. We'll continue the work we began last winter and, as then, we'll be working with Shotover Wildlife who have been trialling a high-cut coppice regime. This is a technique designed to compensate for the problems caused by deer who graze on the tender regrowth of newly coppiced stools. The wood is a designated SSSI, diverse in species, a great place for bird song, and a rich habitat for a wide diversity of wildlife. We'll also look to harvest hazel stakes and binders for hedge-laying later in the year.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Saturday 18 Nov 2017Reserve MaintenanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
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A Saturday at The Trap Grounds usually involves a mix of conservation work: coppicing, pond-work, bramble bashing, tree-planting, and, given the Grounds history as a town dump, the exhumation of some extraordinary junk. As usual, we'll be working with the ever enthusiastic Friends of The Trap Grounds. Watch out for more details via the general mailing list nearer the day.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 19 Nov 2017Scrub BashingIsland Pond Wood, Launton, Bicester
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Island Pond Wood is a small site of just over 4 hectares located close to the village of Launton. It's a relatively new woodland established in 1999 as part of The Woodland Trust's 'Woods on Your Doorstep' scheme. Members of the local community planted it and continue to take an active part in its management. This will be our third visit in as many years to help them keep in check the dense barrier of blackthorn that borders two sides of the site.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 26 Nov 2017Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Another of our regular monthly visits to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve, managed by Natural England and situated on the western edge of the Chilterns with extensive views across the Oxfordshire plain. The Reserve supports juniper, an extensive variety of wild flowers native to unimproved chalk grassland, together with sheep, woodland, and an abundance of red kites. Exactly what we do today, and where, will be announced in the weekly email so make sure you're on the general email list for the details. We're always looking for volunteers who might lead tasks, indeed without leaders we couldn't keep going, and we're significantly short of volunteers prepared to lead at the moment. So if you're interested contact Phil Hunter via tasks@ocv.org.uk . Any of our current leaders will be happy to help you get started by doubling up on a task to show you the ropes.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 3 Dec 2017Hedge LayingRectory Farm Fields, Kidlington
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Rectory Farm Fields is an extensive area of open ground just to the East of Church Street, Kidlington. We'll be working for a private client who wants to manage the land for its natural flora and fauna. BBOWT and the RSPB have made encouraging reports on the site's present and future significance for local wild life. The long term plan is to restore what were once extensive hedge and wall lines. Up till now we've been concentrating on the walls, today we'll turn to the hedges, specifically an old hedge-line that's been several years growing further and further out of shape! Earlier in the year we removed an old post and wire fence to improve access and to enable some extensive siding-up work to be done. Today we should get a good idea of just how much of the old material can still be usefully laid.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 5 Dec 2017Committee meeting 8pmTown Hall
The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly.This month we're in the Jury Room - if you'd like to come along and see how we run things and perhaps get more involved, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Ed

Sunday 10 Dec 2017Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our final visit of the year to a favourite site on the cusp of the Chilterns managed by Natural England. It's more likely than not that we'll be working either in the woods or on the grassland slopes. Exact details of the day's work will be posted in the weekly email, so make sure you're on the OCV mailing list! Once again, we're always looking for volunteers who might lead tasks, indeed without leaders we couldn't keep going, and we're significantly short of volunteers prepared to lead at the moment. So if you're interested contact Phil Hunter via tasks@ocv.org.uk . An Aston Rowant task is a great way to start. You'll be under the guidance of one of the reserve's wardens - Mick or Kate. Any of our current leaders will be happy to help you get started by doubling up on a task to show you the ropes.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 17 Dec 2017Scrub BashingCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Another day's work on behalf of the local parish council to reclaim this small but beautifully sited reserve from invasive scrub. The management plan involves grazing the reserve with livestock - Dexters, apparently the smallest British breed of cattle. The hope is that they'll nibble the nascent scrub, but if they're to do their thing we need to open up some grazing areas for them by taking out the mature bramble and hawthorn.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 24 Dec 2017Christmas Eve
No task today! Happy Christmas.
 

Saturday 30 Dec 2017Hedge LayingRectory Farm Fields, Kidlington
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See out the old year with some hedge-laying! Hedges make great habitat for all sorts of wildlife and for the final task of 2017 we're back in old Kidlington on the penultimate day of the year, a Saturday, to continue work on an extensive hedge-line that borders one of the pastures at Rectory Farm Fields. We'll pick up from where we left off earlier in the month. There will be more scrub and top growth to cut and burn, and we'll stake and bind the laid material to encourage dense re-growth in subsequent seasons.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 31 Dec 2017New Year's Eve
Another Sunday off! We'll be back in the New Year.