Task Programme

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Tuesday 2 Jan 2018Committee meeting 8pm - CANCELLEDTown 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. **MEETING CANCELLED THIS MONTH**
Contact: Ed

Sunday 7 Jan 2018Woodland ManagementMatthew Arnold Field, Oxford
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Matthew Arnold Field in Boars Hill is a mixed woodland and grassland site, named after the poet, cultural critic and influential schools' inspector Matthew Arnold. Today we'll be working for the Oxford Preservation Trust, who now manage the site. At the end of last year a significant amount of hanging and accidentally fallen timber in the main woodland area was made safe. Today we'll move in to finish the job by hauling out large boughs, cutting down brash, creating log-pile habitats, and restoring the paths. Note that we'll be working in some of the woodland ponds and wetland areas, so bring wellingtons!
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Dan Moden

Saturday 13 Jan 2018Ragwort PullingManor Stables, North Hinksey, Oxford
We've pulled ragwort before, but never in the dead of winter! Today's Saturday task is by special arrangement with the Ferry Hinksey Trust. The Trust owns the land at Manor Stables and can raise income for other charities by letting them out for grazing. They have a prospective tenant, but there's a problem - a significant amount of standing dead ragwort, which, if eaten, is poisonous to horses. Which is where we come in. If we can pull the ragwort then everyone benefits. Many hands really will make this light work.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Dan Moden

Sunday 14 Jan 2018Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We've had a little trouble with the general email list this week. If you haven't had the email from Tim, we'll be scrub bashing. Meet at the Natural England site office roundabout 10 a.m. Our first visit of the year to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns which commands extensive views across the Oxford plain. Tasks at this time of year usually involve coppicing woodland, or tackling the hawthorn, bramble and scrub that encroach on the chalk grassland slopes. Make sure you're on the OCV mailing list for detailed information nearer the day. 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 . At Aston Rowant we always work under the guidance of one of the Reserve wardens, so today would be a great opportunity to try it out.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Tim Howard

Friday 19 Jan 2018 -
Sunday 21 Jan 2018
Reserve ResidentialMoccas Park NNR, Herefordshire
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Another of our occasional weekend trips away from Oxford. As last winter, we'll be travelling out west again to work on a new woodland plantation with Bob Silverwood, an old friend of OCV from his time at Aston Rowant. We'll be working with him to plant trees at Moccas Hill Wood, a wood pasture restoration site adjacent to Moccas Park National Nature Reserve. All of the trees have been grown in an on site tree nursery from seeds collected from the ancient trees in the deer park. We will also be building protective guards around each tree, some simple with posts and weld mesh, others more grand and decorative with oak and chestnut to mimic the Mediaeval style fencing around the deer park. We'll drive out on Friday evening, work Saturday and Sunday, then drive back to Oxford on Sunday evening. The plan at the time of writing is to arrange two nights' accommodation in Hay-on-Wye (details to follow). Residentials are open to all OCV members, so contact membership@ocv.org.uk to make sure you are a member, save the date, and we'll let you know when we start accepting bookings.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Ed PolehamptonBook

Sunday 28 Jan 2018Site MaintenanceJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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Jubilee Fields were purchased from the Duke of Marlborough by the Wootton Conservation Trust in 2003 to mark the Queen's jubilee. It's a lovely site at any time of year lying between the rivers Glyme and Dorn, and, as usual, there are likely to be several parts to today's task, including, at the time of writing some fencing repairs. Keep an eye out for the task email posted via the general email list sometime in the week preceding.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Chris Skepper

Thursday 1 Feb 2018Curry Social 7pmMajliss Indian Restaurant
Join us for some excellent Indian food at this highly recommended restaurant on Cowley Road. You don't have to be a regular volunteer to come along, everyone is welcome, and it's a great way of finding out about OCV or getting more involved. Email chair@ocv.org.uk if you'd like to come, so we book a table for the right number of people. Afterwards we'll probably go for a drink or two at a nearby pub, probably at The Star or The Cape of Good Hope, so feel free to catch up with us there if you prefer.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 4 Feb 2018Willow PollardingAston's Eyot, Oxford
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Aston's Eyot is a large 30 acre site, literally speaking an island (hence 'Eyot') bordered by the Thames, Cherwell New Cut and Shire Lake Ditch, just downstream from Christ Church Meadow. The land is owned by Christ Church College and is managed by an enthusiastic Friends group with some help from the Oxford City Council. We'll be working for, and with, the Friends to pollard willows on the bank of the Shire Lake Ditch, south of the Kidney's entrance (see the Friend's Path Map via the link on our Reserves Page).
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 6 Feb 2018Committee 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 11 Feb 2018Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This week 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 huge numbers of red kites, this National Nature Reserve is owned and managed by Natural England. We'll be helping the wardens who manage the Reserve on whatever winter jobs they have in hand, whether it be scrub clearance, coppicing, or a little winter sheep work. Whichever, the work will be described in the weekly email, so now's a good time to check you're on our mailing list. We're always looking for volunteers to lead tasks. If you'd like to help out, then this would be a good one to start with. If you're interested contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 18 Feb 2018Pond WorkStansfeld Park, Oxford
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On this visit to Stansfeld we'll be working to re-establish two lined ponds to the northwest of what was the recreation field - not, notice, the large ponds on the other side of the field in the woods. The plan is to create a newt habitat. The old liners will need to be removed before we can do some pond-scaping. Then we'll lay down the new liners. We'll be working with Dr. Roger Baker (The Oxford Trust's Educational Support Officer) who is organizing the conservation work on site prior to its re-dedication as a combined innovation and science education centre.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 25 Feb 2018Scrub BashingSwyncombe Estate, South Oxfordshire
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Swyncombe Estate consists of over 600 acres of high, mature beech woodland and chalk grassland in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding National Beauty. Today we'll be cutting scrub on Sliding Hill, the western extension of Swyncombe Down, just south of the village of Watlington. This will help maintain the unimproved chalk grassland and hence the wild flower species special to the Chiltern hills. It's an exposed location. On a clear day there are extensive 180 degree views over the surrounding landscape, and on a windy day in winter, despite a bonfire, it can be bitterly cold - so wrap up warm!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 4 Mar 2018Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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An early Spring visit to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns, owned and managed by Natural England. You'll recognise the landscape if you've ever travelled towards London on the M40. Indeed, you'll see up close the chalk geology that determines the character of the reserve and its fauna and flora as you drive through the immense cutting in the hillside. Today we'll be helping the wardens care for the grassland, or the woods and paths that sit on top of the chalk. As usual, everyone's welcome! This is a big site so watch out for the weekly email for precise details as to the location of today's task. 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

Tuesday 6 Mar 2018Committee 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

Saturday 10 Mar 2018Reserve 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, Saturday, the first of two consecutive days work here, we'll team up with Outdoor Lads - the gay outdoor pursuits group. We always have plenty to do at the Trap Grounds and this weekend will be no different. You can expect to be tree-planting, bramble-digging, pond-wading, even landscaping. The details will be circulated nearer the day, so make sure you're on the OCV mailing list!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 11 Mar 2018Reserve MaintenanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
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The second of two days at The Trap Grounds. Today, Sunday, we'll be joined by a working party made up of the Friends themselves. We'll push on with any work still in hand from yesterday. This will be the final opportunity to effect serious change in the woodland areas before the nesting season begins. For more information on the site, including a diary of sightings, see the Friends website via the link on our Trap Grounds Reserve Page.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 18 Mar 2018Hedge Laying / Dry Stone WallingRectory Farm Fields, Kidlington
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The plan today is to do some more work on the hedge-line at Rectory Farm Fields. We were last here at the very end of 2017 and today we'll look to lay, stake and bind some more sections of hedge. That said, it's late in the season for this kind of work and if we have an early spring the plan is to switch to the repair of the dry-stone walls on site. So to find out if it's to be hedging or walling look out for the task email which will be circulated via the OCV mailing list sometime in the week preceding the task!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 25 Mar 2018Site 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. Note that British Summer Time began last night!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 3 Apr 2018Committee 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