Task Programme

Gallery pictureGallery pictureGallery pictureGallery pictureGallery picture

UpcomingRecent2020201920182017201620152014Older

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 4 Oct 2020Fen Cutting and RakingLouie Memorial Fields, North Hinksey, Oxford
Gallery picture
The fen alongside the Louie Memorial Fields has similar geology to the fens nearby at North Hinksey and Raleigh Park. All three are fed by natural springs and all three have great potential as relatively rare wildflower and wildlife habitats. Today we'll be working for the local parish council to carry out as much as we can of the autumnal cut of the fen itself. The undergrowth is, in many places, more like overgrowth with a head high, more or less dense mixture of vegeatation that needs to be cut and removed. So make sure you can cover up your arms and legs, and wellies might be uselful. We'll be using slashers, grass hooks, and scythes to make a start on work which is already overdue. If you come along to today's task you'll get some idea of what Lye Valley used to look like before the remedial conservation work began there.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Tom Bulford

Tuesday 6 Oct 2020Committee meetingTown Hall
Gallery picture
The committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. Normally meetings are held in the town hall but for the time being these have been moved online. You don't need to be a committee member to join us, please email secretary@ocv.org.uk for details of how to join the call.
Contact: Jenny

Sunday 11 Oct 2020Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
Gallery picture
The beech woodland of the Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve always looks magnificent from October to the onset of winter. At the time of writing, as part of our anti-Covid measures, we're not yet using the OCV minibus to transport volunteers so, as in September, you may have to make your own way to the site. The dedicated task email will give precise instructions as to where we'll be working. This month's visit will most likely see us 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 -- so make sure you're on the list!
Leader: Dan ModenDriver: Tom Bulford

Sunday 18 Oct 2020Fen Raking I (South Fen)Lye Valley, Oxford
Gallery picture
Today is the first of two days work in Lye Valley, Headington. The early autumn cut of the both fens in the valley, the north fen and the south fen, is the major cut of the year, usually done by machine. The raking is done by hand, and that's where we come in. The aim is to keep the fertility of the soil low by removing as much of the cut material as possible. Any number of volunteers stomping up and down the fen at this time of year also mimick some of the desired effects of livestock grazing. The balance in favour of the wild flowers on this relatively rare habitat is now well established, but will need regular maintenance to keep it that way. There's usually work to do to keep the scrub on the boundaries of the fen in check, and, if there are enough of us, we'll pollard a couple of willows on the eastern edge of the fen. Ecologist and Lye Valley expert Judy Webb will be with us. (See a selection of her photographs taken on site in the photo gallery.) We'll be working on the south fen today (that's the fen with no public access by the golf course) but check the weekly email for confirmation. Make sure you're on the OCV mailing list! Wellies recommended even if there's been no rain.
Leader: Tom HeathDriver: Phil Hunter

Sunday 25 Oct 2020Fen Raking II (North Fen)Lye Valley, Oxford
Gallery picture
Day two in Lye Valley. Today we'll be working on the larger north fen with public access from the Slade. As well as the raking it's likely that we'll be working to control the flow of the central water course that runs through the valley by using the natural materials to hand. OCV have been involved with the Lye Valley Nature Reserve for many years, and we're now involved as part of the BBOWT Wild Oxford Project (see bbowt.org.uk for details). 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. By the way, British Summer time ended last night!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 3 Nov 2020Committee meetingTown Hall
Gallery picture
The committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. Normally meetings are held in the town hall but for the time being these have been moved online. You don't need to be a committee member to join us, please email secretary@ocv.org.uk for details of how to join the call.
Contact: Jenny

Tuesday 1 Dec 2020Committee meetingTown Hall
Gallery picture
The committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. Normally meetings are held in the town hall but for the time being these have been moved online. You don't need to be a committee member to join us, please email secretary@ocv.org.uk for details of how to join the call.
Contact: Jenny