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 21 Apr 2019Easter Day
A Sunday off as it's Easter Day, which gives our volunteer leaders and drivers a welcome break. If you think you could help out either by leading tasks or by driving for us please get in touch, you'll be welcomed with open arms. Contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk for more details. If you'd like to have a go at leading then next week would be a good one to try.
 

Sunday 28 Apr 2019Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our April visit to this important National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. It's a site that includes important chalk grassland grazed by flocks of sheep. We're always looking for new task leaders (OCV depends on some volunteers being willing to lead) and an Aston Rowant task is a great opportunity to try it out under the supervision of one of the Natural England wardens, either Mick or Steph, who manage the site. Contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk for more details. At this time of year we might be looking after the sheep themselves, improving conditions for the flora and fauna special to the site, or maintaining good public access along the various paths. Full details will be in the weekly email as usual.
Leader: Jenny HillDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 5 May 2019Reserve Maintenance & Pond WorkMilham Ford Nature Park
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Milham Ford Nature Park stream and ponds were created in 2008-2009 in an area that had previously been 8 tarmac tennis courts for use of the previous Milham Ford School. A stream which had been piped underground across the playing field was brought to the surface, meandered, and now feeds a complex of 4 interlinked ponds. We'll be working in the ponds under the direction of freelance ecologist Judy Webb to dredge invasive plant growth and re-establish areas of open water beloved by dragonflies. There will also be work to be done on the banks and the pond surrounds if you'd rather not wade in.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 7 May 2019Annual General MeetingTown Hall
The Annual General Meeting will be held at 8pm on Tuesday the 7th May in the Jury Room at the Town Hall (on St. Aldates). Everyone is welcome at the AGM, however often you come out on tasks, or if you just want to find out what we've been up to over the last year (you don't need to be a member). We'll have a report about the previous year, and then elect the committee for next year. The official meeting shouldn't take too long, and then we'll be heading to the Royal Blenheim pub for a drink. If anyone is interested in standing for a committee position, please email secretary@ocv.org.uk before Tuesday 30th April.
Contact: Jenny

Sunday 12 May 2019Fen Cutting & RakingHinksey Heights Fen
This is a new site for OCV. There are a number of small valleys with streams that run in parallel down onto the Thames flood plain to the south-west of Oxford. Each of them offers the potential to form a relatively rare fen habitat. Raleigh Park and the Chilswell Valley are two such places and between them lies the Hinksey Heights Fen. So today we'll aim to cut and clear a section of the reed-bed in this third valley. The aim is to create a network of contiguous habitats of the same kind. This will be our first outing of the season with our set of Austrian scythes. If you've worked with us at Lye Valley you'll know what to expect. For more information see the Oxfordshire Fens Project (https://freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/projects/oxfordshire-fens-project/).
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Volunteer to drive

Wednesday 15 May 2019Talk + Food Social - 6pmJohn Henry Brookes Building
For this social, we're heading along for a talk on "Utopia in the Anthropocene" by Nicole Pohl. The event starts at 6pm at the JHB Main Lecture Theatre, John Henry Brookes Building, Headington Campus and will last about an hour. Alternatively, if you don't want to come to the talk, you can meet us for food and drinks at The White Horse, just down the road, shortly after 7pm. As always, you don't have to be a regular volunteer to come - everyone is welcome. Please let me know in advance if you'd like to come by emailing socials@ocv.org.uk. Hope to see you there!
Contact: Anne

Sunday 19 May 2019Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We're back to one of our favourite sites this week. We'll be helping the Reserve warden maintain the nationally important calcareous grassland habitat. At this time of year we might actually begin to see some of the rare plants that our work helps to protect. We could be helping out with fence and gate repairs, or doing whatever other maintenance jobs are required on the site. As usual everyone will be welcome and full details of the project and the meeting place will be given in the weekly email. If you've ever thought about getting more involved as an OCV task leader then this would be a great one to start with - contact Phil Hunter tasks@ocv.org.uk for more info.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 26 May 2019Post & Wire Fence RemovalBurgess 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 a large site of 8.5 hectares and, like Aston's Eyot and the Trap Grounds, it lies close to the river Thames – to be precise, between the main railway line and Port Meadow. The land is owned by the City Council, and we'll be working with the newly formed Friends of Burgess Field. Last summer we took out several hundred meters of redundant post and wire fence. Today we'll take out several hundred more and, hopefully, finish the job. We'll be pulling staples, rolling barbed wire, and knocking out posts: straightforward, no-holds-barred destruction.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 2 Jun 2019Reserve MaintenanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
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The Trap Grounds is a small pocket of the countryside in the middle of urban north Oxford hard by the canal. It's managed by an enthusiastic volunteer group (The Friends of The Trap Grounds) and includes a range of habitats: woodland, ponds, reed-beds, and areas of meadow and marsh. Today's task consists of two parts, the first of which is a landscaping project. We'll be building a ridge around the back of a newly sited pond and, if the water levels are low enough, we'll be digging a trench down into the bottom of the pond. The second part (nesting birds permitting) involves a bonfire of cut willow brash, felled last winter, that has been roughly stacked nearby on the margins of another pond.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 4 Jun 2019Committee MeetingTown 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 you're very welcome to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Jenny

Friday 7 Jun 2019 -
Monday 10 Jun 2019
Peak District ResidentialPeak District National Park, Derbyshire
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We're heading to the Peak District this weekend to volunteer with wardens from the Peak District National Park Authority and the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers who look after this spectacular part of the country. We'll be staying near Grindleford in the Hope Valley. The work will be decided nearer the time, but in the past we've worked on footpaths on the fells and in the valley, restoring dew ponds, reinforcing river banks, clearing scrub, and peat restoration on the moors. The accommodation will be indoors with beds and showers, and there is a good kitchen and living area with space outside for barbecues if the weather allows. The plan is to leave Friday evening, volunteer on Saturday and Sunday, then on Monday go for a walk or do some sightseeing and return after lunch. Residential trips are great fun and open to all OCV members. If you're not a member it only costs £5 to join for the year, and we'll tell you when we start taking bookings.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 16 Jun 2019Reserve MaintenanceStansfeld Park, Oxford
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Stansfeld Park in Headington Quarry, Oxford is set within 18 acres of woodland with ponds, marshland and meadows. The undulating landscape results from quarrying for limestone in the area that was used to build many of Oxford's colleges, churches and civic buildings. When quarrying ended, a variety of habitats formed, including limestone grassland, ash and hazel woodland, dense hawthorn scrub, ponds and wetland. We'll be working for the Oxford Trust who have taken on the job of rejuvenating the site partly as a local amenity and partly an educational resource. Today's task has been arranged with Dr. Roger Baker, the Trust's Outdoor Learning and Ecology Manager, to mark the public opening of Stansfeld Park with a family-friendly set of jobs to do, including the reinforcement of the many paths with bark chippings. For more info nearer the day see the OCV weekly task email, and for more on the exciting prospects for Stansfeld Park under the management of The Oxford Trust see their website: http://theoxfordtrust.co.uk/stansfeld-education-centre/.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 23 Jun 2019Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our monthly return visit to this important National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. It's a site that includes important chalk grassland grazed by flocks of sheep. Early summer means it's likely that we'll be working to improve public access on the site by improving paths, installing hand-rails and gates, or repairing post and wire fences. Whatever the work, and whatever the weather, full details will be in the weekly email as usual. We're always looking for new task leaders (OCV depends on some volunteers being willing to lead) and an Aston Rowant task is a great opportunity to try it out under the supervision of one of the Natural England wardens, either Mick or Kate, who manage the site. Contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk for more details.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Thursday 27 Jun 2019Punting & Picnic Social - 7pmCherwell Boat House
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As is tradition, we'll be going punting on the Cherwell for this month's social. We'll meet at 7pm at the Cherwell Boat House and we'll punt up the river until we reach a suitable spot for a picnic! Email socials@ocv.org.uk if you'd like to come and don't forget to bring some food and drink to share on the day (and money for the punt hire). As always, you don't have to be a regular volunteer to join - everyone is welcome!
Contact: Anne

Sunday 30 Jun 2019Fen Cutting & RakingLye Valley, Oxford
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Lye Valley is one of three specially designated conservation sites in the 'Wild Oxford' BBOWT project (for more information see http://www.bbowt.org.uk/wildoxford). There are two fens at Lye Valley: one to the north, off the Slade; and one to the south, by the golf course. Today we'll work on the South Fen. Once again, we'll be joined by the Friends of Lye Valley, and ecologist Judy Webb, who usually manages to find, and photograph, all kinds of fascinating things (click on 'Reserves', then 'Lye Valley', then 'Photos'). It's the kind of job that needs lots of people, so come along and lend a hand. If there's been rain, you'll need wellies.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 2 Jul 2019Committee MeetingTown 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 you're very welcome to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Jenny

Sunday 7 Jul 2019Fen Cutting & RakingLye Valley, Oxford
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A second successive Sunday at Lye Valley. It used to be the case that we could rake both fens in the valley in a single day. It's a mark of the progressive improvement in the quality and extent of this relatively rare habitat that it now takes us two full days. The Friends of Lye Valley have been making constant improvements and the results are impressive – come and see for yourself. This Sunday we'll be on, and possibly in, the North Fen. As with last week, if there's been rain, you'll need wellies.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 6 Aug 2019Committee MeetingTown 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 you're very welcome to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Jenny

Tuesday 3 Sep 2019Committee MeetingTown 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 you're very welcome to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Jenny