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

Saturday 29 Jul 2017Reserve MaintenanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
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One of our occasional Saturday tasks at this special location in North Oxford sandwiched between the canal and the main railway line into Oxford. It's managed by the Friends of Trap Grounds (http://trap-grounds.org.uk/) and has been recently granted the status of Local Wildlife Site. We usually tackle a challenging list of jobs whenever we go to the Trap Grounds and, as normal, the details will be posted in the weekly task email. Make sure you're on the OCV mailing list!
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 30 Jul 2017Dry Stone Walling & Site MaintenanceRectory Farm Fields, Kidlington
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Today we'll pick up, literally, from where we left off earlier in the summer, and if today's task goes as well there's a good chance we'll finish the current section of wall. There's a surprisingly large amount of good quality stone on site, so there's plenty of material to work with. Do you have a knack for dry-stone walling? The only way to find out is to do it! There's still a significant amount of stone that needs to be dug up, sorted, and laid out for future work. We'll also take down an old post and wire fence to clear the way for some extensive hedge-laying later in the year. So even if you don't fancy the dry-stone walling there should be enough to keep you busy.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Ray Hitchins

Saturday 5 Aug 2017Tool Shed Clearout and Tool Maintenance 11amCutteslowe Tool Store
Today's plan is to clean out the tool shed: get everything out, get rid of any rubbish, sweep out the dirt that's built up, and seal up some of the holes that let the mice in. We'll also do some tool sharpening before the start of the scrub bashing season, renew some yellow paint and maybe even clean the minibus if we have enough people. There's absolutely loads to do, so the more people who can help the better. Afterwards we might go to a pub in Wolvercote for a well-earned pint and/or something to eat. Contact chair@ocv.org.uk for details if you're able to come and help out.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 6 Aug 2017Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This National Nature Reserve is an OCV favourite. It's set on the chalk slopes that mark the western boundary of the Chiltern Hills. The sheep-cropped grass that covers the chalk is an ideal wild flower habitat. Our work here in high summer usually involves either the maintenance and improvement of the means of public access or hands-on care of the sheep. We'll be working with one of the reserve wardens, which means that if you've ever thought about leading a task then this would be a good one to start with. If you're interested contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk. Full details of the day's work will be posted in the weekly email as usual.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 8 Aug 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 13 Aug 2017Reed Cutting & RakingIffley Island, Oxford
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Another OCV task for high summer: our regular cut of this SSSI by the Thames, on behalf of the Oxford Preservation Trust. Despite its name the site is not quite an island, but there are houseboats on an inlet to one side and the open river to another. We'll cut the sedge and reeds and rake the cuttings off so they won't enrich the soil. The end result is beneficial to the wild flowers on the site, and, in particular, to the fritillaries hereabouts. If the sun shines this is one of the high-lights of the OCV calendar. As last year we'll be using our set of Austrian Scythes.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Ed Polehampton

Sunday 20 Aug 2017Meadow Mowing & RakingCuxham, South Odfordshire
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A new site for OCV. The residents of Cuxham want to establish a new wild flower meadow in their village. So today we'll help out by cutting the meadow and raking clear the mown swaths. It's a good size, but mainly level ground and with grasses rather than reeds and sedge (unlike Iffley island), so today's task is likely to be a lot closer to the genuine experience of traditional scythe mowing.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Volunteer to drive

Saturday 26 Aug 2017Platform Construction IRivermead Nature Park
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You might not expect to find a nature park hard by Rose Hill housing estate, bordered by the Southern Bypass and the River Thames - but here it is. Back in June we built a boardwalk on site and this weekend we'll return to do some more construction work. The plan has two elements. The first is to install a rectangular dipping platform on the edge of the pond. The second is to extend an existing platform so as to fit a shallow ramp that will enable wheel-chair access. We'll be working on behalf of the Council and in cooperation with BBOWT's Wild Oxford project (see http://www.bbowt.org.uk/wildoxford for more details).
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 27 Aug 2017Platform Construction IIRivermead Nature Park
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Today we'll finish what we started yesterday! If you worked on the boardwalk in June, or on our other recent construction jobs in Lye Valley, you'll be familiar with the materials we'll be using: recycled plastic rather than treated timber. It can be tough on saws and drills but should last until kingdom come. The platform extension and ramp is all on dry land, but the dipping platform will involve some work in the pond itself so we'll provide thigh and chest waders.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 3 Sep 2017Grass RakingSt Mary's Fields, Kidlington, Oxfordshire
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As last summer, we'll be working with the determined group of volunteers who maintain this popular conservation area owned by the local parish council and situated between St. Mary's Church and the river Cherwell. The job is to rake off the mown material from the yearly grass-cut. This is important to keep the fertility of the soil low and so encourage the rarer plants and wildflowers. It will be hard, but straightforward work and important for biodiversity. It's a big site, and a big task, but if last year is anything to go by the provision of generous, high quality, home-made cake rations will help.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 10 Sep 2017Reed & Bramble CuttingSimon's Land, Sandford on Thames, Oxford
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This secluded half acre of gently sloping reed-bed leads down to the Thames to the North of Sandford. The river bank was once the mooring site of the former Magdalen College Barge. In March 2007 the land was donated to the Oxford Preservation Trust by Mr and Mrs Simons of Boars Hill. This will be our second visit of the summer. We'll knock back any re-growth in the reed bed and, after grazing on blackberries, tackle the large bramble patch that borders the upstream side of the site. As before, we'll be working on behalf of the Oxford Preservation Trust. It'll be wet underfoot so bring wellies!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 17 Sep 2017Site MaintenanceStansfeld Park, Oxford
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The Oxford Trust are pressing on with the rejuvenation of Stansfeld and it's likely that today we'll be mowing and raking the grassland areas of the site and cutting back extensive areas of scrub. There's a good chance that today will see the first bonfire of the season - a significant moment in the OCV calendar.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Saturday 23 Sep 2017Reserve MaintenanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
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Another Saturday at this special location in North Oxford managed by the Friends of Trap Grounds (http://trap-grounds.org.uk/). Recently granted the status of Local Wildlife Site. We usually tackle a challenging list of jobs whenever we go to the Trap Grounds and, as normal, the details will be posted in the weekly task email. Make sure you're on the OCV mailing list!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 24 Sep 2017Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our late Summer visit to our most regular work site: a National Nature Reserve on the Chiltern escarpment just above the Ridgeway footpath. On a clear day there are extensive views across Aylesbury Vale past, and sometimes over, the Red Kites that cruise the updrafts. Whatever the task, we'll be working with one of the highly-knowledgeable wardens from Natural England. Exact details of the work involved for today's visit will be announced nearer the time via the OCV email list.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive