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 enquiries@ocv.org.uk

Sunday 30 Jan 2022Scrub ControlGrim's Ditch, Blewbury, South Oxfordshire
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Grim's Ditch is an earthwork, a scheduled ancient monument, up on the downs south of Blewbury, just off the Ridgeway long distance footpath. So this will be scrub bashing with a view. The site is privately owned and the owner has a Countryside Stewardship agreement with Natural England to maintain the monument in good condition, which primarily involves the periodic removal of invasive scrub -- and that's where we come in. We were last here in February 2017 and it's just about time for another visit. This time, however, we'll aim to 'pop' as much as we can with our tree-poppers, although that will mean we'll have to carry them a fair way from the van to the site (and back again). Watch out for the task email for access details!
Leader: Jenny HillDriver: Phil Hunter

Tuesday 1 Feb 2022Committee meetingTown Hall
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The committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. Meetings are held in the town hall and we'll be in the Judge's room. You don't need to be a committee member to join us, but please email secretary@ocv.org.uk if you'd like more information. We'll probably go for a drink after the meeting also.
Contact: Jenny

Sunday 6 Feb 2022Piddington Wood, Buckinghamshire
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Piddington Wood is a broad-leaved, semi-ancient woodland near Piddington village, south-east of Bicester. The wood is owned and managed by the Woodland Trust and today we'll help out with the first stage of a scheme designed to coppice the extensive stands of hazel. The plan is to work on a rotational basis over a number of years in a rolling process of incremental renewal. We'll also harvest hazel stakes and binders to use on the hedge laying task at Burgess Field next week. For more on the wood, including maps, see the relevant Reserve Page on the website.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Tim Bletsoe

Sunday 13 Feb 2022Hedge Laying Burgess Field Nature Park, North Oxford
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Burgess Field Nature Park is another Oxford nature reserve that used to be a city landfill site. It's large - 8.5 hectares of more or less open ground, right next-door to Port Meadow. The land is owned by the City Council, but the hands-on management is kept up by a local Friends group with occasional help from OCV. Given its location the site has huge conservation and recreational potential. The plan for today is to continue with the hedge laying we began last December. There's another 50 meters or so that's already been sided-up and is ready to lay. This is about as tough as hedge-laying can get -- hawthorn, planted line astern, grown out, and long past its optimal age for laying -- but we'll do what we can! The Friends are willing and able to do some replanting with new whips to cover any gaps and to thicken the girth of the hedge, so it will take a year or two (or three) but we might yet rejuvenate and improve the hedge-line with the associated multiple wildlife benefits.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Tom Bulford

Sunday 20 Feb 2022Reserve Maintenance / Hedge LayingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Today we make our February visit to one of our favourite sites in the Chiltern Hills. A land-mark for travellers on the M40 and well-known for its red kites, this National Nature Reserve is owned and managed by Natural England. What we do today will depend on how well we've progressed laying the hedge at the top of Hill Lane. If there is more to do, then we'll do it today. If not, we'll be helping the wardens who manage the Reserve with the winter jobs they have in hand, usually ongoing work to maintain or restore the grassland habitat. The details as to what and where will be described in the weekly email, so now's a good time to check you're on our mailing list.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 27 Feb 2022Scrub Control & Willow PollardingLye Valley, Oxford
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The condition of the south fen at Lye Valley continues to improve to such an extent that today we'll be working on the perimeters of the fen rather than the fen itself. We'll be cutting back scrub on the borders with the golf-course, and the neighbouring woodland. We'll also look to pollard some of the willows that are beginning to shade out the high side of the fen just below the spring lines. If there's been rain wellies will be useful. For more information on this relatively rare habitat that is also a listed SSSI see http://www.friendsoflyevalley.org.uk.
Leader: Tom HeathDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 1 Mar 2022Committee meetingTown Hall
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The committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. Meetings are held in the town hall and we'll be in the Judge's room. You don't need to be a committee member to join us, but please email secretary@ocv.org.uk if you'd like more information. We'll probably go for a drink after the meeting also.
Contact: Jenny

Sunday 6 Mar 2022Scrub ClearanceCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Crecy Hill Local Nature Reserve is a County Wildlife Site and Local Nature Reserve in Tackley, ten miles north of Oxford. The reserve is sited on the slope of a railway embankment with views across the open, rolling countryside opposite. Repeated visits throughout 2020 saw us get the upper hand over the dense mix of hawthorn, rose, and bramble that threatened to overwhelm the reserve. Today we'll tackle more of the same. The plan is to take out discrete areas of scrub on a regular, rotational basis.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 13 Mar 2022Scrub ControlGrays Lane Bank, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
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Another scrub bashing task, but today's task is in a special location -- a privately owned chalk grassland bank in a secluded part of the Chilterns, designated as an SSSI. There is no public access to the site so if you want to see it, come on the task! The landowner has made significant improvements and developed a long-term management plan that includes cattle grazing, some superb hedge lines, and a significant and flourishing population of relatively rare Chiltern Gentians. We've been asked to help out with the labour-intensive work of removing the self-seeded hawthorn and rose when still in its initial stages. So we'll be popping and pulling as much as we can find - a zero tolerance policy!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive