Task Programme

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Sunday 5 Jan 2003CoppicingFinemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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An ancient woodland originally part of the Great Forest of Bernwood, Finemere Wood is not too far from Bicester. The wood is apparently exceptional for butterflies and has all three species of British woodpecker. The OCV will be coppicing to encourage regeneration of the under-storey and ground flora.
Leader: Kate RaviliousDriver: Jamie Wood

Sunday 12 Jan 2003Step buildingShotover Country Park, Oxford
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We shall be working at Shotover Country Park to the east of Oxford, which hosts small pockets of heathland interspersed with deciduous woodland. We shall be building steps to improve public access.
Leader: MC Driver: Loz

Sunday 26 Jan 2003CoppicingJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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Beyond Blenheim and the crowds, just north of the picturesque town centre are the old watermeadows. Today they are managed for wildlife. We shall be coppicing and tree planting.
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Mark Spencer

Sunday 2 Feb 2003CoppicingFoxholes, West Oxfordshire
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Foxholes is an extensive woodland reserve in the Cotswolds, managed by the Local Wildlife Trust. The traditional craft of charcoal burning is practised, for which part of the wood is coppiced to provide fuel. We shall be helping with the coppicing and logging.
Leader: Steve HomesDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 9 Feb 2003Step buildingShotover Country Park, Oxford
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Back to Shotover to complete the steps that we started last time. If you are considering coming directly to the site, please check with us.
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Sunday 16 Feb 2003Scrub cuttingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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A return to the reserve set on the Chiltern Hills. We will be removing invasive scrub and bramble.
Leader: MC Driver: Loz

Sunday 30 Mar 2003Scrub cuttingCalvert Jubilee, Calvert, Buckinghamshire
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A return to the Buckinghamshire site, this time for the traditional winter social task of scrub clearance. You can chat to your friends while maintaining a impression of enthusiastic chopping!
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Mark Spencer

Sunday 6 Apr 2003Scrub cuttingChilswell Valley, Oxford
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Carrying on the sterling work of clearing the grassland slope of invading scrub. Lovely site hidden away off the A34 but you feel like you're in the middle of the countryside.
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Steve Homes

Tuesday 8 Apr 2003Aunt SallyFox and Hounds
The soft tupp of wood and taste of hopps.
Contact: Mark

Sunday 13 Apr 2003FencingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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A return to this popular site in the Chilterns where we will be constructing rabbit proof fencing around Juniper exclosures to protect the rare evergreen.
Leader: Ruth DaltonDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Tuesday 15 Apr 2003Bluebell WalkRadley Woods, Radley, Oxfordshire
A walk round the woods in Radley
Contact: Kate

Sunday 4 May 2003Scrub cuttingPilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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This should be a good time of year to visit the BBOWT site in Bucks. The cowslips should be in flower on the ridge and furrow, there are usually a sighting or two of orchids along with the flora of the marshy areas. The work will be removal of small scrub allowing for plenty of opportunity to wander around the fields!
Leader: Kate RaviliousDriver: Charlotte Vinnicombe

Sunday 11 May 2003FencingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Continuing the work started on 13th April, another chance to fine tune your fencing skills and not a rapier in sight.
Leader: David Driver: Ailsa

Sunday 25 May 2003 Maintaining heather bedsShotover Country Park, Oxford
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We will be working in a small area of the locally rare habitat of heathland from which you have fine views across Oxford. You can either meet at the usual pick up points or, if you're feeling masochistic (?), cycle up Shotover hill to the car park at Shotover Plain.
Leader: Liz KirbyDriver: Anthony Kirby

Sunday 1 Jun 2003Gate constructionFinemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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If this is not a first for the OCV then it certainly hasn't been done for a fair few years. It's not compulsory to bring a partner for construction of the kissing gate, but perhaps it might be nice?
Leader: Kate RaviliousDriver: Jamie Wood

Sunday 8 Jun 2003Scrub cuttingHolywell Cemetery, Oxford
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A return to this Urban site located in Longwall Street. A chance to wander round (during tea - break of course!) to see if you can spot anyone famous. We will be clearing scrub and generally making the area more accessible to both people and wildlife.
Leader: Charlotte VinnicombeDriver: Paul Brears

Sunday 15 Jun 2003Footpath workAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Back to the site in the Chilterns where Red Kites regularly put in an appearance to watch us eating our lunch. It's very rare that we see less than 4 of these magnificent birds. We will be clearing a footpath to allow better access to part of the reserve to improve peoples enjoyment of the habitats there.
Leader: Ruth DaltonDriver: Loz

Sunday 22 Jun 2003Footpath workShotover Country Park, Oxford
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We will be working in a different part of the reserve this week, the task again aiming to improve access to a reserve for the public. This work differs from last week in that we will also be constructing a footpath as well as maintaining those already established
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 1 Jul 2003pub visitA pub
A pub visit meeting in the Hobgoblin at 8pm
Contact: Paul

Sunday 6 Jul 2003ragwort pullingPort Meadow, Oxford
If we can find any ragwort in flower we will be helping to clear this bright yellow, invasive daisy from Port Meadow. Later in the day we will be repairing a footpath at Burgess Fields.
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Charlotte Vinnicombe

Tuesday 8 Jul 2003meetingBorders
Get involved, and help with running the group! We meet at Borders at 8pm (usually downstairs) to organise forthcoming tasks and socials. Afterwards we usually find the energy to visit a nearby pub.
Contact: Steve

Wednesday 9 Jul 2003scrub cuttingCumbria
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cutting sea buckthorn by the coast and a days walking in the lakes
Leader: Loz Driver: MC

Tuesday 15 Jul 2003puntingCherwell Boat House
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Meet at Cherwell Boathouse at 7.30
Contact: Jamie

Sunday 20 Jul 2003moving sheepAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We will be helping the warden move the sheep to a differnt part of the site.
Leader: Liz KirbyDriver: Anthony Kirby

Tuesday 22 Jul 2003meetingBorders
Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry
Contact: Steve

Sunday 27 Jul 2003coppicingBrasenose Wood, Oxford
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Come and demonstrate your skills in the ancient art of coppicing, or if you have never tried it before come and learn! Today is going to be a Working Woodland Day with a coppicing demonstration. Coppicing is a traditional method of woodland management which involves cutting down different areas of the understorey in rotation. The resulting diversity of different aged areas supports a diverse flora and fauna.
Leader: Kate RaviliousDriver: Jamie Wood

Tuesday 29 Jul 2003theatreA pub
Wadham College Gardens, 7:30 pm. The production is by Oxford Shakespeare Company (who used to be known as Bold and Saucy) - based on their past performances, this should be one of the best productions on this summer.
Contact: Liz

Sunday 3 Aug 2003scrub clearanceIffley Island, Oxford
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A bit of scrub clearance and a chance to do some pollarding on the Willow trees.
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Ailsa

Tuesday 5 Aug 2003meetingBorders
Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry
Contact: Steve

Sunday 10 Aug 2003ragwort pullingPort Meadow, Oxford
If there is any there we will pull it up. This task may change nearer the time
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 12 Aug 2003roundersA pub
We will be playing the annual (very informal) game of rounders on The Angel & Greyhound Meadow. No previous experience necessary! Meet at entrance 7:30pm; later we will very likely be at The Angel and Greyhound pub.
Contact: Liz

Tuesday 19 Aug 2003meetingBorders
Get involved, and help with running the group! We meet at Borders at 8pm (usually downstairs) to organise forthcoming tasks and socials. Afterwards we usually find the energy to visit a nearby pub.
Contact: Steve

Tuesday 26 Aug 2003Italian meal at Gino'sA pub
Please contact Liz in advance to book your seat at the table. Despite its setting at Gloucester Green (by the bus station) Gino's is one of the most authentic Italian restaurants in Oxford. 8pm.
Contact: Liz

Sunday 31 Aug 2003fencing or footpath workAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Back to the Chilterns and another chance to see some Red Kites. The task will probably be fencing or footpath work, but will be confirmed nearer the time.
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 2 Sep 2003meetingBorders
Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry
Contact: Steve

Sunday 7 Sep 2003bridge buildingChilswell Valley, Oxford
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Today we will be constructing a bridge to go over some of the reed beds in this peaceful, hidden valley.
Leader: Anthony KirbyDriver: Liz Kirby

Tuesday 9 Sep 2003an acoustic nightA pub
For this week’s OCV social we are going to see an acoustic band called “The Chancers”. The venue is the Port Mahon pub on St Clements, cost £3, gig starts 8.30pm. I suggest we meet from 8pm in the Port Mahon.
Contact: Liz

Sunday 14 Sep 2003coppicingBrasenose Wood, Oxford
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In a change to the original program we will now be coppicing in Brasenose wood.
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Tuesday 16 Sep 2003meetingBorders
Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry
Contact: Steve

Sunday 21 Sep 2003fencing or footpath workAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Back to the Chilterns and another chance to see some Red Kites. The task will probably be fencing or footpath work, but will be confirmed nearer the time.
Leader: Kate RaviliousDriver: Jamie Wood

Tuesday 23 Sep 2003Meet the brewer talk and quiz.A pub
We will be meeting in Far From the Madding Crowd, Friars Entry. This is a fine pub next to Borders in the city centre. There will be a talk from Adnams Brewery followed by a quiz. We shall be meeting in the pub at 8pm.
Contact: Paul

Sunday 28 Sep 2003making charcoalFoxholes, West Oxfordshire
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Have you ever wondered how charcoal is made? Well now is your chance to find out! We will be log splitting, stacking the charcoal kiln and cutting back the bracken at this lovely woodland site in the Cotswolds.
Leader: Loz Driver: MC

Tuesday 30 Sep 2003meetingBorders
Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry
Contact: Steve

Sunday 5 Oct 2003constuction workCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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A return to this lovely site with fine views of the rolling Cotswold hills. This time we will be constructing a handrail for a footpath and a footrest for a bench, plus a bit of scrub bashing if time permits!
Leader: Anthony KirbyDriver: Liz Kirby

Monday 6 Oct 2003Poetry Slam A pub
We are going to watch a friend of MCs perform some comic poetry at Poetry Slam in the Brickworks on the Cowley Rd. She is a very good comic poet - just returned from the Edinburgh fringe. <br /> The Brickworks is 182 Cowley Rd and serves a range of interesting Belgium beer. Contact MC in advance to arrange tickets.
Contact: MC

Sunday 12 Oct 2003reed clearanceBoundary Brook, Oxford
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Time to get out your wellies, or slip on some waders! (OCV has a few pairs available to borrow.) We will be clearing some reeds from the pond and helping to construct a boardwalk.
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Charlotte Vinnicombe

Tuesday 14 Oct 2003MeetingBorders
Get involved, and help with running the group! We meet at Borders at 8pm (usually downstairs) to organise forthcoming tasks and socials. Afterwards we usually find the energy to visit a nearby pub.
Contact: Liz

Sunday 19 Oct 2003raking grassLye Valley, Oxford
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Another of our urban sites, Lye Valley is a green corridor stretching from Headington to East Oxford. Today we will be raking up cut grass from the fen and doing a little bit of footpath clearance
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Paul Brears

Tuesday 21 Oct 2003Skittles at the Isis TavernA pub
Your chance to win \"Gloria\" - the OCV skittles trophy (but no previous experience necessary!). The Isis Tavern is on the Thames towpath, between Iffley Lock and Donnington Bridge. Please let me know by 14th October if you wish to come, as I need to book the skittle alley. There will be a charge for the skittle alley
Contact: Liz

Saturday 25 Oct 2003dry stone wallingWorth Matravers, Swanage
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If you enjoy jigsaw puzzles then this dry stone walling weekend is for you! We will be staying in Worth Matravers village hall and spending the weekend helping to repair a dry stone wall and enjoying the splendid views along the Purbeck coast. On Saturday night there will be ample time to sample the real ales in the local pub! For further details and bookings (by 17th October) contact Kate and Jamie (557418).
Leader: Kate RaviliousDriver: Jamie Wood

Tuesday 28 Oct 2003MeetingBorders
Get involved, and help with running the group! We meet at Borders at 8pm (usually downstairs) to organise forthcoming tasks and socials. Afterwards we usually find the energy to visit a nearby pub
Contact: Liz

Sunday 2 Nov 2003hedgelayingPilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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We will be doing some hedgelaying around the edge of this ancient pasture site in the Buckinghamshire countryside. If you haven’t tried hedgelaying before then this is a good place to come and have a go.
Leader: Jamie WoodDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 4 Nov 2003a BonfireA pub
The social on Tuesday will be a bonfire party, kindly hosted by John. It\'ll start at 8pm, please bring drinks and snacks. Firewood will be provided!
Contact: Liz

Sunday 9 Nov 2003raking scrubShotover Country Park, Oxford
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This time we will be going to the wetlands area of Shotover Country Park and helping to raking up scrub. There may also be some footpath clearance work to be done.
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 11 Nov 2003a meetingBorders
Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry
Contact: Steve

Sunday 16 Nov 2003scrub bashingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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A traditional OCV autumn task at this lovely site in the Chiltern hills. Today we will be scrub bashing and keeping warm around the bonfire!
Leader: MC Driver: Loz

Tuesday 18 Nov 2003Allegri String Quartet A pub
8pm at the Holywell Music Room. Tickets £10. Please let me know in advance if you wish to come.
Contact: Liz

Sunday 23 Nov 2003constructing a footpathShotover Country Park, Oxford
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A return visit to this interesting country park. This time we will be constructing a new footpath.
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 30 Nov 2003widening a rideFinemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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Today we will be cutting down trees to widen a grassy ride in this ancient woodland. This will help to increase wildlife diversity in the woodland and encourage butterflies and wild flowers such as orchids.
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Steve Homes

Tuesday 2 Dec 2003a cinema tripPhoenix Cinema
Likely to be at the Phoenix. Film to be decided nearer the time.
Contact: Liz

Sunday 7 Dec 2003hedgelayingGrays Lane Bank, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
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This will be OCV’s first visit to this lovely peaceful site in the Chiltern Hills. It is a site of special scientific importance (SSSI) and is home to many rare species of plants and insects. We will be removing hawthorn from the chalk grasslands and laying a hedge.
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Charlotte Vinnicombe

Tuesday 9 Dec 2003a meetingBorders
Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry
Contact: Steve

Sunday 14 Dec 2003hedgelayingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Forget the stresses of Christmas shopping and come and relax at OCV’s special Christmas task! You can try your hand at hedgelaying, or do some scrub bashing to keep the bonfire going. We plan to have a festive feast so please bring along some food to share (chocolates, chestnuts, mince pies etc.).
Leader: Loz Driver: MC

Tuesday 16 Dec 2003mulled wine and mince piesA pub
From 8pm at Kate and Jamies house. Please bring either some wine to mull, or mince pies to share.
Contact: Kate

Saturday 20 Dec 2003the Christmas DinnerA pub
The annual OCV feast! Saturday 20th Dec, 7.30 pm, at Liz and Anthony\'s house (Home Close, Wolvercote). We need to know numbers in advance, and need volunteers to help with food buying and preparation. There will be a charge to cover the cost of the food. Please let Liz know by 9th December if you would like to attend.
Contact: Anthony

Sunday 4 Jan 2004hedgelaying and plantingBoundary Brook, Oxford
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Come and work off some of the Christmas and New Year excesses by doing a spot of hedgelaying, hedge planting and path maintenance! We will be helping to lay a hedge that OCV planted over 10 years ago.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Tuesday 6 Jan 2004a meetingBorders
Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry
Contact: Steve

Sunday 11 Jan 2004building a footbridgeCalvert Jubilee, Calvert, Buckinghamshire
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If the weather permits we will be replacing a rotting footbridge today (otherwise it will be hedgelaying).
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Paul Brears

Tuesday 13 Jan 2004pub quizA pub
This Tuesday’s social is a pub quiz in the Prince of Wales in Iffley. The Prince of Wales is in Iffley on Church Way and is one of my favourite pubs in Oxford (and also my local.) The quiz is an entertaining one, the land lord doesn’t take it too seriously, and normally starts about 9. The last time the OCV took part, we were in a playoff for the money; can we do better this year? We intend to be there from 8pm to get a good table.
Contact: Paul

Sunday 18 Jan 2004scrub clearanceHolywell Cemetery, Oxford
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Come and spot some famous names while peeling back the ivy from tomb stones and clearing the scrup in this ancient cemetery.
Leader: Anthony KirbyDriver: Charlotte Vinnicombe

Tuesday 20 Jan 2004meetingBorders
Meeting followed by a pint (or three) in Far from the Madding Crowd
Contact: Steve

Sunday 25 Jan 2004Pond clearanceMarsh Baldon, Oxfordshire
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The village pond is in desperate need of reed clearance. Come and don some waders (we have some to borrow) and help provide the local ducks with a home again.
Leader: Kate RaviliousDriver: Jamie Wood

Tuesday 27 Jan 2004poker nightA pub
This is the second of the now traditional OCV Poker Nights. There will be NO MONEY involved, we will merely split some chips between us at the beginning of the night and the winner will be the one with the most by the end. We&#x2019;ll probably play &#x201c;Dealer&#x2019;s Choice&#x201d;. Basically there are innumerate variations to make people end up with 5 cards, we&#x2019;ll introduce them as we go.<br /> Hope to see you there; Harcourt Arms, Tuesday, 8pm.
Contact: Jamie

Sunday 1 Feb 2004HedgelayingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Hedgelaying at one of our favourite sites in the Chilterns.
Leader: MC Driver: Loz

Tuesday 3 Feb 2004Extrodinary General MeetingBorders
8pm in Borders - a meeting to change some of the constitution and elect some new members to the committee. If you are interested in becoming more involved in the group and would like to know what some of the committee positions entail then please contact Steve (OCV Chair). As usual we will be going for a drink in \'Far from the Madding Crowd\' afterwards (around 9pm onwards). All welcome.
Contact: Steve

Sunday 8 Feb 2004hedge plantingColdharbour Farm, North Aston, Oxfordshire
Today we will be planting a hedge at this organic farm in the rolling Cotswold countryside.
Leader: Kate RaviliousDriver: Jamie Wood

Tuesday 10 Feb 2004Film nightPhoenix Cinema
A trip to the Phoenix Cinema. Contact Kate for details closer to the time (tel. 557418).
Contact: Kate

Sunday 15 Feb 2004CoppicingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Come and learn how to coppice woodland, or help to put in some visitor management posts. Red Kite sightings guaranteed!
Leader: Steve HomesDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 17 Feb 2004OCV MeetingA pub
A new venue for our meetings - The Gardeners Arms on Plantation Road @ 8pm. Conveniently located for drinks after the meeting! All welcome.
Contact: Kate

Sunday 22 Feb 2004hedgelayingCalvert Jubilee, Calvert, Buckinghamshire
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Come and help to lay an unconventional hedge at Calvert Jubilee!
Leader: Loz Driver: MC

Tuesday 24 Feb 2004Pancake nightA pub
Come and eat lots of pancakes at Kate & Jamie\'s (8pm @ 22 Canal Street, Jericho). Contact us in advance (557418) if you would like to come so that we know how much batter to make!
Contact: Kate

Sunday 29 Feb 2004scrub bashingShotover Country Park, Oxford
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Helping to prevent the brambles and hawthorn from taking over on Shotover heathland – phase 1.
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 2 Mar 2004OCV meetingA pub
8pm @ The Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road. All welcome.
Contact: Kate

Sunday 7 Mar 2004pond clearanceWestern Turville Reservoir, World's End, Buckinghamshire
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Another chance to get your wellies on and help to clear the reeds from a pond. (OCV has some wellies and waders to lend out if you don’t have your own.)
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Charlotte Vinnicombe

Tuesday 9 Mar 2004Laser QuestA pub
Your chance to wear a vibrating plastic bib! Contact Jamie if you would like to come (557418).
Contact: Jamie

Sunday 14 Mar 2004Hedgelaying Resi (2 days)Pilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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Come and learn or improve your skills in the art of hedgelaying. We hope to hedge a significant length in our two-day resi at this ancient pasture site in the Buckinghamshire countryside. Accommodation will be in a local village hall (sleeping bag and mat required). To reserve a place ring Jerome on 768 578 by 5th March.
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Kate Ravilious

Tuesday 16 Mar 2004OCV meetingA pub
8pm @ The Gardener\'s ARms, Plantation Road. All welcome.
Contact: Kate

Sunday 21 Mar 2004scrub clearingShotover Country Park, Oxford
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Helping to prevent the brambles and hawthorn from taking over on Shotover heathland – phase 2!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 23 Mar 2004Thai mealA pub
A visit to the Oxford Thai on Cowley Road - the best Thai in Oxford, we think! Contact Jamie to reserve your place (557418).
Contact: Jamie

Sunday 28 Mar 2004footpath workAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Helping to create some resting places along a disabled footpath.
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Paul Brears

Tuesday 30 Mar 2004OCV meetingA pub
8pm @ The Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road. All welcome.
Contact: Kate

Sunday 4 Apr 2004FencingRaleigh Park, Oxford
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The fence around the boundary of Raleigh Park is getting wobbly and needs repairing. Come and ensure that the cattle can continue to graze safely by helping to remove the old fence and constructing a new one.
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Steve Homes

Tuesday 6 Apr 2004a cinema tripPhoenix Cinema
Film night at the Pheonix; Monster or Zatoichi. Meet at the Radcliffe Arms 7.30 or in the bar of the Phoenix at 8.30
Contact: Jane

Sunday 11 Apr 2004having a lie in!home
Easter Sunday - no task
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 18 Apr 2004FencingRaleigh Park, Oxford
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Continue finishing off the fencing work that we started two weeks ago.
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Jane Fisher

Tuesday 20 Apr 2004Spring blue-bell walkA pub
Meet at 6.20pm, St Aldates at bus stand H2. Please phone Jane for more details.
Contact: Jane

Sunday 25 Apr 2004constructing a noticeboardCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Constructing and installing an information board and helping to create a new footpath.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Sharon Williams

Tuesday 27 Apr 2004a meetingA pub
OCV meeting* followed by sociable pint
Contact: Steve

Sunday 2 May 2004constructing a bundBoundary Brook, Oxford
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Come and find out what a ‘bund’ is by helping to construct one today!
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Charlotte Vinnicombe

Tuesday 4 May 2004tool sharpeningThe Tool Store
Tool Sharpening followed by a pint at a secret location! Contact Martin for further details.
Contact: Martin

Thursday 6 May 2004badger watchingA pub
Badger counting for the Oxford Univeristy Wildlife Research Unit. Meet at 6pm at the main car park at Wytham Woods. Bring warm clothes to keep warm when sitting still and to keep biting insects off! Finishes around 9.15pm.
Contact: Jane

Sunday 9 May 2004counting orchidsPilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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Today we will be doing a variety of tasks including helping with an orchid count, removing some of the hawthorn that invades the meadow and cutting up some of the fallen trees.
Leader: MC Driver: Loz

Tuesday 11 May 2004MeetingA pub
OCV meeting followed by sociable pint.
Contact: Jane

Sunday 16 May 2004a mysteryAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Task not known at the time of going to press, but a good day out in the Chiltern Hills is guaranteed!
Leader: Steve HomesDriver: Martin Crane

Tuesday 18 May 2004Chinese mealA pub
Chinese Meal @ The Pink Giraffe – contact Jane for details
Contact: Paul

Sunday 23 May 2004step buildingDancersend, Buckinghamshire
Today we will be helping to build some steps at this wildlife reserve in Buckinghamshire. Due to the nature of the work there will only be space for 10 volunteers – please pre-book with Jerome (768578) if you would like to come.
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 25 May 2004The AGMA pub
OCV AGM followed by sociable pint. A new committee is elected at the AGM. Further details about the positions and what they entail are available from Steve. If you are interested in becoming more involved with OCV and would like to join the committee then come along to the AGM.
Contact: Steve

Friday 28 May 2004dry stone walling resiWorth Matravers, Swanage
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Come and learn the art of dry-stone walling, while soaking up the bank-holiday sunshine at Durlston Country Park, Swanage. We will drive down on Friday evening and return to Oxford on Monday evening. Our accommodation is in a village hall (sleeping bag required). We will work on Sat and Mon, while Sunday will be a day off and a chance to explore some of the beautiful Purbeck coastline.
Leader: Kate RaviliousDriver: Jamie Wood

Tuesday 1 Jun 2004theatreA pub
Monsoon, A production by a French theatre group about the earth and the perils of human exploitation.
Contact: Jane

Sunday 6 Jun 2004removing hawthornGrays Lane Bank, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
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This rolling chalk grassland should be a carpet of colour right now and there will be plenty of orchids to see. Come and help to keep it this way by pulling up the invasive hawthorn.
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Charlotte Vinnicombe

Tuesday 8 Jun 2004meetingA pub
OCV Meeting followed by sociable pint
Contact: Steve

Sunday 13 Jun 2004a mystery!Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Another chance to see the Red Kites soaring overhead at this lovely site in the Chilterns – task details available nearer the time.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: John French

Tuesday 15 Jun 2004a site visitGrays Lane Bank, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
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A chance to see the orchids in flower at Litmore Shaw and have a guided tour, followed by a pint in the Fox Pub. Contact Jane for details.
Contact: Jane

Sunday 20 Jun 2004First Aid CourseFirst Aid course
If you lead or drive for the OCV (or are interested in doing so!) then you may want to come on this first aid course, which will be tailored towards dealing with the injuries we are most likely to encounter during conservation tasks. There are 12 available places. To book your place give Jamie or Kate a ring (557418).
Leader: MC Driver: Loz

Tuesday 22 Jun 2004meetingA pub
OCV Meeting followed by sociable pint
Contact: Steve

Sunday 27 Jun 2004raking the fenLye Valley, Oxford
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Lye Valley is one of Oxford’s most important wildlife sites: a herb rich, calcareous fen. Today we will be raking up cut reeds to help maintain this unique environment.
Leader: Kate RaviliousDriver: Jamie Wood

Tuesday 29 Jun 2004Pub QuizA pub
Your OCV pub quiz team needs you! Meet at the Eagle and Child on St Giles, at 8pm to think of a team name and get some drinks in before the quiz starts. (NOTE Change of location!)
Contact: Jane

Sunday 4 Jul 2004fence contruction and ragwort Port Meadow, Oxford
We will be helping to construct a fence to keep the cattle in and pulling out some of the invasive ragwort from the meadow.
Leader: Malcom WilkinsDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 11 Jul 2004path clearanceBoundary Brook, Oxford
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A return to this urban reserve, where the main tasks will be clearance and levelling of paths, and digging up brambles and ground elder.
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Martin Crane

Tuesday 13 Jul 2004Glow-worms, Kites and BBQAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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The warden at Aston Rowant NNR is running a guided walk of glow-worms, red kites and other beautiful natural things for volunteer groups who work at the reserve. After there will be a BBQ on the site, overlooking the fabulous views of the Oxfordshire countryside. If you are interested in coming please email Jane at jafi@ceh.ac.uk mentioning if you are a veggie/non-veggie etc and whether you need a lift. I shall email all those who are interested to nearer the time.
Contact: Jane

Sunday 18 Jul 2004widening a rideWytham Woods, Oxford
We will be raking up grass and cutting scrub to help widen the rides in this beautiful hilltop woodland.
Leader: Charlotte VinnicombeDriver: Jane Fisher

Sunday 25 Jul 2004some taskAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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A so-far unspecified task at our regular reserve on the edge of the Chiltern Hills
Leader: Helena ThomaidesDriver: Malcom Wilkins

Tuesday 27 Jul 2004Punting on the CherwellCherwell Boat House
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Spend a pleasent summer evening punting to the pub (its not very far!). Meet at the Cherwell Boat house at 7.30pm.
Contact: Jane

Sunday 1 Aug 2004fence constructionPort Meadow, Oxford
finishing the fence we started on 4th July!
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: John French

Saturday 7 Aug 2004Exmoor Summer Resi (1 week)Exmoor National Park, Devon
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Staying in the National Trust Basecamp near Lynton in Devon. We will be working in the grounds of some of the beautiful National Trust properties around Exmoor, doing tasks such as footpath building, fencing and Rhododendron bashing! There are 18 bunks available (£10 deposit required) – contact Kate (557418) to book your place.
Leader: Kate RaviliousDriver: Jamie Wood

Tuesday 17 Aug 2004MeetingA pub
Meeting at the Gardener\'s Arms
Contact: Jane

Sunday 22 Aug 2004scrub clearanceIffley Island, Oxford
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Come and spend a day in this idyllic meadow, helping to clear some of the invasive scrub and encouraging the Snake’s head fritillary to come through.
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Martin Crane

Tuesday 24 Aug 2004Rounders and PubOzone Leisure Complex
Meet at the University parks, at the entrance way off Parks Rd, at 7.30, followed by a few pints at the Lamb and Flag.
Contact: Jane

Sunday 29 Aug 2004some taskAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Back to the Chilterns for another task not yet known as this programme is prepared. Red kites are likely to be seen.
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 31 Aug 2004meetingA pub
OCV meeting followed(?) by sociable pint
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 5 Sep 2004pond clearanceMarsh Baldon, Oxfordshire
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Pond Clearance phase II! The Marsh Baldon ducks are much happier as a result of our efforts at reed clearance in January of this year, but there is still more to be done: come and don the waders and help to revive the diversity of life in the village pond.
Leader: Jane FisherDriver: Paul Brears

Tuesday 7 Sep 2004Aunt SallyA pub
Local Oxfordshire game for local people (or played badly by the OCV). Meet at 7.30 in the Fox and Hounds on Abingdon Rd.
Contact: Jane

Sunday 12 Sep 2004scrub clearancePilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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In anticipation of the hedgelaying season to come we will be preparing the hedge by removing scrub and doing some odd jobs at this lovely, ancient meadow site.
Leader: Helena ThomaidesDriver: Martin Crane

Tuesday 14 Sep 2004meeting and farewell mealA pub
I\\\'m writing to let everyone know that next Tuesday\\\'s meeting will not follow the usual format. We will meet at 7.00pm in the Angel and Greyhound for a thirty-minute meeting (essential business only - any items for discussion will be held over to the next meeting). Then at 8.00pm we\'re going to the Moonlight Tandoori for a farewell curry with Kate and Jamie. I\'ll book the table on Monday afternoon - so please let me know by noon on Monday (13th) if you\'d like to come.
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 19 Sep 2004various tasksCothill National Nature Reserve
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We will be managing wet grassland and reed beds at this fenland site
Leader: Loz Driver: MC

Sunday 26 Sep 2004pond clearanceWestern Turville Reservoir, World's End, Buckinghamshire
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Another chance to splash around in a pond. Again we will be helping to unclog the pond by removing some of the invasive reeds.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Ray Hitchins

Saturday 2 Oct 2004
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This urban reserve off Iffley Road has a large pond and a small pond. We will be digging out weed and cuting brambles from the large one, and possibly clearing reed and rushes out of the latter.
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Paul Brears

Sunday 3 Oct 2004more pond clearanceBoundary Brook, Oxford
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This urban reserve off Iffley Road has a large pond and a small pond. We will be digging out weed and cutting brambles in and around the largepond and possible clearing reed and rushes out of the small pond.
Leader: Malcom WilkinsDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 5 Oct 2004Film nightPhoenix Cinema
Meet for a beer in the Radcliff Arms, Cranham Street, Jericho at 7.30 or in the Phoenix Cinema at 8.30. Films on that evening are yet to be confirmed.
Contact: Jane

Sunday 10 Oct 2004scrub clearanceSibford Ferris, North Oxfordshire
This task at a site new to the group will involve clearing scrub to encourage the growth of an uncommon plant, perfoliate penny cress.
Leader: Barney StratfordDriver: Charlotte Vinnicombe

Sunday 17 Oct 2004fencingStansfeld Park, Oxford
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We will be protecting recently coppiced hazel woodland by putting up stakes-and-binders fencing
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Jane Fisher

Tuesday 19 Oct 2004poker in a pubA pub
Poker in the Pub, be prepared to loose thousands of ££££s (of monopoly money!).
Contact: Jane

Sunday 24 Oct 2004tasks unknownAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This extensive reserve is at the edge of the Chiltern Hills. The work is likely to be scrub management and / or fence removal.
Leader: Jane FisherDriver: Malcom Wilkins

Friday 29 Oct 2004HEDGELAYING RESIDENTIALPilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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Friday 29 - Sunday 31 Hedge laying at this ancient pasture site in Buckinghamshire; there will also be some coppicing at a nearby site to get stakes for the hedgelaying. Accommodation will be in a local village hall (sleeping bag and mat required). To reserve a place ring Peter on 07952 908408 by 22nd October.
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 2 Nov 2004SkittlesA pub
Skittles in the Isis Tavern. Contact: Jane
Contact: Jane

Sunday 7 Nov 2004Heathland restorationShotover Country Park, Oxford
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We will be continuing the restoration of heathland at Shotover, by removing other plants such as gorse from among the heather
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Martin Crane

Sunday 14 Nov 2004coppicingColdharbour Farm, North Aston, Oxfordshire
We will be coppicing and where necessary planting to create a hedge on this organic farm in the Cotswolds.
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Charlotte Vinnicombe

Tuesday 16 Nov 2004pub quizA pub
Pub quiz. Meet at the Eagle and Child, St Giles, at 7.30pm.
Contact: Jane

Sunday 21 Nov 2004scrub managementAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Likely tasks are scrub management and fenceline removal.
Leader: Helena ThomaidesDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Sunday 28 Nov 2004scrub managementShotover Country Park, Oxford
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We will be continuing the restoration of heathland, by removing other plants, such as gorse, from amongst the heather
Leader: Helena ThomaidesDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 30 Nov 2004Live MusicA pub
This social will be (or at least will commence in) the Port Mahon pub, St. Clements (near the bottom of Headington hill), meeting 8:30-9pm. All welcome. Maybe there will be live music to listen to there. Maybe there won\'t. What is the true nature of reality? Did the tree fall in the forest? No-one really knows for sure. But we shall find out...
Contact: Malcom

Sunday 5 Dec 2004scrub managementFinemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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We will be working in this ancient woodland, clearing scrub from a path which is becoming overgrown.
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Steve Homes

Sunday 12 Dec 2004scrub managementGrays Lane Bank, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
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Scrub clearance; possibly hedge laying at a site where this time last year we saw red kites roosting.
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Martin Crane

Saturday 18 Dec 2004Christmas MealA pub
OCV Christmas Meal – location to be arranged.
Contact: Jane

Sunday 19 Dec 2004eating baked potaoesAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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The pre-Xmas task is something of a tradition and people are encouraged to bring chocolates, chestnuts and mince pies to share.
Leader: Jane FisherDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 9 Jan 2005scrub clearance Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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On a clear day, this large reserve on the Chiltern escarpment has good views across Oxfordshire and you can often see red kites too. Our three tasks here this quarter will probably involve scrub clearance and access work (fence removal and gate hanging)
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Paul Brears

Tuesday 11 Jan 2005MonopolyA pub
Monopoly Evening. Bring drinks and nibbles. Meet at Paul's house 8.30pm.
Contact: Paul

Sunday 16 Jan 2005scrub clearenceHolywell Cemetery, Oxford
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This site close to the city centre is maintained somewhere between tidiness and wildness, by cutting back the vegetation in a part of it each year. This is what we are doing today.
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 23 Jan 2005Heathland weedingShotover Country Park, Oxford
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A continuation of last quarter\'s task on Shotover Hill, just outside Oxford.We will be helping to restore heathland, by removing other plants from among the heather.
Leader: Jane FisherDriver: Charlotte Vinnicombe

Sunday 30 Jan 2005Scrub clearanceWhitecross Green Wood, Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire
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A return, after some years, to this wood at the edge of Otmoor. The work will be the cutting back of scrub at the edge of woodland rides.
Leader: Helena ThomaidesDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Sunday 6 Feb 2005Path workCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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A continuation of last year\'s work creating paths, to include extending these paths and cutting back scrub regrowth.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 13 Feb 2005Scrub clearance, access workAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Tasks will probably be scrub clearance and access work (fence removal and gate hanging)
Leader: Steve HomesDriver: Martin Crane

Sunday 20 Feb 2005CoppicingFoxholes, West Oxfordshire
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Maintaining and thinning planted woodland, and scrub clearance, at this large wooded reserve in the Cotswolds. ( NB this is a change from the advertised resi)
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Helena Thomaides

Sunday 27 Feb 2005Scrub clearanceEnvironmental Education Centre, Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire
Scrub clearance at this little reserve near Didcot, which is new to the OCV.
Leader: Helena ThomaidesDriver: Paul Brears

Sunday 6 Mar 2005Hedge layingPilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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We will be hedge laying at a site in rural Buckinghamshire, a perennial task for the OCV. A chance to try your hand at this craft.
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Steve Homes

Tuesday 8 Mar 2005OCV pub quizA pub
Meet at 8pm at the Eagle and Child Pub, St Giles. Brains and beer drinking skills welcome.
Contact: Jane

Sunday 13 Mar 2005Step buildingLye Valley, Oxford
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This small but varied reserve flanks Lye Brook, a couple of miles east of the city centre. We will be building steps, to improve access.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Martin Crane

Sunday 20 Mar 2005Scrub clearance, access workAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Another day at this reserve in the Chilterns, doing tasks including scrub clearance and access work.
Leader: Jane FisherDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Tuesday 22 Mar 2005Take Away and games A pub
Please come along to Helena\\\'s house for take-away and games (feel free to bring some games) at 8pm. Let Helena know if you are planning to come, so that she will know what the house will look like afterwards.
Contact: Helena

Sunday 3 Apr 2005FencingPilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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The first of two tasks in which we will be renewing the fencing at this reserve in rural Buckinghamshire.
Leader: Paul BrearsDriver: Martin Crane

Sunday 10 Apr 2005Come along and seeAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This is a large nature reserve on the edge of the Chilterns, with grassland and woodland and good views across Oxfordshire on a clear day. Work for this and possibly the next task here includes gate installation.
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Volunteer to drive

Wednesday 13 Apr 2005Greyhound racing A pub
Greyhound racing at the Oxford Stadium. Further details to be announced on the website nearer the time.
Contact: Paul

Wednesday 13 Apr 2005tool sharpeningThe Tool Store
Tool sharpening followed by pints in a secret location. Meet at tool store. Contact Martin.
Contact: Martin

Sunday 17 Apr 2005More fencingPilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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We will be continuing the fencing work started at this site two weeks ago.
Leader: Helena ThomaidesDriver: Paul Brears

Tuesday 19 Apr 2005Walk around Iffley SpitIffley Island, Oxford
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Walk around Iffley Spit to look at the Snakeshead Fritillaries. Meet at the juction of donnington Bridge road and meadow lane at 7.30
Contact: Paul

Sunday 24 Apr 2005clearing part of a reserveHolywell Cemetery, Oxford
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This cemetery in central Oxford doubles as a nature reserve. It is cut back on a rotation, so that some parts of it are wild, some of it less so. We will be clearing part of it.
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Jane Fisher

Tuesday 26 Apr 2005meetingA pub
A meeting at the Gardener\\\'s Arms on Plantation Road followed by a sociable pint
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 1 May 2005Heathland weedingShotover Country Park, Oxford
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More heathland restoration work at this country park on a hill just outside Oxford, we\\\\\\\'ll be removing other types of plant from amongst heather to assist its becoming established.
Leader: Renaud MeunierDriver: Charlotte Vinnicombe

Tuesday 3 May 2005Badger watchingWytham Woods, Oxford
Badger census at Wytham Woods (6.15pm at the Wytham Woods main car park, finish 9.15pm; warm clothing and unscented insect repellent). Contact Charlotte.
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 8 May 2005work as yet unknownAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Another Sunday at this reserve on the edge of the Chilterns, the work possibly to include a continuation of the gate installation work started 4 weeks ago.
Leader: Helena ThomaidesDriver: Jane Fisher

Tuesday 10 May 2005meetingA pub
A meeting at the Gardener\\\'s Arms on Plantation Road followed by a sociable pint
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 15 May 2005Heathland restorationShotover Country Park, Oxford
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We will be continuing heathland restoration work from the task 2 weeks ago.
Leader: Renaud MeunierDriver: Malcom Wilkins

Sunday 22 May 20058 mile walkSwyncombe Estate, South Oxfordshire
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Today\'s event will be an 8 mile walk in the Chilterns, taking in some reserves we\'ve worked in. Red kites, deer and slow worms have been seen on this route through wildlife rich chalk grasslands and woods. Bring comfortable boots for walking in and water to drink, in addition to the usual waterproofs and packed lunch.
Leader: Jane FisherDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 24 May 2005Annual General MeetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener’s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by the usual business meeting, followed by the usual sociable pint(s).
Contact: Charlotte

Friday 27 May 2005Dry stone walling (residentialDurlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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On this residential, we will be helping to rebuild a dry stone wall which has fallen into disrepair. The site is on the Purbeck coast near Swanange, Dorset, and there\'ll be time off to explore. We\'ll be staying in a village hall, to which we\'ll be driving on Friday; we return on the Monday. Sleeping bag and mat required. This is currently (early April) fully booked, but if you\'re interested phone John on Ox. 764913, in case there\'s a cancellation.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Steve Homes

Sunday 5 Jun 2005come and seeAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Another task on the slopes of the Chilterns. See the red kites there (on a good day). We are likely to be helping maintain the grassland there by removing invasive plants, and / or helping look after the flock of sheep.
Leader: Laura PrestonDriver: Simon Lipscomb

Tuesday 7 Jun 2005meetingA pub
A meeting at the Gardener\\\'s Arms on Plantation Road followed by a sociable pint
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 12 Jun 2005Woodland tasksBessels Leigh Wood, Appleton, Oxfordshire
The work at this site, for the Oxfordshire Woodland Project, will include woodland tasks such as the cutting back of bracken to help re-establish hazel there, and clearance of rights of way.
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Charlotte Vinnicombe

Tuesday 14 Jun 2005site visit A pub
Visit to Horspath Village to look at a prospective worksite in the village. Transport can be arranged contact Helena
Contact: Helena

Sunday 19 Jun 2005Tree plantingBoundary Brook, Oxford
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This is a little reserve just off Iffley Road, a mile or two from the City Centre. We will be planting some trees there (not path making as previously stated), to create some new woodland and a hedge.
Leader: Nora AllavoineDriver: Steve Homes

Monday 20 Jun 2005meeting and midsummer solsticeA pub
meeting to be held at Stone Henge to discuss Life, the Universe and Everything until dawn, followed by a greasy spoon breakfast. Transport can be provided. Contact Charlotte.
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 26 Jun 2005SS Mary and John Churchyard, Oxford
Various tasks to help with the restoration of this churchyard on Cowley Road from an overgrown state, to one in which it is both accessible and managed for wildlife.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Paul Brears

Tuesday 28 Jun 2005Treasure Hunt A pub
This week\'s social is slightly unusual. It is a treasure hunt in central Oxford that starts at 7.30pm at the Lamb and Flag pub (a drink may be required to stimulate those little grey cells and solve each of 7 different riddles that lead to the final destination and the treasure). Treasure is awarded to the 1st person/team to arrive at the final destination.
Contact: Helena

Sunday 3 Jul 2005fenland managementLye Valley, Oxford
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Making hay while the sun shines
Leader: Nora AllavoineDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 5 Jul 2005a meetingA pub
Meeting at 8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 10 Jul 2005path workWestern Turville Reservoir, World's End, Buckinghamshire
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We will be doing some work to stabilise a path alongside a stream, at this BBOWT managed site near Aylesbury.
Leader: Helena ThomaidesDriver: Paul Brears

Sunday 17 Jul 2005path workLye Valley, Oxford
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Lye Valley, a little reserve a couple of miles east of Oxford centre, includes woodland and calcareous fen. We will be surfacing a path in need of repair.
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 19 Jul 2005meetingA pub
A meeting at 8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 24 Jul 2005various tasksAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular visit to this big reserve in the Chilterns is likely to involve control of ragwort and thistles, and fence maintenance.
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 26 Jul 2005outdoor theatre A pub
Culture. Meet outside the Creation Theatre at Park off St Clements at 6.50-7pm to get tickets to see an interesting production of Midsummer Night\'s Dream (a bard special).
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 31 Jul 2005woodland ride grass cuttingWytham Woods, Oxford
We will be cutting and raking grass in the rides through this woodland near Oxford.
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Jane Fisher

Tuesday 2 Aug 2005meetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 7 Aug 2005scrub clearanceIffley Island, Oxford
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A secluded little meadow by the Thames, this is one of the places in Oxford where fritillaries grow. We will be helping keep it that way by clearing invasive scrub.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Martin Crane

Tuesday 9 Aug 2005Treasure huntA pub
Booze or Brain. Meet at the world-famous Turf tavern off Holywell Street at 7pm for Treasure Hunt part II. Experience a walking tour of Oxford in search of some mind-boggling clues, printed on the back of postcards within sealed envelopes.
Contact: Helena

Sunday 14 Aug 2005to be confirmedShotover Country Park, Oxford
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Our work in the extensive country park on Shotover Hill, just outside the city, is likely to include path clearance and pulling out of bracken.
Leader: Renaud MeunierDriver: Jane Fisher

Tuesday 16 Aug 2005meetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 21 Aug 2005to be confirmedAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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More work at this reserve at the edge of the Chilterns, which features views a long way across Oxfordshire on a clear day. This time the tasks here will probably be fence and gate maintenance.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 23 Aug 2005FilmA pub
The Odeon on George Street offers us one bit of brain candy, one film that has been getting more serious attention, and a kid\\\'s film that is probably brilliant because it is directed by Tim Burton: BEWITCHED [PG] - 8.05pm CRASH [15] 8.35pm. CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY [PG] 8.35pm I propose we meet in the Grapes on George Street at 7. Let me know if you\\\'re coming -
Contact: Charlotte

Tuesday 30 Aug 2005MeetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener’s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 4 Sep 2005scrub managementChilswell Valley, Oxford
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A return to a site south of the city which features wetland, a wood and grassy slopes. We’ll be helping maintain the grassland by cutting light scrub.
Leader: Jane FisherDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 6 Sep 2005gamesA pub
Mind games. Board and word games at Paul & Helena\\\'s house. Start at 7.30pm. Nibbles provided.
Contact: Helena

Sunday 11 Sep 2005pond diggingWestern Turville Reservoir, World's End, Buckinghamshire
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On our second visit to Weston Turville this quarter, we\'ll be digging a pond. This site includes a large reed bed that is home to a range of wild flowers (though not necessarily at this time of year).
Leader: Jane FisherDriver: Martin Crane

Tuesday 13 Sep 2005MeetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 18 Sep 2005probably scrub managementAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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A further task at our most-visited reserve, red kites live in the area and you can often see a few. Today’s work will probably involve scrub clearance.
Leader: Nora AllavoineDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 20 Sep 2005mealA pub
Feast. Yummy Jamaican cuisine at the Hi-Lo Jamaican Eatery, 68-70 Cowley Road. Meet there at 7pm.
Contact: Helena

Sunday 25 Sep 2005making pathsCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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More work creating paths to help improve access, at a site overlooking the Cherwell river and the Oxford canal.
Leader: Helena ThomaidesDriver: Paul Brears

Sunday 2 Oct 2005Scrub and bramble clearanceHolywell Cemetery, Oxford
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Leader: Andrew WoodDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 4 Oct 2005MeetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint. Stuffing Weasel into envelopes!
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 9 Oct 2005Cutting scrub/small treesFinemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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The local wildlife trust describe it as \'a mosaic of ancient coppice woodland, scrub regrowth and wild woodland\' notable for the black hairstreak butterfly and all three British woodpeckers. We\'ll be cutting scrub/small trees which encroach on the open glades and take away the diversity of habitat. There\'ll be a bonfire to keep you warm and happy if it is a cold day in this majestic, serene, green place.
Leader: Nora AllavoineDriver: Jane Fisher

Thursday 13 Oct 2005Beer festivalA pub
Beer & Cider; Meet at 8pm outside Town Hall to sample at will at the Beer Festival (entry £2.50)
Contact: Nora

Sunday 16 Oct 2005 Hedge layingLittle Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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Hedge-laying with Brian Williamson, ex-OCV, BBOWT, tree surgeon and now hurdle-maker in mid-Devon. This is for beginners, old-hands, in fact all hands. We need to raise our skill-levels, otherwise we\'ll only do low-skill work such as scrub clearance through the winter. Hedge-laying turns a gappy row of trees into a livestock-proof, shelter-giving, habitat-rich barrier, so everyone wins. You can learn it, do it and be ready for later hedge-laying tasks, whilst having fun as well.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 18 Oct 2005MeetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener\\\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Charlotte

Sunday 23 Oct 2005Pond clearanceCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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The parish council want to revive a pond that has become swampy with fallen trees, rotten black leaves and too much shade. With waders, some of you can clear what\\\'s in the water. Others can work on the banks to let more light in. Our cuttings will be turned into woodchips by a machine, and the chips used later to surface the paths. It\\\'s our first visit to this pond, though we\\\'ve been many times to Crecy Hill in Tackley. This will be true pioneer stuff, possibly even Tarzan-like.
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Martin Crane

Tuesday 25 Oct 2005MusicA pub
Recital of Haydn, Mahler, Ravel by winner of 2005 Kathleen Ferrier award, preconcert talk at 7.15pm (tickets £11.00)
Contact: Helena

Sunday 30 Oct 2005Hedge layingLittle Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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Our second visit to this reserve. We\'ll be working with Chris Parker, Countryside Manager for Northmoor Trust, or with Jo, one of the full-time workers there. We\'ll be hedge-laying again in order to turn a young hedge into an intense, livestock-proof habitat for insects, small mammals and low-nesting birds. We may leave some trees to grow as standards/tall ones for birds which build nests further from the ground. Another chance to walk around an Iron Age hill fort with a stunning views
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Jane Fisher

Monday 31 Oct 2005Halloween TourA pub
Halloween; Unique ghost tour starting from Oxford Information Centre at 7.45pm (Price: TBA)
Contact: Helena

Tuesday 1 Nov 2005MeetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener\\\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Nora

Saturday 5 Nov 2005Bonfire partyA pub
Burn the Guy; Bonfire party at John the Incinerator\\\\\\\'s (Limited places)
Contact: John

Sunday 6 Nov 2005Clearing and pond workLye Valley, Oxford
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We\'ll be working for Oxford City Council on this rare wetland site near Headington. The calcareous fen must be kept low in nutrients to restrict the growth of grasses and promote the survival of wild plants. The Countryside Rangers will cut the grass, sedge and reed with strimmers or mowers. Our job is to rake up the cuttings and dump them away from the fen to prevent the compost enriching the soil. To vary this work, we’ll also cut back willow regrowth. Waders will be available.
Leader: Helena ThomaidesDriver: Paul Brears

Sunday 13 Nov 2005Birch clearanceSnelsmore Common, Newbury, West Berkshire
Why a joint task? We are a local group but part of a national movement that began in 1959. Since 1979 when OCV began, other groups have lived and died, so we’ve lost contact with other conservers. This is a chance to meet some and steal their best ideas. Why Snelsmore Common? Keith says it has over 2000 species and lots of birch clearance to do. With a bonfire and a guided walk, this will be a very sociable outing to a place we’ve never been before.
Leader: Liz DaleDriver: Colin Wilson

Tuesday 15 Nov 2005TheatreA pub
Old classic; View a play by Marlowe or Shakespeare or Euripides (details TBA)
Contact: Helena

Sunday 20 Nov 2005Clearing scub/invasive treesWhitecross Green Wood, Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire
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It\'s mature woodland with some open glades which insects need to complete their life-cycle. Scrub/young invasive trees will fill in these open spaces within a few years if left uncut. In general, birds prefer trees while insects prefer open grassland. If you want a balance of birds and insects on a reserve, someone has to intervene with bow saws and loppers. That\'s what we\'ll do and that\'s why we do it - being cruel to be kind, you might say. Bonfire here for a winter day.
Leader: Jane FisherDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Tuesday 22 Nov 2005MeetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener\\\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Nora

Sunday 27 Nov 2005Laying a boundary hedgeBoundary Brook, Oxford
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Our job is laying a boundary hedge which the OCV planted in the 1990s. This stops the hawthorn growing too tall and shading out neighbouring plants. It gives a vandal-proof barrier and it keeps out your cat. The main predator of nesting birds on an urban site is the domestic cat, but moggies can\\\'t get through the dense thorny stems of a hedge.
Leader: Nora AllavoineDriver: Martin Crane

Tuesday 29 Nov 2005The Big BangA pub
A feast of heartwarming bangers and mash to tempt all gullets. Meet at 7.30pm at the Big Bang 124 Walton Street.
Contact: Helena

Sunday 4 Dec 2005Scrub clearance and otherAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We normally work here once a month, but this is our only visit in this quarter. We\\\'ll be clearing scrub with maybe a few smaller jobs if they come up - it pays to be versatile. There\\\'ll be a bonfire and pre-Christmas guzzling of potatoes, pies and whatever else you can bring.
Leader: Jane FisherDriver: Clare Arnison-Newgass

Tuesday 6 Dec 2005MeetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener\\\\\\\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Nora

Saturday 10 Dec 2005MealA pub
X-mas spirit; dinner in house under construction (Limited places)
Contact: Martin

Sunday 11 Dec 2005Heathland scrub control.Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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We will be helping to control scrub on this rare heathland site. There may also be work repairing or removing rabbit fencing. The aim is to encourage heather and low-growing plants (plus the insects that rely on them) while restricting the birch and bracken that could take over.
Leader: Andrew WoodDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 13 Dec 2005FilmA pub
No superstition; Cinema to chase away winter blues
Contact: Helena

Sunday 18 Dec 2005Maintaining young treesFoxholes, West Oxfordshire
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This is the real Christmas task, with bonfire, mince pies, potatoes and possibly parsnips (but only if you bring them). Foxholes is famous for its charcoal kiln, which you can look at though it probably won\\\'t be fired up at the time. We\\\'ll be removing plastic tree-guards from plants that are big enough now to look after themselves. Also, we\\\'ll thin out young trees in a plantation to promote mature growth of the ealthiest trees.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Helena Thomaides

Tuesday 20 Dec 2005MeetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint. Stuffing Weasel into envelopes!
Contact: Nora

Sunday 8 Jan 2006HedlgelayingBoundary Brook, Oxford
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Welcome back to conservation - and to hedgelaying. We started work on the hedge at the back of the reserve in November. Now we'll finish that and maybe do a fewsmaller jobs for our great friends and allies The Oxford Urban Wildlife Group. They always make us welcome with tea, coffee and perhaps home-made biscuits in their visitors' centre. Hedgelaying beginners and old hands equally welcome. There will be a roaring bonfire
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 10 Jan 2006meetingA pub
8.00 pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Nora

Sunday 15 Jan 2006Path maintainanceCothill National Nature Reserve
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This is a reserve managed by English Nature, who also run Aston Rowant. Last time we went there to cut sedge and grass, then rake up the cuttings. This time the ground will be wetter, so it could be path work or scrub cutting. Whatever, we'll have waders and wellies to borrow and Mick or Anne of EN to explain what's needed. If they ask what's the difference between a bog and a fen, you can spoil their fun by answering that a bog is acid but a fen is alkaline.
Leader: Nora AllavoineDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 17 Jan 2006pub quizA pub
A pub quiz at The Turf Tavern. Meet there at 8pm. See mailing list for details.
Contact: Helena

Sunday 22 Jan 2006Braken ClearenceShotover Country Park, Oxford
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We\'ll be working for Oxford City Council, probably pulling out bracken, brambles and birch which threaten the rare heathland habitat - that means lots of heather on a hillside with a great view of Oxford. Sheep used to eat the invasive species, but now the road traffic and dogs make that too hazardous. There may be other work on rabbit fencing and paths to vary the day. This is a good outing for those with bikes - you can go for just half a day if you like.
Leader: Emily WhiteheadDriver: Martin Crane

Tuesday 24 Jan 2006meetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener's Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Nora

Sunday 29 Jan 2006Scrub BashingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This is a joint task with BeC, the Berkshire Conservation Volunteers. Last November the OCV went to Snelsmore Common near Newbury inBerkshire to work with BeC. Now we've invited them to an Oxfordshire reserve in return. We'll be scrub-bashing witha bonfire to burn the cuttings and to gather round for sociable chat, baked potatoes and tea.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Jane Fisher

Tuesday 31 Jan 2006Burns night supperA pub
Tasty grub with a scottish flavour at a location to be revealed
Contact: Helena

Sunday 5 Feb 2006Sheep taskAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This is a day for sheep. In the past we've trimmed their feet, tagged their ears, fenced them in, fenced them out and dagged them too. English Nature have Beulah sheep, a tough Welsh breed with a white fleece, and Jacob sheep, which are black and white butlook like goats, and Soay sheep, which are smaller, plus Exmoor ponies. They are all part of the organic grassland management plan. The breeds are chosen for their ability to live on unfertilised grassland all-year-rround with no shelter.
Leader: Nora AllavoineDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 7 Feb 2006meetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener's Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Nora

Sunday 12 Feb 2006Hedge LayingLittle Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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We're hedge laying again forthe Northmoor Trust. And Castle Hill, near our worksite, was an Iron Age hill fort. It has a stunning view of Oxfordshire.And here's a chance to learn hedge laying or brush up yourskills. How many more reasons do you need?
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Mike Thyer

Wednesday 15 Feb 2006Talk of the OCVA pub
Witty talk on conservation and the OCV. Starts at 7.30pm at Gladiator Club on Iffley Road (corner with Percy Street). Free entry. Social with Urban Wildlife Group.
Contact: John

Sunday 19 Feb 2006Thinning out a plantation Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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At Foxholes we'll be working withMartin Barnsley, the volunteer warden, who has asked us to thin out a plantation - not conifers, but broadleaf species chosen forbio-diversity. We'll also remove plastic Anderson tree-guards - oh yes, and have a roaring fire to keep out the winter cold. You can have a look at a charcoal kiln if you want, but it's not likely to be burning at the time. A day deep in the woods,so wear green stockings like Robin Hood i
Leader: Jane FisherDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 21 Feb 2006meetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Nora

Sunday 26 Feb 2006hedge LayingLittle Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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More hedge laying for the NorthmoorTrust, who may send Chris or Jo of the countryside staff to work with us. This will be our last hedge laying at the reserve, but we'll return after Easter for summer projects such as footpaths and fencing. We're sure to have a walk at lunchtimeover the Wittenham clumps - two hills which give a great view of the Thames. It's a young hedge without any gnarly awkward bi
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 28 Feb 2006Drama eveningA pub
Meet at 7pm at the Burton Taylor Theatre to see Maud by Tennyson for a fiver. Contact Helena for advance tickets.
Contact: Helena

Sunday 5 Mar 2006scrub bashingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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These invasive trees are like perennial weeds in your garden- you think they're beaten and they just spring up again blowing raspberries. English Nature have a policy of not usingherbicides to paint on the cut stumps, and grubbing out those stumps with spades and mattocks takes days. So scrub-bashing is continual. The benefit to us is that it feeds a great bonfire, it takes us to wild parts of the countryside and you can see the difference you've made in a day.
Leader: Merlin Llewelyn-PrattDriver: Mike Thyer

Tuesday 7 Mar 2006meetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener's Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Nora

Sunday 12 Mar 2006hedge layingJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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We'll be hedge laying at Wootton by Woodstock, a charming and picturesque village that doubtless seethes with rustic yearnings beneath the tweedy surface. Our hedge is a gappy, moribund thingwhich we'll lay where it's worth laying and replant (but not today) when there's nothing to fill the voids.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 14 Mar 2006GamesA pub
Games and dessert at the Brears Palace. 8pm at 14, River View. Bring cushion.
Contact: Helena

Sunday 19 Mar 2006building a otter holtOzone Leisure Complex
Otters range over 25miles of a river and its bankside land, using maybe 20 different places to hide and shelter during daylight. As they're mainly nocturnal, you'll rarely see more than their footprints or spraints/poo. Natural holts are holes between tree roots,as in 'Tarka the Otter' by Henry Williamson, or hollow trees or piles of brushwood washed up by winter floods.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Mike Thyer

Tuesday 21 Mar 2006meetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Nora

Saturday 25 Mar 2006Woodland ManagementFoxholes, West Oxfordshire
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We return to Foxholes Wood, a beautiful woodland that was once part of Wychwood Forest. As part of BBOWT's ongoing coppicing/management programme, we will be removing a stretch of deer fencing from a young coppice, allowing the wildlife back into this coup to make their home amongst the young ash that is now big and strong enough to survive the nibblings of deer. There will be some serious scrub to bash here, and large bonfire guaranteed!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 26 Mar 2006heathland managementShotover Country Park, Oxford
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Shotover Country Park. Another visit to this hillside site near Headington. It's managed for wildlife and for leisure by the Countryside Service of Oxford City Council - that's one manager andfour rangers who cover most of Oxford's urban reserves. You'll see them driving about in white Land Rovers. Here theaim is to protect the heather and ling plus the insects and mamma
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Jane Fisher

Tuesday 28 Mar 2006MusicA pub
Live Acoustic Jazz, Pop and Folk music whilst enjoying a quiet drink or coffee at Cafe Rouge on Little Clarendon Street. Meet inside at 8.15pm.
Contact: Helena

Tuesday 4 Apr 2006meetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Nora

Saturday 8 Apr 2006fencing training dayJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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Saturday and Sunday are two fencing days at Jubilee Meadows, Wootton by Woodstock. We'll learn post and rail, post and wire plus making a lift-out panel (a gate with no hinges). We were hedgelaying here a month ago and we'll return in July for more fencing - here's your chance to learn the skills.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Clare Arnison-Newgass

Sunday 9 Apr 20062nd day of fencing.Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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More chances to learn and practise in a beautiful riverside reserve. Come for Saturday or Sunday or both - it's up to you. Normal pickups in Oxford. We'll do as much post and rail fence as we can. Then we'll fill the gap with post and wire which is quicker, so you'll have a go at both. Then you can sit on the fence and decide which is best, or go on both sides to check where exactly the grass is greener.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 11 Apr 2006Easter egg huntA pub
Chocolate Easter egg hunt. CANCELLED.
Contact: Helena

Sunday 16 Apr 2006Easter Weekend.home
Go hunt an egg, because there's no task this weekend. Have a rest instead.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 23 Apr 2006Scrubs and bonfiresHolywell Cemetery, Oxford
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the Friends of Holywell Cemetery have an open day on 7th May and asked us to clear the paths, scrub and ivy to let visitors get around safely. They aim for a balance between respect for the graves and sympathy for nature in this unofficial reserve.
Leader: Emmanuelle DenisDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 25 Apr 2006Music nightA pub
Meet at the bar on the ground floor of Pizza Express for live pop & folk music, at 8pm.
Contact: Helena

Friday 28 Apr 2006Leaving Oxford at 6.15pmDurlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Our 3-day residential begins now, returning to Oxford on Monday evening. The work is dry stone walling on the Dorset Coast near Swanage. A dozen conservers are going. They signed up during our regular Sunday tasks, so there was no general email about this. If you want to go on the next residential (to the Isle of Wight, August 26-28th), get busy in the OCV's local work on Sundays! We're pretty short of drivers now - do you have a full adult UK licence and want to drive our minibus?
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Renaud Meunier

Saturday 29 Apr 2006Dry stone walling resi.Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Our first work-day. For beginners, Ranger Ali will do a walling demonstration. Then we get stuck in in small groups, get together for tea-breaks and lunch, then we stop at about 4.30pm and go back for dinner.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Mike Thyer

Sunday 30 Apr 2006Our day off.Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Swanage has cliff-top walks, a steam railway, a beach, boat trips, a pier etc. We can do our own things or organise a group outing.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Renaud Meunier

Monday 1 May 2006Our 2nd work-day.Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Finishing our work then returning to Oxford in the evening. Should be back by 9pm.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 2 May 2006MeetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener's Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Nora

Tuesday 2 May 2006MeetingA pub
8.00pm at the Gardener\\\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.
Contact: Nora

Sunday 7 May 2006Bat roosts in a tunnelOzone Leisure Complex
Underground overground wombling free - in Horspath actually but our website has no word for that. You can work in the ex-railway tunnel on bat-boards or on path-work above ground at this wildlife conservation area on Butts Road, Horspath. This is a new work-site for us, though we did go into the tunnel on a social last year. It's 470 metres long and goes under Shotover Hill. It used to carry a branch-line to London Marylebone but now it's a hibernaculum for bats
Leader: Nora AllavoineDriver: Jane Fisher

Tuesday 9 May 2006Vist new worksite.Ozone Leisure Complex
Visit to Kingham Wood near Foxholes Reserve and Burford to check new work booked for August. Van pick-up at Tesco Metro, Cowley Rd, at 6.50pm and at Lamb and Flag, St Giles 7pm. Hoping to try a country pub in Kingham before getting back to Oxford by 9.30pm. No work involved but some walking, so wear boots and throw sticks for Martin Barnsley's dog called Tess. Email nicholasjohng@yahoo.co.uk with any questions (except what life means).
Contact: John

Sunday 14 May 2006Mulching and dry stone wallingOzone Leisure Complex
No mystery really - it's near Burford but our website has no such word. We won't do fencing as planned, but will mulch a young conservation hedge with cardboard and manure. That suppresses weeds without herbicide and reduces water loss by evaporation. If time allows, we'll try repairing a collapsed dry stone wall using Cotswold stone in very small pieces. This could be like building Lego, but let's have a go anyway. A beautiful place to work and it'll be an organic winery.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 16 May 2006Ozone Leisure Complex
Contact: unknown

Tuesday 16 May 2006home
Contact: unknown

Sunday 21 May 2006Protecting the Juniper.Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Juniper bushes and small trees grow on the hillsides here but rabbits tend to eat their seedlings, so the juniper grow older and older without being replaced naturally. We'll build a fence around a small juniper plantation and thereby preserve the plants plus the insects which depend on them. Beginners welcome, guided walk, see red kites, work for English Nature - beat that for one day's outing!
Leader: Nora AllavoineDriver: Mike Thyer

Tuesday 23 May 2006Leaving mealA pub
Say goodbye to Jane Fisher. Bookings for Pink Giraffe meal are all taken. Call 07791567427 to meet us in a pub afterwards.
Contact: Helena

Sunday 28 May 2006A half-day task.Little Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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Spring Bank Holiday weekend and you might go away on holiday. If some people want to go conserving, then we can go thistle-pulling on Church Meadows at the Little Wittenham Reserve for the afternoon. It's pretty dull work but the reserve is beautiful and, with a picnic in the sunshine, it could be a great day. Email gen_jimhead@yahoo.co.uk if you want to come. That's leader Jim. Pickups: 12.20pm Tesco Metro, 12.30pm Lamb and
Leader: Jim NewhamDriver: John Gorrill

Saturday 3 Jun 2006home
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 4 Jun 2006Step-building.Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Step-building to improve public access and safety. We'll work for English Nature who are funded by tax payers; therefore, they take seriously their duty to help people enjoy the reserve without damage to the landscape or to themselves. We are also members of the public, so we're very happy to help. Beginners welcome, different jobs on offer, so don't be put off. Take it one step at a time. English Nature staff will answer all yo
Leader: Jane FisherDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 6 Jun 2006Monthly meeting.Town Hall
New venue is the town hall, entrance in St.Aldate's and then head for the Jury Room. You can ask the receptionist in the foyer. 8pm sharp and then a choice of pubs on offer. We chose the town hall as it's near bus stops, it's free and it's quieter than The Gardener's Arms was. New people welcome but, if you haven't worked with the OCV on a Sunday, the meeting may be meaningless to you.
Contact: Miranda

Wednesday 7 Jun 2006Visit to Tackley.Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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An evening trip to two or maybe three reserves to check on future work, plus a pub visit afterwards to The Gardiners Arms in the village. Pickups 7.20pm Tesco Metro, Cowley and 7.30pm Lamb and Flag, St.Giles. Back to Oxford about 9.30pm.
Contact: John

Sunday 11 Jun 2006Protect the heather!Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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The south-facing Shotover hillside has a bed of heather which supports many species of insect as well as being beautiful to look at. It was planted about 5 years ago to enhance bio-diversity. Other species such as bramble, bracken and birch tree saplings grow faster and taller than heather, so we pull and dig them out. Sheep used to do the job but now there only us! A chance to come for just an hour or two between 10am and 4pm.
Leader: Jamie CarrDriver: Mike Thyer

Sunday 18 Jun 2006Building an otter holt.Ozone Leisure Complex
This is our 2nd log-pile otter holt of the year, both of them funded by DEFRA (Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) as part of a countryside stewardship scheme in which farmers get a grant in return for promoting nature conservation on their land. This land is near Kennington by the Thames and the work is digging, lifting logs, hammering, trimming and cutting branches. If there are too many people for the small site, we'll clear up litter from
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Mike Thyer

Sunday 25 Jun 2006Paths, watering and more.Boundary Brook, Oxford
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BB Nature park is run by our great allies in local conservation the Oxford Urban Wildlife Group. The reserve began as disused allotments in 1990 and now it's doubling in size as more allotments have fallen out of use. Paths will need repairing, new trees need watering and brambles cut back. This is an urban site off the Iffley Road. If you've never seen it, prepare to be amazed!
Leader: Jim NewhamDriver: John Gorrill

Tuesday 27 Jun 2006Site visit and pub too.Ozone Leisure Complex
No mystery, we're off to Padbury, a village near Buckingham that our website hasn't heard of, to plan our 3rd otter holt of this year. We'll check the site, the materials and meet the farmer who gets a DEFRA grant for promoting nature conservation. Then we'll try the village pub and get back to Oxford about 10pm. Pickups Tesco Metro 7pm, Lamb and Flag, St.Giles, 7.10pm. nicholasjohng@yahoo.co.uk
Contact: John

Sunday 2 Jul 2006Pond training day.Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Rod D'Ayala of Pond Conservation is running this short course for us and any villagers who turn out. It's about surveying species in and around the swampy heath pond to make a plan for future work. People think they know what a pond should look like (ducks, fish etc) but plunging in to build that can destroy much rarer species. So how to manage a pond for wildlife? Waders provided plus trip to Wootton to see 2nd pond for comparison.
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Renaud Meunier

Sunday 9 Jul 2006Thinning out trees.Port Meadow, Oxford
The plan was to pull out ragwort but there isn't any due to past attacks on it. Now the work is at Burgess Field next to Port meadow thinning young trees in a plantation. This allows surviving trees to develop properly with a well-balanced shape and long life-span. You can put your mark on Oxford's history here!
Leader: Renaud MeunierDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 11 Jul 2006Outdoor theatreOzone Leisure Complex
Contact: Nora

Sunday 16 Jul 2006Post and rail fencing workJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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We began this work on our fencing course in April. Now we'll go on with the 300-metre fence which keeps cattle out of boggy ground in winter. There's a lift-out section (like a gate but without hinges) to let cattle through in summer when the riverside land is firmer. The idea is to stop poaching: not dodgy blokes with rabbit snares but the churning up of mud by heavy hoofs when cattle stay on wet ground too long. Sheep and cattle mow the grass here at organic Jubilee Meadows.
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: John Gorrill

Sunday 23 Jul 2006Joint task with Plantlife Int.Palmer's Bank, nr Fawler, Oxfordshire
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We worked with Plantlife International once before at Sibford Ferris - a disused quarry. Now the work is at Blenheim Park, Woodstock, trying to protect royal pennycress against invasive scrub. The site may be so sensitive that numbers are limited. In that case we'll split the group and do two tasks - maybe the 2nd at Wootton nearby. Working with other groups such as Pl.Int and the OUWG widens our range of work and lets us steal their best ideas...oops, cooperate with fellow conservers
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 30 Jul 2006Our 3rd otter holt of the yearOzone Leisure Complex
A log-pile otter holt designed to help lutra lutra (European otter and relative of the weasel) return to our rivers now that the water is less polluted. Not the Thames this time, but again on farmland and funded by DEFRA. The logs are ready-cut, so we trim and assemble them with hand-tools and a bit of ingenuity. I changed the BBOWT design so much that now it's the OCV Vertical Log Model (Trademark, patented, hands off!) which gives greater strength for less cutting. Far from
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Mike Thyer

Sunday 6 Aug 2006Save the young trees!Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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It s near Foxholes reserve and Chipping Norton - a community wood in the village of Kingham. The work is to cut brambles which are engulfing young trees planted 5 or 6 years ago, remove trees that have died and maybe rescue a small pond hidden under hawthorn hedging. A first visit to this site, except for a social trip when we had great beer and chips at The Plough Inn beside the village green and played Who can go highest on the swings.
Leader: Nora AllavoineDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 8 Aug 2006MeetingTown Hall
Monthly meeting at Town Hall at 8pm. This is where we discuss day-to-day running of the charity. All welcome.
Contact: Jim

Sunday 13 Aug 2006Paths and scrub cutting.Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Crecy Hill has a steep slope in which we cut paths and surface them with woodchips. There's also a problem of hawthorn scrub bursting through the rare grassland habitat, so we cut it down to keep the hillside open. A beautiful site in the Cherwell Valley beside the railway to Banbury and the Oxford canal.
Leader: Nora AllavoineDriver: Chris Skepper

Tuesday 15 Aug 2006Punting on the CherwellCherwell Boat House
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Punting is also what summer is all about in Oxford! Meet at the Cherwell Boathouse at 6.30 with your picnic and Pimms, we ll rent punts there and split the cost. People who actually know how to steer the blooming things are strongly encouraged to come. If weather doesn t look good for punting we ll have drinks at the Rose and Crown instead. Contact Nora if you plan to come!
Contact: Nora

Sunday 20 Aug 2006footpath workAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This week we are returning to the Aston Rowant Nature Reserve, located on the west facing scarp of the Chilterns it has stunning views. The reserves chalk grassland, beech woodland and juniper scrub are home to a variety of rare butterflies, birds, and insects, and carpets of scented wildflowers. There are a number of trails through this public reserve. Our mission this week is to clear the paths, we'll be lopping and sawing, slashing and pitch forking in order to conserve the paths.
Leader: Mike ThyerDriver: Clare Arnison-Newgass

Friday 25 Aug 2006Long-distance residential tripOzone Leisure Complex
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Renaud Meunier

Sunday 3 Sep 2006Scrub & erosion controlDeddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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We're going to Deddington Castle, home of William the Conqueror's half brother Odo. Little remains of the castle now except for extensive earthwork banks and ditches. The site is managed by Deddington Parish Council and is open and free to the public.
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Mike Thyer

Sunday 10 Sep 2006FencingJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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Continuing our work constructing post and rail fencing at the Jubilee Reserve at Wootton-by-Woodstock. FYI this is the Wootton near Tackley, NOT the Wootton near Oxford. if you are making your own way there, and unsure of directions, please contact Task Programmer. The work is to prevent cattle trampling into the flood plain and boggy ground on the banks of the rivers which run through the reserve, so best feet forward as we continue the work here to get the fence completed before winter falls.
Leader: Emmanuelle DenisDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 12 Sep 2006Dinner and drinkshome
Summer is over, so let's recapture the feeling of a Caribbean holiday with dinner at the Hi-Lo. A dreadlocked chef, curried goat, rum and Red Stripe, and dub music on the largest amps in Cowley Road. What more could you want? Contact Nora if you plan to come.
Contact: Nora

Sunday 17 Sep 2006English Nature Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Clear an overgrown path and repair steps. Take lots of breaks to admire the hilltop views and scout for red kites. Roast parsnips in the bonfire (if we have one). Your usual OCV Sunday.
Leader: Nora AllavoineDriver: Mike Thyer

Sunday 24 Sep 2006Footpath constructionFoxholes, West Oxfordshire
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OCV return to this beautiful, BBOWT owned woodland reserve on the border of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. On this task we will be cutting a footpath, and maintaining/improving existing footpaths to ensure continued, managed enjoyment of this ancient woodland site.
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Chris Skepper

Wednesday 27 Sep 2006A filmhome
Cinema night! Bond with fellow OCV-ers in a darkened room... We will be seeing 'An Inconvenient Truth' at the Odeon George Street at 8.15 pm. Meet at the cinema at 8. Post-film discussion over a pint for those who want to.
Contact: Nora

Sunday 1 Oct 2006FencingJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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Continuing our work constructing post and rail fencing at the Jubilee Reserve at Wootton-by-Woodstock. FYI this is the Wootton near Tackley, NOT the Wootton near Oxford. if you are making your own way there, and unsure of directions, please contact Task Programmer. The work is to prevent cattle trampling into the flood plain and boggy ground on the banks of the rivers which run through the reserve. We will also be replacing a stile.
Leader: Renaud MeunierDriver: Chris Skepper

Monday 2 Oct 2006A pub
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 3 Oct 2006meetingTown Hall
All are welcome to join the OCV committee as we meet to discuss and fine tune the delicate inner machinations of the OCV. 8pm Town Hall Jury Room. Followed by a sociable pint at the Head of the River.
Contact: Jim

Sunday 8 Oct 2006Scrub clearance / footpath Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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We return to the Crecy Hill reserve in Tackley, working to extend the bark-covered path through the reserve,cutting back scrub regrowth, and removing surplus thistle plants.
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Mike Thyer

Friday 13 Oct 2006Beer festivalTown Hall
Contact: Nora

Sunday 15 Oct 2006CoppicingBrasenose Wood, Oxford
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We're going to Brasenose Wood to undertake the ancient art of coppicing. For centuries this technique has been used as a carbon-neutral supply of fuel and a source of construction material. A well coppiced woodland supports a rich variety of habitats and also extends the longevity of the trees to many times their normal lifespan.
Leader: Mike ThyerDriver: Renaud Meunier

Sunday 22 Oct 2006English NatureAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We return to Aston Rowant on what promises to be a pleasant Autumn day, to gaze at red kites overhead, and warm ourselves by a bonfire (also good for roasting potatos and parsnips in -- byo). Oh, and we'll also be doing some scrub-bashing.
Leader: Nora AllavoineDriver: Mike Thyer

Sunday 29 Oct 2006Scrub clearanceWatlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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Our first task at this stunning National Trust reserve in the Chilterns, south of Oxford. The reserve is a SSSI on account of the rare species that exist on the chalk grassland, and we work to assist the National Trust warden managing the scrub thickets and invasive species that threaten to overgrow this rare habitat and the countless plants and butterflies that thrive there. Superb views over the Oxford Plain (weather permitting) under the watchful eyes of circling kites and buzzards.
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Martin Crane

Sunday 5 Nov 2006HedgelayingLittle Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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We return to this Nortmoor Trust managed property at Little Wittenham, home to an iron age fort and the Wittenham Clumps. We continue last years hedgelaying here on a hawthorn hedge round the base of the hill; containing livestock the traditional way and providing a valuable corridor for the wildlife. Perhaps you can previous hedgelaying skills with you, or perhaps you'll take new skills home with you!
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 7 Nov 2006meetingTown Hall
All welcome, come along and get involved! 8pm Town Hall Jury Room. Followed by a sociable pint at the Head of the River.
Contact: Jim

Sunday 12 Nov 2006English Nature reserveAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Various conservation tasks, TBA
Leader: Ray HitchinsDriver: Chris Skepper

Saturday 18 Nov 2006FencingJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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We return for this weekender fencing doubleheader, constructing post and rail, and post and wire fencing to contain cattle in from fragile habitats at the popular Jubilee Meadows reserve at Wootton near Woodstock. Many have worked on this ongoing project throughout the summer, so many hands will make light work of completing before the cattle arrive at Xmas
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 19 Nov 2006FencingJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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We return for this weekender fencing doubleheader, aiming to complete the fencing project many of you have worked on since April this year. We will be constructing post and rail, and post and wire fencing to contain cattle in from fragile habitats at the popular Jubilee Meadows reserve at Wootton near Woodstock. All aboard to get this completed for the clients deadline, there is footbridge repair and stile construction to be tackled if we have time!
Leader: Emmanuelle DenisDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 26 Nov 2006HedgelayingLittle Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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We return to this Nortmoor Trust managed property at Little Wittenham, home to an iron age fort and the Wittenham Clumps. We continue last years hedgelaying here on a hawthorn hedge round the base of the hill; containing livestock the traditional way and providing a valuable corridor for the wildlife. Perhaps you can bring previous hedgelaying skills with you, or perhaps you'll take new skills home with you!
Leader: Jamie CarrDriver: Mike Thyer

Saturday 2 Dec 2006Coppicing Training WeekendFoxholes, West Oxfordshire
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We return to the enchanted Foxholes Woods on the Oxon/Gloucs border for a training weekend led by our countryside skills guru Brian Williamson. We will be learning woodland skills including coppicing, felling, thinning and of course burning - all the essential and traditional skills for effective woodland management with conservation of such treasured woodland habitats, and their inhabitants, in mind.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 3 Dec 2006Coppicing Training WeekendFoxholes, West Oxfordshire
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We return to the enchanted Foxholes Woods on the Oxon/Gloucs border for a training weekend led by our countryside skills guru Brian Williamson. We will be learning woodland skills including coppicing, felling, thinning and of course burning - all the essential and traditional skills for effective woodland management with conservation of such treasured woodland habitats, and their inhabitants, in mind.
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Clare Arnison-Newgass

Tuesday 5 Dec 2006meetingTown Hall
Come join the monthly committee meeting. 8pm Town Hall Jury Room. Followed by a socialble pint at the Head of the River.
Contact: Jim

Saturday 9 Dec 2006OCV Christmas mealOzone Leisure Complex
Feasting and holiday cheer.
Contact: Nora

Sunday 10 Dec 2006Scrub bash / coppicingFinemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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Working at this BBOWT reserve, we will be coppicing silver birch to ensure structural suitability for nationally rare black hairstreak butterflies. A big bonfire guaranteed if the work doesn't warm you up!
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Susan Nonweiler

Sunday 17 Dec 2006Scrub ManagementAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Helping the wardens with a range of conservation and estate management tasks on this English Nature reserve
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Mike Thyer

Tuesday 2 Jan 2007Committee MeetingTown Hall
Monthly committee meeting in the Town Hall Jury Room at 8pm, followed by a pint in a nearby pub. All welcome.
Contact: Chris

Saturday 6 Jan 2007Urban ConservationBoundary Brook, Oxford
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We return to work with the Oxford Urban Wildlife Group, working to maintain this valuable nature reserve in the built-up outskirts of Oxford. We will be undertaking light woodland tasks ; coppicing, trimming and pruning some of the diverse range of trees and shrubs that thrive here; to protect and manage habitat and provide breathing space for city dwellers. THERE WILL BE NO MINIBUS PICK-UPS for this task, so come along by car, bus, bike or by foot for an hour, half a day or the whole day; and start 2007 how you mean to go on! For directions or further details contact Gary (see contacts page).
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Gary Hillier

Sunday 7 Jan 2007Hedge plantingWestwell Manor, nr Burford, Oxfordshire
Today we will be working on Westwell Manors ongoing organic, conservation programme planting a mixed conservation hedge. This will include traditional species chosen to provide a useful habitat for a variety of fauna. Perhaps we will return in 15 years to lay the hedge we have planted!
Leader: Peter GillotDriver: Renaud Meunier

Sunday 14 Jan 2007Scrub clearanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Essential habitat management work at this Natural England reserve.
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 21 Jan 2007Scrub clearanceCalvert Jubilee, Calvert, Buckinghamshire
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We visit a BBOWT reserve to clear scrub on an old railway embankment to increase the habitat for the rare Wall Brown butterfly. Calvert began as clay pits for making bricks: one pit on the reserve was landfilled with rubbish long ago, one is a lake for wildfowl and one nearby hosts a sailing club. Another pit is still used for landfill with a daily 'binliner' train bringing London's rubbish to rural Buckinghamshire compressed in green containers. The railway line in the reserve has a bridge, an embankment and a few rotten telegraph poles but no track nor traffic. Normally you need a permit to visit, but to you it's open! Bonfire, baked parsnips, lunchtime tour and check on wooden bridge we built 2 years ago plus nesting rafts 3 years ago. There's a bird hide overlooking the lake, so bring binoculars if you are a twitcher.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 23 Jan 2007Curry nightOzone Leisure Complex
Come along for a curry, at The bombay restaurant in Jericho.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 28 Jan 2007Hedge Rescue Part 1Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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We return to work for Deddington Parish Council in the village of Clifton. As a safety 'recommendation' the council have been advised that a well established hedge is a safety issue for the adjoining childrens park. Rather than remove it, the council want to lay the hedge to protect the natural habitat. Today we will be preparing the hedge for laying by coppicing out the unwanted material, returning in March to lay the hedge and protect this established habitat.
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Mike Thyer

Saturday 3 Feb 2007Urban ConservationHolywell Cemetery, Oxford
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Back to Holywell Cemetery to open up paths by clearing saplings, brambles, ivy etc. There will be no minibus pick-ups for this task, so come along by bus, foot or bike, for an hour, half a day or the whole day - 9.45am to 4pm. Car parking is difficult here. Look for the stone church tower in St. Cross Road near the end of Holywell Street and Jowett Walk, go through the double wooden gates and we'll be back there with a smoky bonfire. This disused cemetery dates from 1848 when cholera had filled older Oxford graveyards. It's small but with marshy land behind and after that the River Cherwell, it's part of a wildlife corridor in central Oxford. At quiet times you can see a fox or muntjac deer. As to notable graves, there is Kenneth Grahame who wrote 'Wind in the Willows', Walter Pater the Victorian art critic and a few more. The work here is lighter than usual, so it's a good first outing for wannabe conservers. OCV has worked here once or twice per year for 25 years - this was a pioneer project in urban conservation and well worth your support. The idea is to respect the graves and those who visit them while encouraging wildlife at the same time. As to how it works in practice, well...come and see.
Leader: John GorrillDriver: John Gorrill

Sunday 4 Feb 2007CoppicingBrasenose Wood, Oxford
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We return to the depths of Brasenose Woods , carrying out coppicing work essential to Oxford City Councils work to manage this beautiful, ancient wood. This will involve selecting ash and other younger trees for felling and thinning; removing the brash by either burning or weaving straight into dead-hedges to protect younger coppice stools from hungry deer.
Leader: Mike ThyerDriver: Jim Richardson

Sunday 4 Feb 2007An Irish music nightA pub
Traditional Irish music in Oxford at The Half Moon in St Clements. I will be there from 9pm. You don't have to tell me if you're coming.
Contact: Naomi

Tuesday 6 Feb 2007Committee MeetingTown Hall
Monthly committee meeting for discussing the running of OCV. Come along to the Town Hall Jury Room at 8pm and join us for a pint in a nearby pub. All welcome.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 11 Feb 2007Habitat / CyclepathSustrans Cycle Route, Oxfordshire
This stretch of the cycle route between Wantage and Didcot has been proposed as a County Wildlife Site on account of the rare chalk grassland habitat. This habitat supports a diverse range of rare flora, insects and butterflies, so we will be working to clear the invasive shrub species right back and restart the natural succession, as well as contributing to the development of a real alternative to the A34!
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Mike Thyer

Sunday 18 Feb 2007Sheep!Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We return to Aston Rowant reserve where we will be working with Natural England wardens foot trimming one of the flocks of sheep. Dagging is also on offer to those who are really keen!
Leader: Merlin Llewelyn-PrattDriver: Mike Thyer

Thursday 22 Feb 2007Renaud's Leaving Barbeque at the Turf TavernA pub
Come along to the Turf Tavern, Oxford at 8pm to wish Renaud well as he leaves Oxford. There will be barbeque food served from 8pm to 10pm, including burgers with cheese or bacon, chicken burgers or veggie burgers. The Turf has a pretty good selection of draught beer if you needed any more reasons to come along...
Contact: Chris

Sunday 25 Feb 2007Scrub clearanceWatlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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We return to the stunning National Trust reserve, assisting warden Jerry Page on his mission to reduce invasive scrub on the hill by 50%. We will be removing species such as yew, whitebeam and of course hawthorn, from encroaching over this SSSI chalk grassland site, and restarting the natural succession. The bonfire was so big last time the red kites were circling on the thermals!
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 4 Mar 2007Hedge Rescue Part 2Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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We return to work for Deddington Parish Council in the village of Clifton. As a safety 'recommendation' the council have been advised that a well established hedge is a safety issue for the adjoining childrens park. Rather than remove it, the council want to lay the hedge to protect the natural habitat. In February we prepared this hedge for laying; we now take up our billhooks to cut it back and restart a new lease of life
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jim Richardson

Tuesday 6 Mar 2007Committee MeetingTown Hall
Monthly committee meeting in the Town Hall Jury Room at 8pm, followed by a pint in a nearby pub. All welcome.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 11 Mar 2007Various conservation tasksAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Essential habitat management work for Natural England at this chalk grassland reserve
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Mike Thyer

Sunday 18 Mar 2007Reserve managementJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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We return to the tranquil water meadows of Jubilee Reserve, where many of you will be able to admire the serpentine curves of the 2006 OCV fence project! Today we have a variety of maintenance tasks to tackle ; building stiles to provide access across the post & rail fence we built, footbridge repairs, erecting an information sign, and removal of blackthorn that is once again encroaching along the bridleway.
Leader: Emmanuelle DenisDriver: Jim Richardson

Tuesday 20 Mar 2007The Oxford Gamehome
Come to Crane Acres for a fun evening playing The Oxford Game (a bit like Trivial Pursuits but all about Oxford and fortunately multiple choice answers) and swapping snacks and tales of conservation. Contact Emily on treasurer (at) ocv.org.uk for further info.
Contact: Emily

Sunday 25 Mar 2007Woodland ManagementFoxholes, West Oxfordshire
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We return to the enchanted woodland of Foxholes, a BBOWT managed woodland reserve on the Oxon/Gloucs border. As part of the ongoing coppicing cycle, we will today be removing deer fencing from the perimeter of a young ash copse; now that the trees are big and strong enough to survive the nibblings of hungry deer, we can remove this fencing to let the wildlife back in, and clear the 6 foot deep brambles and other scrub that compete with our trees.
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: John Gorrill

Sunday 1 Apr 2007Reserve managementCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Before plants really start their new season growth, we continue our work helping with the management of the Tackley/Crecy Hill reserve. We will be completing the dug, bark-chip covered path; cutting back early scrub re-growth; and digging up surplus woolly thistles. As well as improving access through the reserve we will be protecting this precious orchid habitat.
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 3 Apr 2007Committee MeetingTown Hall
Monthly committee meeting in the Town Hall Jury Room at 8pm, followed by a pint in a nearby pub. Everyone welcome, come along and see how the group is run.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 8 Apr 2007Anywhere/Everywherehome
It's Easter, so enjoy your long weekend off! There is no task this weekend, so pull out an OS map (and a compass), and go walk some of the miles of footpaths that criss-cross our beautiful countryside. Enjoy the trees, the birds, the breeze, a river rushing...Whilst enjoying a well-earned break have a think about what YOU could do for OCV, and OUR environment. YOU could be a volunteer, a leader, van driver, first aider, pond dredger, tea maker, emailer, bramble slasher, scrub basher, firestarter, wall builder, hedge layer, tree feller, wayfarer, land owner, a warden ......if you're someone that enjoys the great outdoors.. well, let's keep the outdoors great!...WHAT COULD YOU DO? - the possibilities are endless! Contact - 'tasks' on the 'contacts' page, and let's push things forward...
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 15 Apr 2007Woodland ManagementOakley Wood, Oxfordshire
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This is our first vist to this neglected woodland in the Chilterns AONB which is in need of some OCV lovin' and a long-term management plan. Way out of control, this site has become dominated on the one hand by high oak and a large rookery; on the other hand a severely neglected and choked-up hazel coppice; result is a dark and inhibited woodland.Though late in the season, our priority here is to make a start to encourage biodiversity by selectively cutting a coppice coupe; protecting it from deer-grazing with dead-hedging, and clearing the large piles of brash to provide easy access around the site. There is much to do here, let's see what OCV can do..
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Mike Thyer

Sunday 22 Apr 2007Woodland ManagementOakley Wood, Oxfordshire
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This is our second vist to this neglected woodland in the Chilterns AONB continuing the first phase of a long-term management plan. Way out of control, this site has become dominated on the one hand by high oak and a large rookery; on the other hand a severely neglected and choked-up hazel coppice; result is a dark and inhibited woodland.Though late in the season, our priority here is to make a start to encourage biodiversity by selectively cutting a coppice coupe; protecting it from deer-grazing with dead-hedging, and clearing the large piles of brash to provide easy access around the site. There is much to do here, let's see what OCV can do..
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Mike Thyer

Sunday 29 Apr 2007Post and wire fence repairAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Fenceline work at this SSSI Natural England reserve in the Chilterns AONB. Today we'll be repairing post and wire fences to help keep the sheep in the right place. There maybe opportunities for cutting back overgrowth also.
Leader: Mike ThyerDriver: Matt Cardy

Tuesday 1 May 2007Annual General MeetingTown Hall
OCV Annual General Meeting in the Town Hall Jury Room at 8pm, followed by a pint in a nearby pub. Everyone welcome, you will need to be a member to vote, but you can join on the day. Come along and participate in the organisation of OCV.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 6 May 2007Pond creation / woodland managementMillennium Wood, Kingham, Oxfordshire
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Out in the Cotswolds AONB, working at this Foxholes sister reserve. We are creating a pond here to increase biodiversity and provide an oasis for water-loving species, so we will be digging out the pond, and clearing the aggressive bramble that tries to strangle and smother the life out of all the other flora, and scratch all the fauna. Long sleeves recommended!
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 13 May 2007Wherever / Wheneverhome
There is no task this weekend, so pull out an OS map (and a compass), and go walk some of the miles of footpaths that criss-cross our beautiful countryside. Enjoy the trees, the birds, the breeze, a river rushing...Whilst enjoying nature, have a think about what YOU could do for OCV, and OUR environment. YOU could be a volunteer, a leader, van driver, first aider, pond dredger, tea maker, emailer, bramble slasher, scrub basher, firestarter, wall builder, hedge layer, tree feller, wayfarer, land owner, a warden ......if you're someone that enjoys the great outdoors.. well, let's keep the outdoors great!...WHAT COULD YOU DO? - the possibilities are endless! Contact - 'tasks' on the 'contacts' page, and let's push things forward...
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 15 May 2007Walk along the thames (including pubs!)A pub
As there was no task last weekend I thought we should have a social. The walk will start at the head of the river pub in Oxford at 7pm, we should end up in iffley before it gets too dark! We will also be visiting the Isis which is at the side of the river before the iffley lock. Bring your bike with you. More info will be sent in an email.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 20 May 2007Various tasksAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Essential footpath maintenance work at this SSSI Natural England site in the Chilterns AONB
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Nick Wordsworth

Friday 25 May 2007Trail Maintenance Weekend ResidentialBrecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Mike Thyer

Saturday 26 May 2007Trail Maintenance Weekend ResidentialBrecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Jim Richardson

Sunday 27 May 2007Trail Maintenance Weekend Residential Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Mike Thyer

Monday 28 May 2007Trail Maintenance Weekend ResidentialBrecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Jim Richardson

Sunday 3 Jun 2007Pond creation/ woodland managementMillennium Wood, Kingham, Oxfordshire
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Out in the Cotswolds AONB, working at this Foxholes sister reserve. We are creating a pond here to increase biodiversity and provide an oasis for water-loving species, so we will be digging out the pond, and clearing the aggressive bramble that tries to strangle and smother the life out of all the other flora, and scratch all the fauna. Long sleeves recommended!
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 5 Jun 2007Committee MeetingTown Hall
Monthly committee meeting in the Town Hall Jury Room at 8pm, followed by a pint in a nearby pub. Everyone welcome, come along for the meeting or join us for a drink afterwards.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 10 Jun 2007Project Clearway - FootpathHanborough Parish, Oxfordshire
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Working alongside the Parish Council's own volunteers to improve access on the important, Public 'Coffin Path' Footpath between the villages of Long Hanborough and Church Hanborough, near Bladon. A short ride from Oxford, we have a day in the sun clearing back the turf that has grown over this 8ft wide tarmac footpath (created to be useable by all), and reduced it to a 1ft wide track (useable by 1 person).
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Nick Wordsworth

Saturday 16 Jun 2007Rosie o' gradysA pub
Irish music at Rosie o' Gradys in Oxford, they have guinness and a selection of irish whiskeys to choose from. We will be meeting at carfax at 8.30pm.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 17 Jun 2007Anywhere / Everywherehome
There is no task this weekend, so pull out an OS map (and a compass), and go walk some of the miles of footpaths that criss-cross our beautiful countryside. Enjoy the trees, the birds, the breeze, a river rushing...Whilst enjoying nature have a think about what YOU could do for OCV, and OUR environment. YOU could be a volunteer, a leader, van driver, first aider, pond dredger, tea maker, emailer, bramble slasher, scrub basher, firestarter, fund raiser, hellraiser, wall builder, hedge layer, tree feller, wayfarer, land owner, a warden ......if you're someone that enjoys the great outdoors.. well, let's keep the outdoors great!...WHAT COULD YOU DO? - the possibilities are endless! Contact - 'tasks' on the 'contacts' page, and let's push things forward...
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 24 Jun 2007Habitat / biodiversityAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Controlling ragwort and conserving juniper at this SSSI Natural England site in the Chilterns AONB
Leader: Mike ThyerDriver: Jim Richardson

Sunday 1 Jul 2007Habitat / BiodiversitySeacourt Nature Park, Oxford
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Working on this Oxford City Council reserve, we spend the day pulling out toxic ragwort. Once this pest has been eradicated we move on to nearby Burgess Field thinning young trees in a plantation. This allows surviving trees to develop properly with a well-balanced shape and long life-span.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Mike Thyer

Tuesday 3 Jul 2007Committee MeetingTown Hall
Monthly committee meeting at 8pm in the Jury Room in the Town Hall on St. Aldates. A chance to discuss the day-to -day running of OCV. Everyone is welcome, though we can't guarantee the commitee won't try to rope you in to help with something! Afterwards we'll go for a drink at the Head of the River.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 8 Jul 2007Footpath / ConstructionBoundary Brook, Oxford
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Today we will be erecting gates at the Boundary Brook reserve for Oxford Urban Wildlife Group; replacing the rusty old relics that provide easy access through the boundaries and footpaths of the reserve. This is also a chance to observe the progress of hedgelaying and planting projects OCV have done here in the past. For this technical construction challenge we need brains as well as brawn - so if you have either, we need you there!
Leader: Renaud MeunierDriver: Nick Wordsworth

Sunday 15 Jul 2007Habitat / BiodiversityPalmer's Bank, nr Fawler, Oxfordshire
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We are working with Plantlife to conserve Cotswold Pennycress - one of Britain's rarest plants. As a result of our work last year a five-fold increase in Pennycress has been seen at the site; the highest count in a decade! We return to continue this valuable work removing the coarse grass that smothers the Pennycress. A light day's fun in the sun working til 3pm, so a refreshing pint in a nearby hostelry on the way back to the city may well be in order if the is job well done!
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Jo Gay

Tuesday 17 Jul 2007Punting on the river.Cherwell Boat House
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An evening of food and messing around on boats. Meeting at Cherwell boat house at 7pm. Bring some food and your waterproofs!
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 22 Jul 2007FencingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Working for Natural England in the Chilterns AONB
Leader: Ray HitchinsDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 29 Jul 2007FencingDeddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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Working for Deddington Parish Council to improve a much-used footpath that runs between the cemetery and the Windmill Centre. We will be removing a dilapidated wire fence and replacing it with 2 short stretches of post and rail fencing to mark a clear, durable, wildlife-friendly boundary around, and access to, a copse that was planted by the Forestry Commission. We hope to get this track upgraded to link into the existing Public Footpath network around Deddington; putting OCV's work 'on the map'..? We will also be conducting a tree survey in the copse area; to thin the plantation and waymark a footpath through it... brains and brawn required for this task, so if you have either; we need YOU there
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Sunday 5 Aug 2007Anything / EverythingOur Region
THIS WEEKS TASK IS CANCELLED DUE TO SEVERE FLOODING AT WOOTTON WATER MEADOWS. So pull out an OS map (and a compass), and go walk some of the miles of footpaths that criss-cross our beautiful countryside. Enjoy the trees, the birds, the breeze, a river rushing...Whilst enjoying English nature have a think about what YOU could do for OCV, and OUR environment. YOU could be a volunteer, a leader, van driver, first aider, pond dredger, tea maker, emailer, bramble slasher, scrub basher, firestarter, wall builder, hedge layer, tree feller, wayfarer, land owner, a warden ......if you're someone that enjoys the great outdoors.. well, let's keep the outdoors great!...WHAT COULD YOU DO? - the possibilities are endless! Contact - 'tasks' on the 'contacts' page, and let's push things forward...
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 7 Aug 2007Committee MeetingTown Hall
Monthly committee meeting at 8pm in the Jury Room in the Town Hall on St. Aldates. A chance to discuss the day-to -day running of OCV. Everyone is welcome, particularly if you're a volunteer that could help out as a leader or driver, or a leader or driver that could help with the running of OCV. Afterwards we'll go for a drink at the Head of the River.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 12 Aug 2007Various Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Working for Natural England in the Chilterns AONB, step building and clearing footpaths
Leader: Jamie CarrDriver: Nick Wordsworth

Friday 17 Aug 2007Tapas and Sangria!Ozone Leisure Complex
The Kazbar at the St Clements end of Cowley road. We'll be meeting at this ''chilled out'' bar at 7.45pm. Moroccan/Spanish food is served here and it's very tasty. Their sangria is very tasty too!
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 19 Aug 2007Woodland ManagementBritwell Hill, nr Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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Britwell Hill is a truly beautiful spot in the Chilterns AONB, near Watlington, with stunning views over the Oxford Plain and footpaths that run through SSSI sites rich with downland flora. We are working for an environmentally-friendly LEAF farmer who has planted 10,000 hedgerow trees with biodegradable rabbit/deer guards that are not degrading! Our job here is to remove the guards so that the hedges fill out at the bottom, making better shelter for birds and other wildlife.
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Jo Gay

Friday 24 Aug 2007Dry-stone Walling Weekend ResidentialDurlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Minibus transport from Oxford city centre out for our long weekend working for Durlston Country Park in Dorset. THIS RESIDENTIAL IS SOLD OUT. SORRY!
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jim Richardson

Saturday 25 Aug 2007Dry-stone Walling Weekend ResidentialDurlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Today we will be working for Durlston Country Park, learning the traditional craft of dry-stone walling. After a hard-day's work, a night out in lively Swanage could well be in order; we may be lucky enough to catch local heroes DNA on tour!THIS RESIDENTIAL IS SOLD OUT. SORRY!
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 26 Aug 2007Dry-stone Walling Weekend ResidentialDurlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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A day off from working; Swanage is an ideal base for country pursuits. Swanage has links to the South West Coast Path and other cliff-top walks, a steam railway, a beach, boat trips, a pier etc. We can do our own things or organise a group outing, so let us know what you would like to do. THIS RESIDENTIAL IS SOLD OUT. SORRY!
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Jim Richardson

Monday 27 Aug 2007Dry-stone Walling Weekend ResidentialDurlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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we spend this half-day finishing our work rebuilding dry-stone walls. We will leave the basecamp in time to be back in Oxford around 6pm, so you can go back to work or study after this weekend having seen new faces, new places, and knowing you've helped to keep the Great in Britain! THIS RESIDENTIAL IS SOLD OUT. SORRY!
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 2 Sep 2007Woodland footpathsFoxholes, West Oxfordshire
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OCV return to this beautiful, BBOWT owned woodland reserve on the border of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. On this task we will be clearing, maintaining and improving the network of footpaths and nature trails that enable managed enjoyment of this ancient woodland site.
Leader: Jim RichardsonDriver: Chris Skepper

Tuesday 4 Sep 2007Committee MeetingTown Hall
Monthly committee meeting at 8pm in the Jury Room in the Town Hall on St. Aldates. A chance to discuss the day-to -day running of OCV. Everyone is welcome to come along. Afterwards we'll go for a drink at the Head of the River.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 9 Sep 2007Foot trimmingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We're going Aston Rowant to trim the sheep's feet. These sheep help keep the rare chalk grassland from becoming overgrown by eating the young scrub growth. To keep the sheep mobile, they need their feet trimmed a couple of times a year. Wear old clothes as the work can be muddy and smelly.
Leader: Mike ThyerDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 16 Sep 2007Coppicing and fencingDeddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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Returning to work with our friends at Deddington Parish Council, today we will finish the post and rail fencing we started in July, but the main job is to thin the copse area. In one compartment we remove young scrub growth and whippy tree saplings to prevent overcrowding and competition to the few healthy young oaks. Another compartment has been densely planted, and the young trees have grown tall and thin competing for light;completely shading the woodland floor. Thinning this plantation and some low,scrubby species should encourage biodiversity by allowing dappled sunlight on to the woodland floor. We'll be burning brash as we go, and stacking larger logs to create habitat for invertebrates and fungi.
Leader: Tim WhiteDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 18 Sep 2007Bombay curry house in JerichoOzone Leisure Complex
A night of hot food awaits us (as requested)! Shouldn't be too expensive as you can take your own booze. We will be meeting at the restaurant at 7.30pm. I forgot to mention in the email that its past the old radcliffe hospital on Walton street.
Contact: Naomi

Saturday 22 Sep 2007Camping and BBQ at KinghamMillennium Wood, Kingham, Oxfordshire
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Celebrate 30 years of OCV by camping over at Kingham before a day's hedgelaying. E-mail Chris if you'd like to come, address on the contacts page.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 23 Sep 2007HedgelayingMillennium Wood, Kingham, Oxfordshire
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Returning to this Foxholes sister reserve we will be laying a short stretch of hedge. A well-layed hedge regrows and thickens to provide a natural boundary for the land-owner, and also a home, shelter and corridor for all sorts of wildlife. Perhaps you can bring hedgelaying skills with you; perhaps you will leave with a new skill today! We are thinking of camping out here the night before an early start and bonfire breakfast; let us know if you're up for it? (No Sunday morning pick-up this week, since the minibus will already be there).
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 30 Sep 200730th Anniversary Task!Hook Norton Cutting, North Oxfordshire
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We return to work at the hallowed spot where OCV did their first day's work way back back in 1977! Today we will be assisting BBOWT conserve the limestone grassland habitat with essential scrub clearance work so a big OCV bonfire guaranteed, so we hope to see you all out in force; old, young, new faces, veterans...come celebrate the last 30 years, and continue the next 30 years of vital work we do to keep the Great in our part of Britain!
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Nick Wordsworth

Tuesday 2 Oct 2007Committee MeetingTown Hall
We'll be in the Jury Room in the Town Hall on St. Aldates from 8pm, planning the next month's OCV business. Everyone is very welcome to come along, you don't have to be a leader or a committee member. Afterwards we'll go for a drink at the Head of the River.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 7 Oct 2007Scrub bashing on Bald hill.Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Today we will be mostly cutting down invasive plant species on Bald hill (to quote Jesse). It will most probably be hawthorn and brambles. We will be having a bonfire so that we can burn the unwanted material. If I can get my act together I might even make something sweet for you to munch on at break time.
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Renaud Meunier

Sunday 14 Oct 2007Fen rakingLye Valley, Oxford
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We'll be working for Oxford City Council on this rare wetland site near Headington. The calcareous fen must be kept low in nutrients to restrict the growth of grasses and promote the survival of wild plants. The Countryside Rangers will cut the grass, sedge and reed with strimmers or mowers. Our job is to rake up the cuttings and dump them away from the fen to prevent the compost enriching the soil. Waders will be available.
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Jim Richardson

Friday 19 Oct 200730th anniversary celebrations!Ozone Leisure Complex
Come and celebrate 30 years of OCV! Volunteers of past and present, we need YOU to recognise the good work you have done over the years. So join us in eating and merriment at the Lake street community centre at 7.30pm. Hope to see you there.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 21 Oct 2007Scrub clearanceFinemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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Working at this BBOWT reserve, we will be coppicing silver birch to ensure structural suitability for nationally rare black hairstreak butterflies. A big bonfire guaranteed if the work doesn't warm you up!
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Renaud Meunier

Sunday 28 Oct 2007River clearanceJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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At Jubilee Reserve, many trees and branches were brought down into the river in last winters' storms; creating natural dams which have contributed to unusual levels and length of flooding this year. In fact, this task should have happened in August but was cancelled due to the severe flooding! We will be assisting a contractor pollarding the old, creaking willows that overhang and threaten to come down into the river this winter. We will take waders along for those keen enough to brave the cold water and clear more debris from the river!
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 4 Nov 2007Scrub clearanceWatlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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We return to work at this stunning National Trust reserve in the Chilterns, south of Oxford. The reserve is a SSSI on account of the rare species that exist on the chalk grassland, and we work to assist the National Trust warden managing the scrub thickets and invasive species that threaten to overgrow this rare habitat and the countless plants and butterflies that thrive there. Big bonfire guaranteed; superb views over the Oxford Plain (weather permitting) under the watchful eyes of circling kites and buzzards
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Renaud Meunier

Tuesday 6 Nov 2007Committee MeetingTown Hall
We'll be in the Jury Room in the Town Hall on St. Aldates from 8pm, discussing the running of OCV. This is your chance to get involved, so come along, you don't have to be a leader or a committee member. Afterwards we'll go for a drink at the Chequers just off the high street.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 11 Nov 2007HedgelayingBritwell Hill, nr Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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Working at this beautiful spot in the Chilterns AONB, for a LEAF farmer endeavouring to run her farm in a way that supports, protects and encourages wildlife. Re-laying a section of mature hedge enables the farmer to manage a natural boundary in a way which sustains the hedgerow habitat used as a home, shelter, larder and corridor by all sorts of wildlife. A number of the group's more experienced hedgelayers will be coming along on this task to show us the ropes, so if you don't have much experience of hedgelaying now is the time to get a bit of informal training in this traditional skill. Hope to see you there!
Leader: Thalia CarrDriver: Nick Wordsworth

Sunday 18 Nov 2007CoppicingOakley Wood, Oxfordshire
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Returning to work at this site in the Chilterns AONB developing a long-term management plan for a neglected, choked-up hazel coppice. We aim to encourage biodiversity by selectively cutting a coppice coupe; protecting it from deer-grazing with dead-hedging, and burning the large piles of brash to clear the rides (a valuable habitat in themselves) to provide easy access around the site. We will also be harvesting stakes for forthcoming hedgelaying tasks.There is much to do here, let's see what OCV can do..
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Tuesday 20 Nov 2007Italian scranOzone Leisure Complex
I hope you like pasta and pizza because this month we will be dining at Marios Italian restaurant which is at the end of the Cowley road in Oxford. We will be meeting at 7.30pm at the restaurant. Let me know by email or phone if you want to come along.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 25 Nov 2007Habitat managementAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Essential scrub clearance to preserve Natural England, more details soon!
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 2 Dec 2007HedgelayingLittle Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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We return to this Nortmoor Trust managed property at Little Wittenham, home to an iron age fort and the Wittenham Clumps. We continue last years hedgelaying here on a hawthorn hedge round the base of the hill; containing livestock the traditional way and providing a valuable corridor for the wildlife. Perhaps you can bring previous hedgelaying skills with you, or perhaps you'll take new skills home with you!
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jo Gay

Tuesday 4 Dec 2007Committee MeetingTown Hall
We'll be in the Jury Room in the Town Hall on St. Aldates from 8pm, discussing the next month's work. This is your chance to get involved, so come along, you don't have to be a leader or a committee member. Afterwards we'll go for a drink at the Chequers just off the high street.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 9 Dec 2007Habitat / scrub clearanceStansfeld Park, Oxford
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This site in Oxford city centre is run by Birmingham City Council as an area for educational environmental studies. Much of the site is mature woodland; in some areas we will be burning brash and making log habitat piles from debris left by previous work parties. The main work purpose of today's work is to extend and protect some open grassy meadow areas by cutting back encroaching hawthorn scrub
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Tuesday 11 Dec 2007Thai Orchid restaurant, St Clements, OxfordA pub
We're breaking the mould this year and trying to stay away from overdone turkey and mince pies. Join the revolution! We will be meeting at the restaurant at 7.30pm. Please let Naomi know by Monday evening if you would like to join us in the fight against the turkey.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 16 Dec 2007Habitat managementAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Essential scrub clearance and a big bonfire! We will be working for Natural England at this National Nature Reserve to conserve the chalk-grassland SSSI south of Oxford
Leader: Jim RichardsonDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 16 Dec 2007The Half Moon music sessionA pub
A night of traditional folk music and guinness at the Half moon on St Clements. I've not been to any better music sessions since i walked into this pub on a Sunday evening, so it is worth making the effort. If your interested then contact Naomi.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 6 Jan 2008Sheep!Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We will be working for Natural England at this National Nature Reserve and SSSI in the Chilterns. We will be working at Hill Farm helping to maintain their flock of over 300 sheep in good condition by cutting their nails and looking for the signs of any other problems. If the weather is bad we will do scrub clearance instead.
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Nick Wordsworth

Tuesday 8 Jan 2008Committee MeetingTown Hall
Join us in the Jury Room of the Town Hall on St. Aldates for January's Committee Meeting at 8pm. We'll be discussing the day-to-day running of OCV. Afterwards we'll be in The Chequers nearby for a pint, so come along then if you prefer.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 13 Jan 2008Woodland managementWhitecross Green Wood, Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire
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We will be working at one of BBOWT's woodland reserves, creating a scallop along one of the wide rides, by cutting back and burning encroaching scrub species. These sheltered sunny corridors through the woods are favoured by plants and insects, especially butterflies
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Jo Gay

Saturday 19 Jan 2008Coppicing Training WeekendOakley Wood, Oxfordshire
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We return to this privately-owned woodland in the Chilterns AONB, to complete our coppicing project. By coppicing the old hazel here we aim to encourage biodiversity by letting more sunlight into the forest floor, and bring the hazel back into a cycle that can be harvested for usable poles.We will protect the cut stools from deer-grazing with dead-hedging, and harvest stakes to use for hedgelaying tasks later in the season. Our trainer Brian Williamson travels up from Devon to instruct on centuries-old coppicing techniques and use of woodland tools, so this is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Kate Bone

Sunday 20 Jan 2008Coppicing Training WeekendOakley Wood, Oxfordshire
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We return to this privately-owned woodland in the Chilterns AONB, to complete our coppicing project. By coppicing the old hazel here we aim to encourage biodiversity by letting more sunlight into the forest floor, and bring the hazel back into a cycle that can be harvested for usable poles.We will protect the cut stool from deer-grazing with dead-hedging, and harvest stakes to use for hedgelaying tasks later in the season. Our trainer Brian Williamson travels up from Devon to instruct on centuries-old coppicing techniques and use of woodland tools, so this is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Friday 25 Jan 2008The Turf Tavern, OxfordA pub
Join me for a drink at one of Oxfords prettiest pubs and also one of the most difficult to find, especially if you've already had a few. Meeting time will be at 8pm at the pub. If your interested then get in touch. An email has now been sent out.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 27 Jan 2008Reserve maintenanceHolywell Cemetery, Oxford
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This disused cemetery dates from 1848 when cholera had filled older Oxford graveyards. Part of a wildlife corridor in central Oxford, at quiet times you can see a fox or muntjac deer. As to notable graves, there is Kenneth Grahame who wrote 'Wind in the Willows', Walter Pater the Victorian art critic and a few more. OCV has worked here once or twice per year for 25 years - this was a pioneer project in urban conservation and well worth your support. The idea is to respect the graves and those who visit them while encouraging wildlife at the same time. We will be clearing overgrowth to enable access around this tranquil spot, with a warming, smoky bonfire..
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Jim Richardson

Sunday 3 Feb 2008Scrub clearanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We will be working for Natural England at this National Nature Reserve and SSSI in the Chilterns. Clearing an area of large scrub on Beacon Hill to encourage regrowth, therefore creating a varied age structure of plants which provides a valuable habitat for various invertebrates and nesting birds
Leader: Craig WaughDriver: Liz Bath

Tuesday 5 Feb 2008Committee MeetingTown Hall
Every month the committee gets together to talk about anything and everything to do with day-to-day running of OCV. We meet at 8pm in the Jury Room of the Town Hall on St Aldates. If you want to come along and maybe get involved, then please do. Afterwards, we'll go for a drink or twelve at the St Aldates Tavern across the road.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 10 Feb 2008Reserve maintenanceJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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At Jubilee Reserve, a pollarding programme has been implemented to manage the old, creaking willows that overhang the river and threaten to come down and block it over winter. This problem led to severe flooding of the meadows for many months last year.A contractor has been in with a chainsaw to fell the dangerous tree limbs; our job today is to follow-up and burn the large piles of debris on a couple of bonfires
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 17 Feb 2008CoppicingFoxholes, West Oxfordshire
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We return to the enchanted Foxholes Woods on the Oxon/Gloucs to practice the ancient woodland technique of coppicing - used for centuries as a way of producing fuel and materials for building. We will be felling and burning ash which will thin and open up this area of the forest (which benefits biodiversity), and harvesting stakes to use at hedgelaying tasks later in the season.
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Jo Gay

Tuesday 19 Feb 2008BowlingOzone Leisure Complex
Join me for a night of Ten Pin Bowling at the Ozone Leisure center in Littlemore, Oxford. The time has changed to 8.30pm. Unfortunately I now have 8 people. So now there is no room for anyone else. Sorry!
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 24 Feb 2008HedgelayingLittle Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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We return to this Northmoor Trust managed property at Little Wittenham, home to an iron age fort and the Wittenham Clumps. We continue last years hedgelaying here on a hawthorn hedge round the base of the hill; containing livestock the traditional way and providing a valuable corridor for the wildlife. Perhaps you can bring previous hedgelaying skills with you, or perhaps you'll take new skills home with you!
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Nick Wordsworth

Sunday 2 Mar 2008Scrub clearanceWatlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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We return to the stunning National Trust reserve, assisting warden Jerry Page on his mission to reduce invasive scrub on the hill by 50%. We will be removing species such as yew, whitebeam and of course hawthorn, from encroaching over this SSSI chalk grassland site, and restarting the natural succession. A great spot to observe red kites - I once counted 24 circling on one thermal!..
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Jo Gay

Tuesday 4 Mar 2008Committee MeetingTown Hall
The committee will be meeting in the Jury Room in the Town Hall at 8pm, to talk about the issues of the moment. All volunteers are welcome to attend, particularly if they'd like to get involved in the running of OCV or just see what goes on. Once the business is done we'll be in The Chequers pub for a sociable pint or two, so join us there if you want.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 9 Mar 2008Scrub clearanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We will be working for Natural England at this National Nature Reserve, removing scrub to maintain the chalk grassland SSSI
Leader: Craig WaughDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Sunday 16 Mar 2008Scub clearanceChinnor Hill, South Oxfordshire
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Chinnor Hill is a SSSI reserve on the Chiltern escarpment, with woodland, scrub and chalk grassland. It has great views over the vale of Aylesbury with Red Kites and buzzards flying above. The task will be to help BBOWT clear an area of scrub from an old chalk pit and from the surrounding chalk grassland to prevent losing the valuable chalk grassland flowers.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jo Gay

Thursday 20 Mar 2008Greyhound racingOxford Greyhound Stadium
As requested by Jo. This month we will be heading down to the Oxford Greyhound Stadium for a spot of dog racing. An email has now been sent out. If you would like to come along please email socials on the contacts page.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 23 Mar 2008Scrub clearanceGrim's Ditch, Blewbury, South Oxfordshire
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Grims Ditch is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, to be found near the Ridgeway in the rolling, chalk downs of Blewbury. Not all of the earthwork survives above ground, but the Ditch appears to have been a boundary between the various tribes that inhabited the Oxfordshire Plain and Chilterns back in the Iron Age! Today we will be helping English Heritage and Natural England preserve this interesting site by retaining it as permanent grassland.
Leader: Andy MoDriver: Michael Green

Sunday 30 Mar 2008HedgerowBritwell Hill, nr Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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Working at this beautiful spot in the Chilterns AONB, for a LEAF farmer endeavouring to run her farm in a way that supports, protects and encourages wildlife. Last time we laid a section of hedge; hedgelaying enables the farmer to manage a natural boundary in a way which sustains the habitat used as a home, shelter, larder and corridor by all sorts of wildlife. This time we will be finishing off the section of laid hedge with binders, and assisting with other tasks such as removing dead elm and other unwanted species
Leader: Ray HitchinsDriver: Jo Gay

Tuesday 1 Apr 2008Committee MeetingTown Hall
This month's committee meeting will be taking place in the Jury Room of the Town Hall at 8pm. Everyone's welcome, whether you want to participate or just see how things work. You can also join us in The Chequers pub afterwards for a drink or two.
Contact: Andy

Sunday 6 Apr 2008FootpathFoxholes, West Oxfordshire
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We return to work at Foxholes, a truly magical ancient woodland managed by BBOWT. Today we will be maintaining access around the woods by improving stretches of the Oxfordshire Way National Trail that are overgrown or susceptible to flooding. Hopefully an early chance to see the carpet of bluebells that were already pushing through the leaf litter when we last visited in January
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 13 Apr 2008Reserve maintenanceHolywell Cemetery, Oxford
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This disused cemetery dates from 1848 when cholera had filled older Oxford graveyards. Part of a wildlife corridor in central Oxford, at quiet times you can see a fox or muntjac deer. As to notable graves, there is Kenneth Grahame who wrote 'Wind in the Willows', Walter Pater the Victorian art critic and a few more. OCV has worked here once or twice per year for 25 years - this was a pioneer project in urban conservation and well worth your support. The idea is to respect the graves and those who visit them while encouraging wildlife at the same time. We will be clearing overgrowth to enable access around this tranquil spot, with a warming, smoky bonfire..
Leader: Andy MoDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 20 Apr 2008Reserve maintenance - FencingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We will be clearing a fenceline and perhaps making a start on a stretch of fencing at this National Nature Reserve. The wardens use sheep to graze the scrub to preserve the rare chalk grassland SSSI, so they'll be grateful of our brains and brawn to help get the job done on land difficult to access with machinery
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Nick Wordsworth

Tuesday 22 Apr 2008Grub (and maybe pub)Mirch Masala Indian Restaurant
Hope you like spicy food because it's curry time folks. Emails have now been sent out. Please let me know before hand if you would like to come along.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 27 Apr 2008FencingJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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Over the winter we have worked clearing and burning up after a pollarding programme; helping with the management of the valuable wildlife habitat next to the River Dorn in this Local Nature Reserve. Wetland birds such as the Water Rail are thriving here, so the warden's aim today is to try and discourage access (by dogs at least) from this most precious part of the reserve. We'll be putting in a gate, 2 short stretches of fence and a stile
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Friday 2 May 2008Trail Maintenance Weekend ResidentialBrecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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Minibus transport from Oxford city centre out for our long weekend working for the National Trust in the Brecon Beacons National Park. ***ONE PLACE AVAILABLE DUE TO A CANCELLATION!! PLS EMAIL 'tasks@ocv.org.uk' ASAP IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE PART IN THIS PROJECT***
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Liz Bath

Saturday 3 May 2008Trail Maintenance Weekend ResidentialBrecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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Today we will be working for the National Trust contributing to essential trail maintenance and upland erosion control on the glaciated slopes of Pen Y Fan (at 886m the highest mountain in Brecon Beacons National Park).Damage is done to this majestic peak from water running down, and hikers walking up and down the Beacons Way National Trail; so we will be abating these forces of erosion by building revetment walls, stone pitching drains, and seeding and landscaping the thin soil. ***ONE PLACE AVAILABLE DUE TO A CANCELLATION!! PLS EMAIL 'tasks@ocv.org.uk' ASAP IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE PART IN THIS PROJECT***
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 4 May 2008Trail Maintenance Weekend ResidentialBrecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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There is no OCV task in Oxfordshire this weekend as we are away in the Brecon Beacons working for the National Trust on essential trail maintenance and upland erosion control ***ONE PLACE AVAILABLE DUE TO A CANCELLATION!! PLS EMAIL 'tasks@ocv.org.uk' ASAP IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE PART IN THIS PROJECT***
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Liz Bath

Monday 5 May 2008Trail Maintenance Weekend ResidentialBrecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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A half-day off from working; the Brecon Beacons National Park is an ideal base for country pursuits, so let us know what you would like to do. We will leave the basecamp in time to be back in Oxford around 6pm, so you can go back to work or study after this weekend having seen new faces, new places, and knowing you've helped to keep the Great in Britain! ***ONE PLACE AVAILABLE DUE TO A CANCELLATION!! PLS EMAIL 'tasks@ocv.org.uk' ASAP IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE PART IN THIS PROJECT***
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 11 May 2008FootpathDeddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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Today we travel to the English Heritage site of Deddington Castle; the remains of a Norman motte & bailey stronghold dating back to the 13th Century. We will be repairing and improving stretches of the footpaths at the site; so walkers can enjoy the wildlife (such as badgers) that now inhabits this wooded area, without damaging the historical features through erosion
Leader: Andy MoDriver: Jim Richardson

Tuesday 13 May 2008Annual General MeetingTown Hall
This year's AGM will be taking place at 8pm in the Jury Room in the Town Hall. We'll be reviewing OCV's activities in the last year and giving members the opportunity to vote on how the organisation is run. Don't worry if you're not a member, you can join on the night and wield your voting powers straight away. You can also join us for a drink or two afterwards at the Head of the River.
Contact: Andy

Saturday 17 May 2008Taste real ale in a pub or two.The Bear Inn
Beer tasting in some of the ye olde taverns of Oxford. Starting in the Bear Inn at around 7.30pm. Come have a go at tasting a "proper" drink that will put hairs on your chest! We will most probably be visiting some of the other old pubs of Oxford later on in the evening. If your interested please email socials on the contacts page or let Naomi know your coming. Hope to see you there!
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 18 May 2008FencingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We will be continuing our work erecting post & wire stock fencing at this National Nature Reserve. The wardens use sheep to graze the scrub to preserve the rare chalk grassland SSSI, so they'll be grateful of our brains and brawn to help get the job done on land difficult to access with machinery
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Kate Bone

Sunday 25 May 2008HabitatSustrans Cycle Route, Oxfordshire
Recommended as a County Wildlife Site, parts of the cycleway run through exposed, chalky banks that are ideal habitat for many species of 'hymenoptera' (look it up - I did!). We will be assisting in the Sustrans nature conservation plan by preserving this precious habitat by scraping off and removing the vegetation as it starts to colonise
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Liz Bath

Saturday 31 May 2008Fencing Training WeekendCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Our specialist trainer (and ex-OCV volunteer) Brian Williamson travels to instruct on the planning, materials, tools and techniques used in post & wire fencing. This type of barrier is used at many nature reserves to contain livestock. ***LIMITED PLACES LEFT ON THIS FREE TRAINING DAY*** so please email 'tasks@ocv.org.uk' if you want to come along and take advantage of this great opportunity to learn or improve a useful skill
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 1 Jun 2008Fencing Training WeekendCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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***FREE TRAINING DAY*** - post & wire fencing at this chalk grassland County Wildlife Site in the Cherwell Valley.Our specialist trainer (and ex-OCV volunteer) Brian Williamson has travelled to stay for the weekend and instruct on the materials, techniques and tools used in fencing, so this is an excellent opportunity to learn or improve valuable fencing skills for *FREE* - and see the wildflowers and insects that we are helping to conserve
Leader: Emmanuelle DenisDriver: Nick Wordsworth

Tuesday 3 Jun 2008Committee MeetingTown Hall
As usual the committee meeting will be in the jury room of the Town Hall at 8pm. Everyone is welcome to come along, whether you want to contribute something or just see how a charity is organised. You can also meet us in the pub afterwards for a drink or two. We should be in the Head of the River at 9pm.
Contact: Andy

Sunday 8 Jun 2008FootpathChinnor Hill, South Oxfordshire
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Chinnor Hill is a BBOWT reserve in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with stunning views and red kites circling above keeping an eye on proceedings. Today we will be improving access to nature on the reserve by repairing some steps and putting in some new ones, so a great chance to learn a new skill
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Sunday 15 Jun 2008LivestockAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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The wardens at this National Nature Reserve use sheep to graze the scrub to preserve the rare chalk grassland SSSI. Today we'll be helping with husbandry of their flock - clipping hooves and dagging!
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Michael Green

Tuesday 17 Jun 2008A jolly punt down the river.Cherwell Boat House
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OCV'S annual punting trip is happening this month. So lets make a picnic and do it Oxford style. Starting at 7.30pm at the Cherwell boathouse. If you are interested in this social then you can email me @ socials on the contacts page. Tally ho old chaps!
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 22 Jun 2008HabitatCutteslowe Park, Oxford
A few years ago the local community and Cutteslowe primary school planted 900 young trees (oak, ash, rowan, holly, etc) in one corner of the area. When established this will become one of a 'necklace' of woodlands which Forest-of-Oxford intends to plant all around Oxford's ring road. Unfortunately the young trees are now starting to be overgrown by brambles. The task is to cut back, and then uproot the brambles, before they totally invade the planted area. Local community volunteers will also join OCV for the day.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Kate Bone

Sunday 29 Jun 2008FencingCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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We continue the major post & wire fencing project started on our recent training weekend. Livestock grazing is an essential part of the management plan of this chalk grassland reserve - and our fence is an essential part of managing the livestock! We'll be digging in posts, making struts, and straining wire netting - to create a durable, stock-proof barrier. This is a great opportunity to learn or improve a valuable, practical countryside skill
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Tuesday 1 Jul 2008Committee MeetingTown Hall
The meeting will be taking place in the Jury Room of the Town Hall at 8pm. Everyone is welcome to join us, whether you want to add something to the discussion or just see how things are run. You can also meet us in the pub afterwards for a drink. We should be in The Head of the River at about 9pm.
Contact: Andy

Thursday 3 Jul 2008Trail Maintenance Weekend ResidentialExmoor National Park, Devon
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Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Liz Bath

Friday 4 Jul 2008Trail Maintenance Weekend ResidentialExmoor National Park, Devon
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Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Jo Gay

Saturday 5 Jul 2008Trail Maintenance Weekend ResidentialExmoor National Park, Devon
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Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Liz Bath

Sunday 6 Jul 2008Trail Maintenance Weekend ResidentialExmoor National Park, Devon
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Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 13 Jul 2008HabitatSeacourt Nature Park, Oxford
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We'll be working for Oxford City Council to pull ragwort from the beautiful meadow at this site, and to prevent scrub from the surrounding wooded areas from encroaching on this habitat. We are likely to see a diversity of wild flora and butterflies.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 20 Jul 2008FencingCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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We continue the major post & wire fencing project started on our recent training weekend. Livestock grazing is an essential part of the management plan of this chalk grassland reserve - and our fence is an essential part of managing the livestock! We'll be digging in posts, making struts, and straining wire netting - to create a durable, stock-proof barrier. This is a great opportunity to learn or improve a valuable, practical countryside skill
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Jim Richardson

Tuesday 22 Jul 2008Outdoor theatreTrinity College
*Date has changed!*Come and see Shakespeare's comedy 'As you like it' in Trinity college gardens. Performed by the Oxford Theatre Guild. Starts at 7.30pm. We may even fit in a pub visit after the play. I hope you can make it!
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 27 Jul 2008FencingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We will be helping the Natural England wardens maintain post & wire fencing that contains their herd of sheep. Grazing is an essential part of the management plan to preserve the important chalk grassland SSSI at this popular National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns AONB
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 3 Aug 2008HabitatIffley Island, Oxford
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Working for Oxford Preservation Trust to conserve this spit of land next to the Thames which is a SSSI habitat for the fascinating Snakes-Head Fritillary. We will be cutting back the grasses and sedges, and removing the cuttings so the soil is not enriched.We will also be replacing a delapidated fence which should deter dog-walkers!
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Kate Bone

Sunday 10 Aug 2008FencingWells Farm, Little Milton, Oxfordshire
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Wells Farm is a BBOWT working farm in the Chilterns AONB, managed by BBOWT to grow wildlife value as well as profitable crops! A flock of sheep grazes the meadows to help enhance wildflower and insect diversity, so the post & wire fence we will build over 2 sunny tasks in August will help in this plan. Bring suncream and hat cos it's gonna be a hot one!
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Nick Wordsworth

Sunday 17 Aug 2008LivestockAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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The wardens at this National Nature Reserve use sheep to graze the scrub to preserve the rare chalk grassland SSSI. Today we'll be helping with husbandry of their flock - clipping hooves and dagging!
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Jo Gay

Tuesday 19 Aug 2008CurryAziz Restaurant
Curry at the Aziz restaurant on Cowley road. The food in my opinion is always nice here. Lots of choice too. We will be meeting at the restaurant at 7.45pm. Table will be booked for 8pm.
Contact: Naomi

Friday 22 Aug 2008Drystone Walling Weekend ResidentialDurlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jo Gay

Saturday 23 Aug 2008Drystone Walling Weekend ResidentialDurlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Sunday 24 Aug 2008Drystone Walling Weekend ResidentialDurlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Leader: Jo GayDriver: Jo Gay

Monday 25 Aug 2008Drystone Walling Weekend ResidentialDurlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Leader: Jo GayDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Sunday 31 Aug 2008FencingWells Farm, Little Milton, Oxfordshire
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Wells Farm is a BBOWT working farm in the Chilterns AONB, managed by BBOWT to grow wildlife value as well as profitable crops! A flock of sheep grazes the meadows to help enhance wildflower and insect diversity, so the post & wire fence we will build over 2 sunny tasks in August will help in this plan. Bring suncream and hat cos it's gonna be a hot one!
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Nick Wordsworth

Tuesday 2 Sep 2008Monthly Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, afterwards we'll be in The Chequers pub off the High Street from about 9pm.
Contact: Miranda

Sunday 7 Sep 2008FootpathStansfeld Park, Oxford
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After a successful visit last December OCV return to the delightful grounds of Stansfeld Outdoor Education Centre in Headington Quarry. The paths are much used by schoolchildren on educational visits and some areas have become extremely muddy. The main task will be creating new footpaths to divert around some muddy hollows and to fence the muddy areas off to allow a return to wetland habitat. We will also be building some steps on a path and laying bark chippings in muddy puddles on the paths.
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Jim Richardson

Sunday 14 Sep 2008Scrub clearanceSwyncombe Estate, South Oxfordshire
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Removing succession scrub to increase and preserve this chalk grassland SSSI that is absolutely bursting with 'indicator species' like kidney vetch and pyramidal orchids in spring. Stunning views back over the chalk downs and Oxfordshire Plain from this steep bank, and guaranteed red kite patrols above
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Kate Bone

Saturday 20 Sep 2008Beer and Lager tastingCotswold Brewery
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 21 Sep 2008Urban ConservationHolywell Cemetery, Oxford
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This disused cemetery dates from 1848 when cholera had filled older Oxford graveyards. Part of a wildlife corridor in central Oxford, at quiet times you can see a fox or muntjac deer. As to notable graves, there is Kenneth Grahame who wrote 'Wind in the Willows', Walter Pater the Victorian art critic and a few more. OCV has worked here once or twice per year for 25 years - this was a pioneer project in urban conservation and well worth your support. The idea is to respect the graves and those who visit them while encouraging wildlife at the same time. We will be clearing overgrowth to enable access around this tranquil spot, with a warming, smoky bonfire..
Leader: Jerome MichalczykDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 28 Sep 2008FencingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular monthly outing to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns AONB working with Natural England wardens.
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 5 Oct 2008Habitat Iffley Island, Oxford
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We return to this Oxford Preservation Trust site on the banks of the River Isis in Oxford, which is a SSSI habitat for the fascinating Snakes-head Fritillary. We'll finish the vegetation cutting and clearance we started in the summer, and may also pollard willows where possible and remove a dilapidated fence.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jim Richardson

Tuesday 7 Oct 2008Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, afterwards we'll be in The Chequers pub off the High Street from about 9pm.
Contact: Miranda

Saturday 11 Oct 2008Coppicing & Camping Weekend ResidentialWestonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
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We leave Oxford early (about 8.30am TBC) for the short trip to the famous Westonbirt Arboretum in neighbouring Gloucestershire. We will be taking part in a large-scale coppice restoration project, being run by our trainer/ex-OCVer Brian Williamson. So this is a great opportunity for you to learn or improve the techniques, tools, and practical skills involved with this traditional method of woodland management. Primitive camping on site and cooking round the campfire. ****LIMITED PLACES**** Please email tasks@ocv.org.uk for more info
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 12 Oct 2008Coppicing and Camping Weekend ResidentialWestonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
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After a cup of tea and sausage sandwich made on the early-morning embers of the campfire, we continue another day coppicing - enjoying the autumn colours at this famous woodland. We will be taking part in a large-scale coppice restoration project, being run by our trainer/ex-OCVer Brian Williamson . This is a great opportunity for you to learn or improve the techniques, tools, and practical skills involved with this traditional method of woodland management. We pack up camp for the short trip back to Oxford to drop you off around 6pm****LIMITED PLACES**** Please email tasks@ocv.org.uk for more info
Leader: Jim RichardsonDriver: Jo Gay

Thursday 16 Oct 2008Oxford Beer FestivalTown Hall
Who's up for more beer then?! A three day event at the town hall where you can sample some of the weird and wonderful beers, perrys and ciders that this country (and a few others) have to offer. Beer tastings are purchased by a token system. Meeting at 8pm at the town hall entrance. Please email socials@ocv on the contacts page if you are interested.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 19 Oct 2008FencingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular monthly outing to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns AONB working with Natural England wardens.
Leader: Craig WaughDriver: Kate Bone

Sunday 26 Oct 2008Reserve MaintenanceJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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We return to the secluded water meadow Local Nature Reserve which depends on OCV for it's ongoing management! This time we'll be preparing for the ravages of winter repairing a small footbridge, stone-pitching gateways, and burning some of the fallen or pollarded willow that block the rivers and cause flooding after heavy rain
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Sunday 2 Nov 2008Scrub ClearanceWatlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Jo Gay

Tuesday 4 Nov 2008Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, afterwards we'll be in The Chequers pub off the High Street from about 9pm.
Contact: Miranda

Saturday 8 Nov 2008Brash, Burning and BonfiresStansfeld Park, Oxford
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This is a one-off task/social especially for MEMBERS, LEADERS and DRIVERS only to say THANK YOU for all your hard work in OCV this year. There will be NO PICK-UPS for this task - we will be meeting at Stansfeld Outdoor Education Centre in Headington at 1pm. The Centre can be easily reached by bus from both the town centre and Cowley Road, so if you can make it to one of the usual pick-up points, you can make it to Stansfeld! For full details of how to get there, see the website: http://www.stansfeld.bham.org.uk/contacts_&_map.htm. Work will start at 1pm and we will be spending the afternoon collecting, cutting up and burning the many branches left around the site after some heavy pruning. As it gets dark, the task will turn into a social and we will light the bonfire and spend the evening eating and drinking. There may also be sparklers. If you want to come on this task/social, please contact Miranda using the Chair email address (see contacts page). You will need to be a current member, or to have led or driven for a task this year. You will also be asked to make a small contribution towards food.
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 9 Nov 2008Scrub ClearanceCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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We return to work at this County Wildlife Site in the Cherwell Valley, where you will have a chance to admire the 300 metres of post and wire fencing erected on our training tasks throughout the summer. where we'll be tackling the hawthorn scrub that encroaches on the rare limestone grassland habitat
Leader: Craig WaughDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 16 Nov 2008Urban ConservationSS Mary and John Churchyard, Oxford
This Cowley Road churchyard has been transformed over the last 8 years into an urban green space managed for wildlife. Efforts are being made to increase the variety of plants and habitats by managing different areas with different cutting regimes. Lighter work than usual - we will be helping the wardens by removing invasive species (brambles, docks etc), hedge pruning and plugging, and weeding and replenishing the woodchip paths.
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 23 Nov 2008Woodland ManagementAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular monthly outing to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns AONB working with Natural England wardens. We will be opening up a selected area of woodland by removing ash, to maintain diversity and improve conditions for dormice.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Jo Gay

Saturday 29 Nov 2008Coppicing Training WeekendFoxholes, West Oxfordshire
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***MEMBERS ONLY TRAINING DAY - FULL*** We return to this ancient BBOWT-managed woodland in the Cotswolds AONB, famed for it's spring bluebells, birds, bats, fungi, trees ....and OCVs! Our trainer Brian Williamson travels from Westonbirt to instruct on centuries-old coppicing techniques.
Leader: Gary HillierDriver: Jim Richardson

Sunday 30 Nov 2008Coppicing Training WeekendFoxholes, West Oxfordshire
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***FREE TRAINING TASK*** We return to this ancient BBOWT-managed woodland in the Cotswolds AONB, famed for it's spring bluebells, birds, bats, fungi, trees ....and OCVs! Our trainer Brian Williamson travels from Westonbirt to instruct on the centuries-old practice of coppicing - so this is an excellent opportunity to learn or improve the skillls, tools and techniques of traditional, sustainable woodland management .
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 2 Dec 2008Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, afterwards we'll be in The Chequers pub off the High Street from about 9pm.
Contact: Tim

Sunday 7 Dec 2008Hedgelaying and Scrub ClearanceStansfeld Park, Oxford
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A chance to return to the beautiful grounds of Stansfeld Outdoor Education Centre in Headington Quarry. Last December OCV had a successful day clearing scrub that was encroaching on the species rich limestone grassland. This task will continue this valuable work by the laying of hedges adjacent to the meadow to create valuable hedgerow habitat whilst reducing shading of the meadow plants and encouraging diversity. If time allows then some further areas of scrub could be cleared to enlarge the meadows, and create new log piles, with a bonfire to burn the brash.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 14 Dec 2008Scrub ClearanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular monthly outing to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns AONB working with Natural England wardens.
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Friday 19 Dec 2008OCV Christmas PartyWolfson College
Well it's getting close. That time of over-eating and dire T.V. Yes, its nearly Christmas. The OCV gathering will be taking place at Wolfson college which is in North Oxford. More details nearer to the time.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 21 Dec 2008Woodland ManagementFinemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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For the final task of 2008, we travel out to this area of ancient woodland - once part of the Royal Forest of Bernwood, managed by BBOWT to preserve a variety of woodland habitats. By felling selected trees we preserve the wide rides and corridors favoured by many butterflies and birds. As we are warmed by a crackling fire, we can think back over tasks past, and look forward to tasks future!
Leader: Tim HowardDriver: Nick Wordsworth

Sunday 28 Dec 2008No task this Sundayhome
Take it easy and sleep off the excesses of the Christmas holiday. Or maybe head out into the Oxfordshire countryside, take a look at some of our grassland, fences, footpaths and hedges and think about what you can do to help us help wildlife and the local environment in 2009?
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 4 Jan 2009Scrub ClearanceGrim's Ditch, Blewbury, South Oxfordshire
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Grim's Ditch is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, to be found near the Ridgeway in the rolling, chalk downs of Blewbury. Not all of the earthwork survives above ground, but the ditch is thought to have been a boundary between the various tribes that inhabited the Oxfordshire Plain and Chilterns back in the Iron Age. Today we will be helping English Heritage and Natural England preserve this interesting site by retaining it as permanent grassland.
Leader: Caroline RuseDriver: Graham Gillions

Tuesday 6 Jan 2009Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, afterwards we'll be in The Chequers pub off the High Street from about 9pm.
Contact: Tim

Sunday 11 Jan 2009Mini-task and Pub DinnerJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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We've been working at Jubliee Meadows for many years, maintaining the water meadows by repairing bridges and unblocking streams, helping to pollard the willows, and looking after the grassland by constructing fences, gates and stiles to allow cattle to graze. Today the villagers are generously thanking us with a pub dinner open to everyone who's worked on the site in the past. We'll work in the morning, doing reserve maintenance and then go for dinner. If you'd like to come please e-mail Miranda via the contacts page. ** By arrangement only this week , please e-mail before coming to the pickup point **
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Michael Green

Sunday 18 Jan 2009Scrub ClearanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our monthly outing to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. We'll be working with Natural England's wardens to help maintain the grassland by clearing some of the invasive scrub. If it's a clear Winter's day the views from this site can be fantastic, the red kites are always present overhead and there will probably be a fine bonfire.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Tim Howard

Friday 23 Jan 2009Jericho pub tour ; 7.30pmBookbinders pub, Jericho
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We'll start the evening by getting something to eat at the Bookbinders. Good food at reasonable prices so you won't waste any money. We shall then commence the pub "tour" of Jericho. Visiting ale houses galore. You don't have to go on the tour after the food if you don't want to. Also feel free to join the tour for a drink at any point.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 25 Jan 2009Urban ConservationTrap Grounds, Oxford
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The Trap Grounds is an ancient 6-acre site by the canal in North Oxford, consisting of pond, reed beds and scrubby woodland. Recently restored, the area is home to an astonishing array of wildlife. The city council have recently done some woodland maintenance in the area and an area has been cleared of brambles last year by local volunteers. We'll be working with the Friends of the Trap Grounds to clear some more bramble, build habitat piles from the felled trees and drag large items of fly-tipped rubbish to the road for removal.
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Michael Green

Sunday 1 Feb 2009Scrub clearancePilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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We're returning to these fields overlooking Buckingham. This BBOWT site has a long hedge which the OCV managed through hedgelaying for many years. The site is mainly known for the wild flowers which grow on the main field, and today we'll be maintaining the fields for wildflowers with some scrub clearance.
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Tuesday 3 Feb 2009Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, afterwards we'll be in The Chequers pub off the High Street from about 9pm.
Contact: Nathalie

Sunday 8 Feb 2009Urban ConservationHolywell Cemetery, Oxford
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This cemetery in the centre of Oxford was a pioneering site for urban nature conservation when it was first established. Parts of the cemetery are left to scrub over and then periodically cleared, leaving plenty of habitat for wildlife but allowing access to the public. Today we'll be peeling ivy from the gravestones and clearing bramble and small trees. If you come early in the day you might see deer here. Later in the day you'll see the smoke from our bonfire drifting across the churchyard.
Leader: Caroline RuseDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 15 Feb 2009SheepAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns has several flocks of sheep to graze the hillside to maintain the chalk grassland habitat. Today we'll be working with the wardens from Natural England to trim the sheep's feet, so they are maintained in good health for their valuable work. It's great fun, but expect to end up a bit smelly!
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 22 Feb 2009Hedgerow MaintenanceSeacourt Nature Park, Oxford
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We normally work at Seacourt Nature Park in the summer, tackling the ragwort and some small scrub. Today though, we'll be maintaining a recently-laid hedge by laying some of the regrowth to thicken it up and fill in the gaps. The resulting hedge will hopefully make a much better habitat than if it had just been trimmed. We'll also be filling-in some of the gaps with some new planting.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Graham Gillions

Tuesday 24 Feb 2009Ice Skating!Oxford Ice Rink
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Its time to make a fool of yourself on the ice. Hoorah! Maybe there's an OCVer out there who can teach me how to stop on the ice. This months social is being held at the Oxford ice rink which is in Oxpens (near the Westgate center). A pub trip will follow at the end of the skating session. Email has been sent out. Join our mailing list to find out more.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 1 Mar 2009Scrub ClearanceArdley Quarry, Fritwell, Oxfordshire
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Medieval earthworks combine with limestone grassland, woodland and a pool to make this former quarry and railway cutting a very interesting site. We'll be helping wardens from BBOWT maintain this SSSI site through scrub clearance.
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Michael Green

Tuesday 3 Mar 2009Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in St Aldates Tavern opposite the Town Hall from about 9pm.
Contact: Nathalie

Sunday 8 Mar 2009Scrub clearanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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On one of the grassy slopes of this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns we'll be admiring the view and maintaining the grassland through scrub clearance. We'll be working alongside wardens from Natural England and a flock of their sheep as dozens of red kites circle overhead.
Leader: Caroline RuseDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 15 Mar 2009Wetland RestorationLouie Memorial Fields, North Hinksey, Oxford
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After an ecologist's report and advice from OCV's pond expert, a programme of work has been planned to improve the management of this woodland and wetland site in West Oxford. Working for the local parish council we'll be helping to restore a wetland by removing some of the willows, which block out the light and air. We'll also clear some garden plants in the same area and remove dead branches blocking a stream. The recovered wood will be used to build habitat piles in the copse with some of the brash being burnt on a bonfire.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 22 Mar 2009Urban ConservationSimon's Land, Sandford on Thames, Oxford
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This small, former mooring site for narrow boats has been neglected in recent years, muddy and piled up with rubble and fly-tipped rubbish. We'll be clearing some of the garden plants and trees and dragging the bulky rubbish to the road and looking to improve the drainage into the river. The eventual aim is to create a wildlife garden, allowing public access to the river whilst leaving interesting habitat on this urban-fringe land.
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Thursday 26 Mar 2009IndianBombay Restaurant
Its Indian time. A cheap and cheerful Indian restaurant in Jericho. Cheap because you can bring your own alcohol. Hope you can make it. Email will be sent out soon.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 29 Mar 2009Scrub ClearanceWatlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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Working with the National Trust warden and the local volunteers we'll be helping to clear invasive scrub on this beautiful grassland site in the Chilterns AONB. On clear days the views are impressive and the site is a varied and interesting place for a walk if you fancy a break from the work. After March nesting birds mean scrub bashing is very restricted until Autumn, so come and enjoy the one of the last chances for controlled destruction this winter. A roaring bonfire is guaranteed.
Leader: Emmanuelle DenisDriver: Jim Richardson

Saturday 4 Apr 2009First Aid TrainingBritish Red Cross, Abingdon
This is a general 1-day First Aid course run by the British Red Cross to gain a certificate which is valid for 3 years. It covers major injuries and medical conditions, responding to the needs of the unconscious casualty and performing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. We particularly encourage all leaders and drivers to have up-to-date First Aid training, and as many as possible other volunteers. OCV will pay the course fee, but places are limited, so leaders and drivers will have first priority, followed by paid-up members and then everyone else. For more information, or to reserve your place, please e-mail tasks@ocv.org.uk.
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Graham Gillions

Sunday 5 Apr 2009Habitat creationStowe Landscape Gardens, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire
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You might think conservation volunteers would be out of place in neatly maintained gardens, and you might be right. But rest-assured that we're not mowing the grass or polishing the statues today! The National Trust are building a new visitor centre on a messy and disused farm site and surrounding it with new hedges, fences, ponds and scrub as part of a huge programme of habitat creation. Working with one of the NT wardens, today we'll be spreading mulch round a recently-planted hedge, building habitat piles from the scattered dead wood, and admiring the hedgelaying that's been completed recently. A chance to see a Corinthian Arch and be part of the early stages of an interesting new project.
Leader: Lydia ClarkeDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 7 Apr 2009Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in St Aldates Tavern opposite the Town Hall from about 9pm.
Contact: Nathalie

Friday 10 Apr 2009Brecon Beacons Residential 2009Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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We're traveling up from Oxford to the excellent National Trust base camp in the Brecon Beacons National Park for our residential. It's comfortable and well-equipped for a stay in the hills. We'll be leaving in the early evening and having a meal at the base camp when we arrive. If you're interested in coming please e-mail tasks@ocv.org.uk **NOW FULLY BOOKED**
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Michael Green

Saturday 11 Apr 2009Brecon Beacons Residential 2009Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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Today we will be working for the National Trust contributing to essential trail maintenance and upland erosion control on the glaciated slopes of mountains such as Pen Y Fan. Damage is done to this majestic peak from water running down, and hikers walking up and down the Beacons Way National Trail; so we will be abating these forces of erosion by building revetment walls, stone pitching drains, and seeding and landscaping the thin soil. If you're interested in coming please e-mail tasks@ocv.org.uk. **NOW FULLY BOOKED**
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 12 Apr 2009Brecon Beacons Residential 2009Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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Another day working for the National Trust contributing to essential trail maintenance and upland erosion control on the glaciated slopes of mountains such as Pen Y Fan or other areas of the National Trust's property in the Brecon Beacons Natural Park. If you're interested in coming please e-mail tasks@ocv.org.uk. **NOW FULLY BOOKED**
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Michael Green

Monday 13 Apr 2009Brecon Beacons Residential 2009Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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No work today, we'll either go for a hike in the mountains or the valleys with their waterfalls, or visit the caves nearby, or anything else you fancy. We'll head back to Oxford in the early evening. If you're interested in coming please e-mail tasks@ocv.org.uk. **NOW FULLY BOOKED**
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 19 Apr 2009FencingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular visit to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns and the first fencing project of 2009. Under the expert supervision of one of Natural England's wardens we'll be helping to provide the fences needed to control the sheep and goats that are used to keep the valuable chalk grassland from scrubbing over. A chance to admire views of Oxfordshire from the grassy hillsides.
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Graham Gillions

Sunday 26 Apr 2009Path drainage and boardwalk constructionMatthew Arnold Field, Oxford
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This site is owned by the Oxford Preservation Trust and the woodland has been managed for wildlife for many years with help from BBOWT. Today we'll be working for OPT, unblocking drainage to stop the paths becoming waterlogged, building a section of boardwalk and repairing the bank of a pond. An interesting construction project in a nice area of woodland.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Tim Howard

Friday 1 May 2009OCV BBQ and van cleanRadley near Abingdon.
A BBQ and games galore! A celebration of Van Officer Jim's birthday and the start of summer. Also a clean up of the minibus exterior. For those who don't mind getting possibly a bit wet. I need a driver to take us to the stables in Radley where the BBQ is being held and possibly back if they are willing to stay sober. Email has been sent to all of you on the mailing list. My contact email address is on the contacts page if you are interested in this OCV social.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 3 May 2009Path revetmentDeddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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Last year we laid revetment boards along a stretch of the Deddington Castle footpath. The aim was to create a path that didn't become horribly muddy when the ground was wet. After the success of this first section, we've been asked back to work on the next troublesome section. Digging, sawing and post-bashing will be required to complete this project.
Leader: Caroline RuseDriver: Paul Clarke

Tuesday 5 May 2009Annual General MeetingTown Hall
This year's AGM will be taking place at 8pm in the Panel Room in the Oxford Town Hall. We'll be reviewing OCV's activities in the last year and giving members the opportunity to vote on how the organisation is run. We will also elect the new committee for 2009/10. Please send all nominations for committee positions to secretary@ocv.org.uk by Tuesday 28 April 2009. Everyone is welcome to attend. Don't worry if you're not a member, you can join on the night and wield your voting powers straight away. Alternatively, we will go to St Aldate's Tavern for a pint or two after the AGM, so please feel free to come along and join us.
Contact: Nathalie

Sunday 10 May 2009FencingCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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A return to this local nature reserve and county wildlife site at the edge of the railway line and canal. Over four days last summer and after guidance and training we created a very impressive length of post and wire fence complete with lift-out gate, a box strut and with one of the straining posts sunk into near-solid rock! Now we're going back to start the next section while the livestock are out of the way over the summer.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Sunday 17 May 2009SheepAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our monthly visit to this Natural England site in the Chilterns. We'll be helping the wardens care for their flock of sheep by trimming their feet to prevent them going lame. Think of it like having your toenails trimmed. The sheep do a vital job maintaining the grassland by munching their way through any scrub that tries to establish itself. Expect to get a bit of muddy and smelly as you wrestle the sheep into submission.
Leader: Aga RzadDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 24 May 2009Reserve maintenance Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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A return to the beautiful water meadows and the banks of the Dorn and the Glyme. A number of willows were pollarded over the winter and we'll be burning the bulk of the brash while leaving habitat piles where appropriate. We'll also be helping out with whatever other general tasks are needed to keep this interesting and well-visited nature reserve in good condition.
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 26 May 2009PubThe Head Of The River
This months social is a simple one. An evening of enjoying each others company at the Head Of The River (hopefully the weather will have cleared up a bit by then). No need to tell me your coming along, just turn up from about 8pm and stay for as long as you see fit. Everyone is welcome.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 31 May 2009FencingCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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We return to the Crecy Hill County Wildlife Site in Tackley to complete the fence we started earlier this month. The reserve is a narrow strip along a railway line, but very rich in wildflowers. We're using the post and wire fence skills that OCV members learnt last summer, but there'll be plenty of opportunities for new fencers to help out and learn something themselves.
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Graham Gillions

Tuesday 2 Jun 2009Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we will be drinking a pint or two in the Three Goats Head on St Michael's Street from about 9pm.
Contact: Nathalie

Sunday 7 Jun 2009Walkway constructionLye Valley, Oxford
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We often go to the Lye Valley site to rake the fens. But today we'll be doing another job for Oxford City Council who manage the site. We'll be constructing a length of raised walkway assist with public access to the site. It should be an interesting project, with plenty of sawing and bashing and potentially digging required, but hopefully something good to show for it at the end of the day.
Leader: Lydia ClarkeDriver: Paul Clarke

Sunday 14 Jun 2009Tree tube removal and ride wideningPiddington Wood, Buckinghamshire
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Our first visit to this valuable wood. Thousands of new trees have been planted to protect and enlarge the existing ancient woodland. But the trees have become too big for the tubes that originally protected them, and they are now being choked and severely damaged by them. Our job is to remove as many of them as possible and leave them where they can be collected by a contractor. We'll also be widening the path through the wood and preventing it being covered with overhanging vegetation. The piles of cut scrub will provide habitat for some of the rare butterflies on the site. (Note to leaders: As a matter of policy the client asks that the task leader be a qualified first-aider.)
Leader: Michelle ReidDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Sunday 21 Jun 2009SheepAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Working with Natural England's warden, we'll be trimming sheep feet again. A chance to help look after the sheep that graze this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. Expect to get a bit muddy and smelly, and don't be surprised if the sheep are a bit bigger at this time of year after munching their way through all that lovely spring scrub!
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 23 Jun 2009PuntingCherwell Boat House
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OCV's annual punting trip has come around again. It only seems like five minutes since the last one! A picnic and messing about in boats is the order of the evening. Starting from the Cherwell Boathouse at 7.30pm.
Contact: Naomi

Saturday 27 Jun 2009Pond Ecology Training DayLye Valley, Oxford
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Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Paul Clarke

Sunday 28 Jun 2009Pond workLye Valley, Oxford
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After our training and advice from a pond ecology expert yesterday we'll be working to improve the habitat at this Oxford City Council site, but today we'll be knuckling down to the hard, but very important, work. Expect some digging and bring wellies if you have them!
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 5 Jul 2009Reserve maintenanceStansfeld Park, Oxford
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We've recently done fencing, hedge-laying and coppicing on this small but varied woodland site in Headington, Oxford. Today we're returning to build some small pontoons to give access to a pond, as well as clearing scrub from the edge of a small meadow. Since this is an education centre for schoolchildren from Birmingham, there is no public access, so if you're curious to have a look round you'll have to come on an OCV task here!
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 7 Jul 2009Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.
Contact: Nathalie

Sunday 12 Jul 2009Reserve maintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This week we're at one of our most regular sites in the Chilterns. It's a National Nature Reserve with spectacular views over Oxfordshire from the chalk grassland slopes and we'll be working with one of the Natural England wardens. We're not sure what the work is yet, but it might be fencing or looking after the flock of sheep.
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Paul Clarke

Sunday 19 Jul 2009Grassland maintenance and bat box hangingTrap Grounds, Oxford
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This is a lovely nature reserve in North Oxford with woodland, grassland and ponds. We helped out in Winter with some rubbish clearing and scrub bashing. Now we're going back to help clear some invasive Golden Rod, bramble and hawthorn, clear some paths, and to hang some bat boxes in the trees.
Leader: Caroline RuseDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 26 Jul 2009Reserve maintenanceBoarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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This is a new site for us. It's an area of National Trust woodland around a traditional duck decoy. There used to be hundreds of duck decoys in England but this is one of the few remaining. Come along and find out all about it, free admission for us of course! We've got a very varied list of tasks, including path repair, scrub bashing, repainting a hide and repairing some fences and bridges.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jo Gay

Tuesday 28 Jul 2009Rounders and Frisbee etc.Port Meadow, Oxford
An evening of gaming and fun on Port meadow. Maybe followed by a trip to the Perch. Meeting at 7pm. At the WALTON WELL ROAD entrance.
Contact: Naomi

Saturday 1 Aug 2009Pond Training DayTackley Heath, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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This is the second day of pond training from pond expert Rod d'Ayala. The first was in Oxford in June, this is a different sort of site, but equally interesting. We'll be finding out about pondlife, and learning pond conservation and management techniques. Expect to do a bit of fishing around, to learn a lot and, above all, remember bring your wellies! **Booking will be required for this day.**
Leader: Michelle ReidDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 2 Aug 2009Pond ConservationTackley Heath, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Armed with what we learnt from yesterday's training day, we'll be carrying out recommendations for maintaining and conserving the area around this interesting pond. Expect some hard work, possibly including a bit of digging. Wellies may well be useful!
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 4 Aug 2009Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.
Contact: Nathalie

Sunday 9 Aug 2009Fen rakingLye Valley, Oxford
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Working with Oxford City Council's wardens we will be raking the fen, soon after it's been mowed. This is a traditional management practice and helps to maintain the botanical richness of the fen and maintain the habitat for birds. It should be nice summer work, especially if the weather is good.
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Matt Cardy

Sunday 16 Aug 2009Reserve maintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This week we're at one of our most regular sites in the Chilterns. It's a National Nature Reserve with spectacular views over Oxfordshire from the chalk grassland slopes and we'll be working with one of the Natural England wardens. We're not sure what the work is yet, but it might be fencing or looking after the flock of sheep.
Leader: Lydia ClarkeDriver: Paul Clarke

Saturday 22 Aug 2009Ragwort PullingSeacourt Nature Park, Oxford
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The first of a meadow maintenance double-bill this weekend. Today we'll be pulling ragwort from this site in West Oxford. This means the City Council can fulfill its obligations to its neighbours without damaging mowing. We'll also remove some self-seeded saplings to stop the valuable grassland being invaded by scrub. It's also a chance to look at how the recently-laid hedge on this site is doing in Summer.
Leader: Caroline RuseDriver: Paul Clarke

Sunday 23 Aug 2009Sedge grass cuttingIffley Island, Oxford
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Another area of meadow today. With our slashers and sickles sharpened we'll be heading down to the Thames near Iffley to attack the sedgy grass on this Oxford Preservation Trust site. The "island" is between the river and some narrow boat moorings and owes its status as a SSSI to the presence of rare wildflowers. We cut the grass twice last year to try to bring it back into the cycle of annual grass cutting that a site like this needs.
Leader: Michelle ReidDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Tuesday 25 Aug 2009SushiYo Sushi, Oxford
This months social is sushi at Yo Sushi in Oxford. I thought I'd go for something a little different this time. So its all Japanese. We will be meeting at the restaurant at 7.30pm. You don't have to eat raw fish if you don't want to! email socials@ocv.org.uk for more info
Contact: Naomi

Friday 28 Aug 2009Swanage ResidentialDurlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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We return to Swanage in Dorset and the lovely Durlston Country Park high up on the cliffs. We'll be drystone walling as in previous years and possibly doing some meadow maintenance as well this time. We go out on the Friday evening and come back on Bank Holiday Monday evening, giving us two days working and one for a walk or games on the beach. **Booking required, more details sent to OCV members nearer the time.**
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Jo Gay

Saturday 29 Aug 2009Swanage ResidentialDurlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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We return to Swanage in Dorset and the lovely Durlston Country Park high up on the cliffs. We'll be drystone walling as in previous years and possibly doing some meadow maintenance as well this time. We go out on the Friday evening and come back on Bank Holiday Monday evening, giving us two days working and one for a walk or games on the beach. **Booking required, more details sent to OCV members nearer the time.**
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Paul Clarke

Sunday 30 Aug 2009Swanage ResidentialDurlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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We return to Swanage in Dorset and the lovely Durlston Country Park high up on the cliffs. We'll be drystone walling as in previous years and possibly doing some meadow maintenance as well this time. We go out on the Friday evening and come back on Bank Holiday Monday evening, giving us two days working and one for a walk or games on the beach. **Booking required, more details sent to OCV members nearer the time.**
Leader: Miranda RixDriver: Jo Gay

Monday 31 Aug 2009Swanage ResidentialDurlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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We return to Swanage in Dorset and the lovely Durlston Country Park high up on the cliffs. We'll be drystone walling as in previous years and possibly doing some meadow maintenance as well this time. We go out on the Friday evening and come back on Bank Holiday Monday evening, giving us two days working and one for a walk or games on the beach. **Booking required, more details sent to OCV members nearer the time.**
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Paul Clarke

Sunday 6 Sep 2009FencingStowe Landscape Gardens, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire
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Last time we went to Stowe we had an insider's tour of the landscape gardens conducted by those responsible for maintaining them. This time working for the National Trust near the site of their new visitor centre at Stowe we'll be helping with some fencing. The work will be part of a programme of habitat creation around this part of the site. A chance to take part in the early stages of a very worthwhile project.
Leader: Jim RichardsonDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 8 Sep 2009Committee Meeting - Clerks Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.
Contact: Nathalie

Sunday 13 Sep 2009Bramble-bashing and hedge-plantingMoor Lane, West Hagbourne
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This week we're tidying up this overgrown lane in the village of West Hagbourne, near Didcot. The aim is to improve the wildlife value of the area by clearing some of the overgrown scrub, whilst leaving the valuable ditches and plenty of dead wood for invertebrates. We'll also be planting some new hedge plants to fill in the gaps. So it should be a varied day's work with something for everyone.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 20 Sep 2009Reserve maintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This week we're at one of our most regular sites in the Chilterns. It's a National Nature Reserve with spectacular views over Oxfordshire from the chalk grassland slopes and we'll be working with one of the Natural England wardens. We're not sure what the work is yet, but it might be fencing or looking after the flock of sheep.
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 27 Sep 2009Reserve maintenanceLouie Memorial Fields, North Hinksey, Oxford
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Earlier this year we did a fair amount of scrub clearing on this woodland and fen site overlooking west Oxford. Now we're returning to remove some more of the encroaching willows to further protect the fenland. We've also got a stream to unblock and some gate and fence alterations, so there should be plenty of valuable work for everyone to do. There will be probably be a good bonfire too.
Leader: Craig WaughDriver: Kate Bone

Saturday 3 Oct 2009 -
Sunday 4 Oct 2009
Hedgelaying and Scrub-bashing Camping ResidentialChalkhills, Whitchurch on Thames, South Oxfordshire
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Working on this privately-owned nature reserve in South Oxfordshire we'll be helping to restore chalk grassland through scrub-clearance, laying a length of hedge, felling some trees and learning to build a scrub fence. Chalkhills reserve is on a hillside with splendid views and is home to wildlife including badger sets, valuable grassland wild flowers and the rare Chalkhill Blue butterfly. Since it's a little further away than normal we'll be doing two days with camping overnight. Come along with your sleeping bag and when Saturday's work is done and it starts to get dark we'll pitch up tents and gather round the campfire. ** This resi is now full, no more bookings please! **
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Inigo Surguy

Tuesday 6 Oct 2009Committee Meeting - Judges Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim (a pub on one side of the Westgate Centre) from about 9pm.
Contact: Nathalie

Sunday 11 Oct 2009Reserve maintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular monthly visit to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. It's a fantastic site with chalk grassland, woodland and great views over Oxfordshire. There are always huge numbers of red kites circling overhead keeping an eye on us. We'll be working with one of the experienced wardens from Natural England. At this time of year we could be helping to maintain the chalk grassland through scrub clearance, fencing, coppicing or looking after one of the flocks of sheep. As usual, the exact type of work planned will be announced on the mailing list near the time. ** Update: We're sheep foot-trimming this week. **
Leader: Elizabeth MorrowDriver: Jo Gay

Friday 16 Oct 2009Oxford Beer FestivalTown Hall
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 18 Oct 2009Fen-raking and Willow stubbingLye Valley, Oxford
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Leader: Michelle ReidDriver: Bob Dunn

Sunday 25 Oct 2009Hedge layingDeddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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A day's hedge laying in Deddington. It's a mature hedge and with quite a few gaps, but hopefully we should be to bring it back into line and create a dense barrier that will provide a much better habitat, corridor and food source for wildlife. There's woodland nearby in need of coppicing, so that will hopefully provide some of the stakes and binders used in the hedge laying.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Inigo Surguy

Sunday 1 Nov 2009Scrub bashing and hedge restorationFolly Hill Wood, Faringdon, West Oxfordshire
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Our first visit to the site of this iconic monument, just West of Oxford. The main job will be clearing scrub from around the monument site, we may do some coppicing there as well. The Scots Pine that dominate the site have been recently thinned out, so it's a good time to help any native species struggle against the bramble and improve the diversity and public access. On the path leading to the Folly we will try to restore a hedge by laying some of the trees and filling in the gaps with new hedge plants.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Paul Clarke

Tuesday 3 Nov 2009Committee Meeting - St Aldate's Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.
Contact: Nathalie

Sunday 8 Nov 2009Reserve maintenance - coppicingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We're back to Natural England's Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve, our most regular site. We will be helping to maintain the important woodland through coppicing.
Leader: Caroline RuseDriver: Jerome Michalczyk

Saturday 14 Nov 2009Scrub clearanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
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We were last at the Trap Grounds at the end of July, helping to create a new path through the woodland, fell some sycamores, hang bat boxes and uproot some golden rod in the corner of the meadow. Local people fought an epic legal battle to save this woodland, wetland and meadow site from development and secure it as a Town Green. The site is now being actively managed for wildlife after a long period of neglect and use as a rubbish dump. It's already looking great, but there's a huge amount still to do. This time we'll be attacking more bramble and scrub to open up areas of woodland and enlarge the meadow, possibly making new paths, building habitat piles and with a warming bonfire to gather round at lunchtime.
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Matt Cardy

Sunday 15 Nov 2009Hedge layingStansfeld Park, Oxford
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Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Paul Clarke

Tuesday 17 Nov 2009Russian food.Arbat, Cowley Road
Something different this time. You might love it, you'll never know until you give it a go! Russian cuisine is on the menu for this months social. Everyone is welcome to come along just let me know first. We will be meeting at 7.30pm at the restaurant.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 22 Nov 2009Reed cutting and scrub bashingParsonage Moor, Oxfordshire
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Parsonage Moor is a lowland wilderness containing alkaline fen, marsh and swamp habitats. This week we're working there with BBOWT to cut reed and scrub. Reed cutting has been found to make the site wetter and wetland habitat is of particular importance for nature conservation. Come along and join in the organised destruction in a good cause. Probably worth having wellies with you for this one!
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 29 Nov 2009Urban conservationHolywell Cemetery, Oxford
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We're in central Oxford this week, at Holywell Cemetery. Last time we were here it was covered in snow. This site is managed both for public access to the cemetery and for wildlife. Rather than cut the grass neatly, different areas are allowed to scrub over and then cleared in rotation so there is always plenty of ground cover for wildlife, but access is maintained. We'll be clearing an area, carefully removing ivy from the gravestones and burning the scrub. So there's likely to be a good bonfire. This is an ideal task for anyone coming along for the first time, because it's easy to get to and you can just come for part of the day if you prefer.
Leader: Aga RzadDriver: Paul Clarke

Tuesday 1 Dec 2009OCV committee meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.
Contact: Nathalie

Sunday 6 Dec 2009Scrub clearanceHook Norton Cutting, North Oxfordshire
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This disused railway cutting is a SSSI and the site of OCV's first task in October 1977, clearing a line for a rabbit fence. We returned in 2007 to celebrate our 30th anniversary with some more scrub bashing on the steep slopes. It's an SSSI because the construction of the railway revealed the interesting geology and fossils. It also provides fantastic habitat for wildlife. This week we are working with a BBOWT warden to clear scrub a bit more scrub on the site. Expect a good bonfire to keep you warm during tea-breaks, that's if scrambling up and down the banks of the cutting doesn't keep you warm!
Leader: Michelle ReidDriver: Inigo Surguy

Sunday 13 Dec 2009Reserve maintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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A visit to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. We'll be helping Natural England with their scrub bashing, tackling anything too big for sheep to munch through. If there's a chill in the air, then the bonfire will keep you warm, and possibly excite the interest of the Red Kites. It's getting close to Christmas so expect parsnips or spuds roasted in the embers.
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Bob Dunn

Friday 18 Dec 2009Christmas partyIt's a surprise
Mark this date in your diary for the annual OCV Christmas bash! Details to be announced closer to the day.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 20 Dec 2009Scrub clearanceWatlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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More large scale scrub-bashing on this National Trust site in the Chilterns. There are excellent views across Oxfordshire from hillside, and huge numbers of Red Kites overhead. We'll be working alongside the National Trust warden and the Friends of Watlington Hill. We're promised an excellent pre-Christmas bonfire to roast your parsnips or potatoes.
Leader: Michelle ReidDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 27 Dec 2009No task this week
It's the day after the day after Christmas Day today, so no OCV task this week. Stay at home and doze off in front of the TV. Or, even better, grab a map and head out into the countryside and go and see somewhere that OCV have cleared, coppiced, pollarded, raked, hedgelayed, walled or fenced. Admire the past years' works and look forward to tasks in the future. Think about whether you could be a leader, driver or committee member and help things run smoothly in 2010. Normal tasks will resume the day after the day after New Year's Day.
 

Sunday 3 Jan 2010Hedge RestorationMoor Lane, West Hagbourne
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We start the new year with further hedge restoration work on this ancient byway near the village of West Hagbourne in South Oxfordshire. The aim is to turn the large swathes of scrub at each side of the path back into recognisable hedges. This preserves the diverse range of species that have colonised the area over perhaps 200 years and is an infinitely better solution to the overgrown hedge than drastic actions with machinery. We'll be hacking through the bramble, and removing scrub that is not in the line of the hedge, perhaps laying some lengths and possibly replanting the gaps. We'll have a bonfire as well, which will be especially welcome if the weather is very cold.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jo Gay

Tuesday 5 Jan 2010OCV committee meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.
Contact: Nathalie

Sunday 10 Jan 2010Scrub Clearance - CANCELLEDCalvert Jubilee, Calvert, Buckinghamshire
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We'll be working with BBOWT's wardens at this beautiful nature reserve in Buckinghamshire. The site was once a clay pit for the brick industry, but is now a fantastic open water and wetland site with an impressive range of bird visitors. We're likely to be helping with scrub clearance. Without seemingly destructive management work, wetland areas would soon become scrubby woodland and the rarer types of habitat and their associated wildlife would quickly be lost. Come along for some valuable work on a beautiful site. **We regret that this task has been CANCELLED due to the dangerous conditions of the roads approaching the site and the slippery conditions of railway cutting we were due to work on.**
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Michael Green

Saturday 16 Jan 2010Reserve MaintenanceJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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Today we'll be heading to an old favourite site for some serious scrub burning. The willows have been pollarded, the logs removed for fuel for locals, and we're left with piles of the brashy material to burn. Otherwise the willow cuttings start to grow and the valuable wetland grass habitat will be jeopardised. If there's time we'll also do some preparatory work for a new set of steps we're installing in the spring. If you've never been to this fantastic reserve then it's well worth coming along.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 17 Jan 2010CoppicingBoarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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Come along and learn the ancient skill of coppicing at this very interesting National Trust site near the Buckinghamshire border. Traditional coppicing is a way of harvesting wood every few years, and then allowing the trees to grow back. Traditionally, every part of the tree was used, for either building materials, fencing or hedging stakes, or fuel. Our work will leave areas of the woodland open for particular types of wildlife, with the cut wood forming habitat piles for invertebrates, hedging stakes and binders for our hedge-laying work or fuel for the warden's house. The excess brushy material will probably make a bonfire to keep us warm during tea-breaks!
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Paul Clarke

Thursday 21 Jan 2010Pub visitThe Kings Arms, Broad Street
A time to think about tasks of the coming year, drink beer and grab a bite to eat. Please email Naomi for information on this event. We are meeting at 7.30pm in the pub.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 24 Jan 2010Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular monthly visit to our favourite National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns in South Oxfordshire. At this time of year we'll most likely be doing either scrub clearance to protect the grassland, coppicing in the woodland area or just possibly looking after one of the flocks of sheep. As usual, further details will be in the weekly email, so if you're not on the mailing list then sign up now! Aston Rowant is a fantastic site with several very distinct areas, so if you haven't been before then this task is a must!
Leader: Naomi BergerDriver: Matt Cardy

Sunday 31 Jan 2010Scrub ClearanceCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Together with locals from the Parish Council we've been keeping the scrub under control on this chalk grassland, railway embankment nature reserve for a number of years. We know it's chalk grassland from the range of wild flowers you see in the spring - many of them chalk grassland indicator species - and also because we dug holes for fence posts here, in some cases into almost solid rock! We can admire that whole length of fence constructed in Summer 2008 and 2009 today as we cut the scrub back on this lovely site.
Leader: Aga RzadDriver: Jo Gay

Tuesday 2 Feb 2010OCV committee meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.
Contact: Nathalie

Thursday 4 Feb 2010 -
Sunday 7 Feb 2010
Brecon Beacons Residential TripBrecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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Our trip to the Dan-y-Gyrn National Trust base camp in the Brecon Beacons is fast becoming an annual tradition. But this time we're going a bit earlier in the year than previously. This gives us the chance to see this beautiful part of Wales in the Winter. If the weather is too chilly or wet for path work on the hills then we'll be in one of the valleys, perhaps doing some woodland work. We'll leave on Thursday evening, work on Friday and Saturday, then have Sunday to look around the area, and come back Sunday night. Remember, if you want to come, you'll have to take Friday off work, because it's not a bank holiday weekend. It should be well worth it though. The National Trust accommodation is very comfortable, with dormitories, showers, fully-equipped kitchen and a log burning stove. Good food, drink and company guaranteed. This trip was fully booked very quickly last year, so click below if you want to book, or email Chris for more details. (You'll have to become a member if you're not one already.) **THIS IS NOW FULL!**
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Paul Clarke

Sunday 14 Feb 2010Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our monthly visit to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. We'll be working with one of the wardens from Natural England. We could be coppicing, scrub-bashing or looking after one of the flocks of sheep. The weekly email should give more details. But whatever we get up to, there's going to be a good chance to see some fine views of Oxfordshire.
Leader: Michelle ReidDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 21 Feb 2010Scrub ClearanceRushy Meadows, Kidlington
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An interesting new site for us this week. It's an important area of meadow/wetland near Kidlington, just North of Oxford and we'll be working for the landowners, helping to put into practice conservation advice they've recently received from Natural England. The aim today will be to coppice a large clump of willows that are beginning to encroach on the wetland. So we'll be protecting this habitat from gradually turning into scrubby woodland. We might leave some of the material as habitat piles at the edges, but a good bonfire is definitely to be expected.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 23 Feb 2010Ice skatingOxford Ice Rink
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I know how much some of you enjoyed ice skating last time so I thought we could do it again! Session starts at 8pm. A pub visit after the skating might be necessary so that we can quench our thirst.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 28 Feb 2010Scrub ClearanceLittle Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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An old favourite for us this week, we worked here a lot in previous years and you'll be able to see some expertly laid hedges around the site. Today though we'll be up one of the hills itself, helping to clear some scrub and restore the area to it's traditional state. If you've never noticed the clumps before then you probably haven't been around this area long! They are very distinctive landmarks, of archaeological importance as well as value for wildlife, and are expertly managed by the Northmoor Trust. Come along today to find out more about the area and join in the scrub clearing.
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Inigo Surguy

Tuesday 2 Mar 2010OCV committee meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.
Contact: Nathalie

Sunday 7 Mar 2010Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We're back to Aston Rowant this week, one of our most regular work sites and a National Nature Reserve. We'll be helping the wardens from Natural England with either controlling scrub encroaching on chalk grassland, coppicing one of the several areas of woodland, or possibly helping with one of the flocks of sheep. More details will be included in the weekly email, so join the mailing list if you're not on it already.
Leader: Lydia ClarkeDriver: Paul Clarke

Sunday 14 Mar 2010Scrub ClearanceChinnor Hill, South Oxfordshire
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Chinnor Hill is a BBOWT nature reserve in the Chilterns. In the past, we've cleared scrub and build several sets of steps on this site. Today's work is most likely to be scrub clearance, either to maintain the chalk grassland or the numerous footpaths in the area. We'll be working alongside a warden from BBOWT, so we'll have expert direction and a chance to admire the views over Oxfordshire.
Leader: Michelle ReidDriver: Jo Gay

Friday 19 Mar 2010Spanish FoodAl-Andalus
It's spanish this time. This months social is at the Al Andalus restaurant on Little Clarendon Street, Oxford. More information will be sent to the mailing list later. Be there at 8pm.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 21 Mar 2010Path CreationTrap Grounds, Oxford
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Over the last year we've done a number of days' work at this former rubbish dump in North Oxford. It's now protected as a Town Green, and our work with rubbish removal, habitat creation, path clearing, meadow work and bramble bashing has helped to improve it noticeably. On quite a small site, there are ponds, woodland and meadow areas, and it's a popular outdoor space with the local community. Today we'll be continuing this work. Since this site is only a short walk from the centre of Oxford, feel free to come along for any part of the day if you want to see if conservation volunteering is for you!
Leader: Elizabeth MorrowDriver: Michael Green

Sunday 28 Mar 2010HedgelayingDeddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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This week we'll be laying another section of hedge, just along from the section we completed in October. Without active management a hedge becomes simply a line of large trees. Instead, a dense hedge forms a corridor, home and food source for a range of wildlife. And hedgelaying is the traditional way of achieving this. This will be the last hedgelaying we do until the Autumn due to the start of the bird nesting season. So come to the last chance to participate in this skilled and valuable work.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Michael Green

Sunday 4 Apr 2010Step BuildingJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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Jubilee Meadows is a nature reserve created and managed by the Wootton Conservation Trust. There are chalk grassland slopes managed by grazing cattle and a wetland area surrounded by willows and bordered by the beautiful Dorn and the Glyme rivers. We were last here in January to help with the willow pollarding and in the past we've done a lot of fencing work on this site. Today we are building a set of steps down a steep slope, using some recycled railway sleepers. Some digging, heaving and bashing will be required, but we should have a very useful set of steps to show for it at the end of the day.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 6 Apr 2010OCV committee meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.
Contact: Nathalie

Sunday 11 Apr 2010Duck Decoy MaintenanceBoarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 18 Apr 2010Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular monthly visit to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We'll be helping the wardens from Natural England with whatever they need to do to maintain the chalk grassland, paths and woodland. At this time of year it's most likely to be fencing work, although looking after the flock of sheep is also a possibility. Further details will be given on the mailing list as usual.
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Paul Clarke

Sunday 25 Apr 2010Path MaintenanceHanborough Parish, Oxfordshire
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It's nearly 3 years since we last worked at Long Hanborough, on a very hot day. Despite the heat we helped to clear the path, which was becoming overgrown with turf, and we made a massive difference to it. We eventually ended up sipping cold drinks in the cricket pavilion. Now, of course, it needs doing again! A conservation volunteer's work is never done! But if we make good progress with the work we can always have a drink at the nearby pub at the end of the day.
Leader: Steve LilleyDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 2 May 2010Step BuildingArdley Quarry, Fritwell, Oxfordshire
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Ardley Quarry is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) with plenty of exciting geological features and rare wildlife. It's managed by BBOWT for the benefit of the wildlife and we've worked here several times before, most recently helping with scrub control. Today our work is going to be helping to maintain public access with some step-building projects. More information will be in the weekly email as usual. If you haven't been to this site before it's well worth a visit.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Kate Bone

Tuesday 4 May 2010Annual General MeetingTown Hall
This year's AGM will be taking place at 8pm in the Jury Room in the Oxford Town Hall. We'll be reviewing OCV's activities in the last year and giving members the opportunity to vote on how the organisation is run. We will also elect the new committee for 2010/11. Please send all nominations for committee positions to secretary@ocv.org.uk by Tuesday 27 April 2010. Everyone is welcome to attend. Don't worry if you're not a member, you can join on the night and wield your voting powers straight away. Alternatively, we will go to Far from the Madding Crowd for a pint or two after the AGM, so please feel free to come along and join us.
Contact: Nathalie

Sunday 9 May 2010Duck Decoy MaintenanceBoarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Tim Howard

Friday 14 May 2010 -
Monday 17 May 2010
Residential TripPeak District National Park, Derbyshire
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We're off to the Peak District National Park for this long weekend. We'll be working with the National Park Authority to maintain public access and do whatever conservation work they want us for. They are well used to working with volunteers and have excellent facilities, including the converted barn where we will be staying. We'll set off on the Friday night, work Saturday and Sunday and have Monday to enjoy seeing more of the area, perhaps hiking up a hill, and returning on Monday evening. It's not a bank holiday so you might need to take Monday off work. There may also be an option to leave by train on Sunday night after we finish work. More information will be sent to the members mailing list, so please become a member if you want to find out about how to come.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Paul Clarke

Tuesday 18 May 2010BowlingOzone Leisure Complex
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 23 May 2010Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Another of our monthly visits to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve, managed by Natural England and situated in the heart of the Chilterns. It's home to juniper on growing on chalk grassland, several flocks of sheep and goats to control the scrub, valuable native woodland, an abundance of red kites, and orchids other rare wild flowers. Conveniently, it's also very close to the M40! We'll be helping the wardens with their projects, which are most likely to be fencing, path or sheep work at this time of year. Make sure you're on our mailing list to find out more about exactly what's planned for this week.
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 30 May 2010FencingStowe Landscape Gardens, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire
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We're returning to Stowe Landscape Gardens in Buckinghamshire this week to help out with some fencing work at the site of the new visitor centre. We did a lot of fencing here last year. It will be interesting to see how the plans to create new habitat, protect existing badger setts and create hedges are coming along on this site.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 1 Jun 2010Committee meeting - 8pm - Jury RoomTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.
Contact: Lydia

Sunday 6 Jun 2010Revetment RepairMatthew Arnold Field, Oxford
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We've worked on this site once before, creating an impressive length of boardwalk. Now we're going back to repair a different section, where the revetments have collapsed and the path is slipping away. We're working for the Oxford Preservation Trust who own the site as a result of its connection with the poet Matthew Arnold. They are being advised about management by BBOWT, with OCV doing the digging, sawing and bashing. So, as usual, someone else does the paperwork and we get to do the fun bit! It should be a satisfying day's project.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Paul Clarke

Sunday 13 Jun 2010Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Another visit to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chiltern hills. This time it will be the height of Summer and so it's probably an excellent time to see everything that the chalk grassland has to offer in terms of wild flowers. We'll be working with the wardens from Natural England helping with whatever reserve maintenance they think is most important. It could be fencing, path work or looking after one of the flocks of sheep that graze the fields to keep the grassland from being taken over with scrub.
Leader: Paul ClarkeDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 15 Jun 2010Evening walk and pub visitPort Meadow, Oxford
A summer evening walk starting from Jericho walking to wolvercote and then back into Oxford. It's about 5 miles long and I'm sure will involve a visit to the pub. Hopefully the weather will be kind! Start at 7pm.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 20 Jun 2010Scrub clearanceLouie Memorial Fields, North Hinksey, Oxford
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This week's task is an unusual one. We are cutting some trees and brash to provide material to dam a stream. Diverting the stream is part of a programme of works to improve the habitat in the wood and protect the valuable fen. We'll be working with an ecologist, and hopefully some local volunteers as part of a project supported by the Trust for the Oxfordshire Environment. The ecologist's input in this project will avoid any risk of disturbing nesting birds, given the time of year. It should be an interesting day's work.
Leader: Andy MoDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 27 Jun 2010Thistle PullingTuckmill Meadows, Oxfordshire
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This week we're off to Tuckmill Meadows, a area of stream-side fen, meadow, woodland and hedgerows which has been designated an SSSI. Working with one of the BBOWT wardens who look after the site, we'll be tackling some of the invasive thistles before they have chance to seed. It should be an enjoyable day's work especially if the mid-Summer weather is kind to us.
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Kate Bone

Sunday 4 Jul 2010Meadow MaintenanceFields at Hook Norton Cutting, North Oxfordshire
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This week it's a new site for us, a privately-owned SSSI on the edge of the Hook Norton cutting. It's just over the road from the BBOWT site where we've often worked in the past. We're assisting with pulling the ragwort from the meadow. Ragwort is poisonous, and there can be legal obligations on landowners to control it. So if we weren't available to pull it, the ragwort might have to be mowed or sprayed, which would damage the biodiversity on a sensitive site like this. Come along for some pleasant, and generally uncomplicated Summer work.
Leader: Nathalie MartenDriver: Tim Bletsoe

Tuesday 6 Jul 2010Committee Meeting - 8pm - Jury RoomTown Hall
OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.
Contact: Lydia

Sunday 11 Jul 2010Reserve maintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular monthly visit to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. Summer work here could be fencing, path work or looking after the sheep. We'll be working with the Natural England wardens who are extremely knowledgeable about the countryside and will be sure to find us some valuable and interesting work to do. As usual, the exact work planned will be announced on the mailing list in the week before. So if you're not already on our mailing list, then now would be great time to join it.
Leader: Paul ClarkeDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 18 Jul 2010Pipe-edgingBoarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Jo Gay

Tuesday 20 Jul 2010Burgers!!Atomic Burger
A visit to the delightfully kitsch world of small independent burger bars on Oxford's very own strip, the Cowley Road. Quality home made burgers are made in this gaff and served with an eclectic choice of toppings and quality sides, salads and beverages. Any burger can be made with beef, chicken or veggie. This restaurant has a comic book theme so feel free to don superhero garb! 96 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1JE
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 25 Jul 2010Meadow MaintenanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
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The Trap Grounds is a small pocket of the countryside in the middle of urban north Oxford next to the canal. A group of local residents fought and won an epic legal battle to stop it being developed for housing, and had it designated as a Town Green. Since then, and with OCV's help, the area has been cleared up, with projects to increase biodiversity, remove dangerous rubbish and improve public access. There are woods and ponds, and part of the site is being maintained as meadow, which is where we are working today. We'll be pulling up the invasive Golden Rod and preventing bramble encroachment.
Leader: Andy MoDriver: Stuart Malyn

Sunday 1 Aug 2010Reserve maintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Another of our monthly visits to our most regular work site. It's a National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns, with particularly special junipers on chalk grassland. We sometimes look after one of their flocks of sheep or do some fencing work, particularly in the Summer months. We'll be working with one of the highly-knowledgeable wardens from Natural England. The exact details will be announced nearer the time on the OCV email list.
Leader: Elizabeth MorrowDriver: Tim Bletsoe

Tuesday 3 Aug 2010Committee MeetingTown Hall
OCV's monthly committee meeting is taking place in the Jury Room of the Town Hall at 8pm. Everyone is welcome - come along to find out how the charity is run and perhaps get involved. Alternatively, you can join us afterwards for a pint at Far From the Madding Crowd from around 9pm (down the alley next to where Borders used to be).
Contact: Lydia

Sunday 8 Aug 2010Step-buildingArdley Quarry, Fritwell, Oxfordshire
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We last visited Ardley Quarry in the Spring and put in four new sets of steps using wooden planks and stobs. This time we'll be continuing the work of improving the quality of the public access on the labyrinthine network of paths through this SSSI. Working with the BBOWT warden we'll be sawing, digging and bashing. We might also create some revetments where there is the risk of erosion of sections of footpath. Expect grateful thanks from local dog walkers and visitors to this interesting nature reserve.
Leader: Steve LilleyDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 15 Aug 2010Ragwort PullingSeacourt Nature Park, Oxford
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We've helped with Seacourt Nature Park in West Oxford many times before, including hedgelaying in the Winter and scrub clearance and ragwort pulling in the Summer. Today we're back helping to control the ragwort. Since it's a poisonous plant, there can be legal obligations on landowners to control it. So if we weren't available to pull it, the ragwort might have to be mowed or sprayed, which would damage the biodiversity on a sensitive site like this. Come along for some pleasant, and generally uncomplicated Summer work.
Leader: Aga RzadDriver: Inigo Surguy

Saturday 21 Aug 2010Punting on the CherwellCherwell Boat House
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A lovely picnic and a punt down the river Cherwell. Starting from the Cherwell boathouse at 6pm.
Contact: Naomi

Saturday 21 Aug 2010Tool store work partyStansfeld Park, Oxford
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Not a conservation task as such, but a gainful way to spend a Saturday nonetheless. We'll be digging a trench for a cable duct and other jobs in and around the tool store. No minibus pick-ups - meet at Stansfeld OEC at 10am and we'll finish in plenty of time for the punting.
Contact: Tim

Sunday 22 Aug 2010Meadow cuttingIffley Island, Oxford
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Leader: Steve LilleyDriver: Tim Bletsoe

Friday 27 Aug 2010 -
Monday 30 Aug 2010
Drystone Walling Summer ResidentialDurlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Each Summer Bank Holiday weekend we go to Swanage in Dorset to work at the beautiful Durlston Country Park. It's described as a 280 acre countryside paradise, consisting of sea-cliffs, coastal limestone downland, haymeadows, hedgerows and woodland. The normal work is repairing and rebuilding some of the many miles of attractive Purbeck Limestone dry-stone walling. Working with the highly-knowledgeable rangers from Dorset County Council who manage the site, we'll be learning new walling skills or developing old ones. Walling is not heavy work and is not complicated but simply requires patience and skill. It's ideal work for a sunny day in August. We'll set off on the Friday night, work Saturday and Sunday, then spend Bank Holiday Monday on the beach, hiking along the coast, or pottering around the town. We'll come back to Oxford on Monday night. The accommodation is a church hall just 5 minutes' walk from the sea-front. Make sure you're a fully paid up member, because full details will be announced on the members' mailing list nearer the time and places usually get snapped up very quickly.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 5 Sep 2010Scrub ClearanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our September visit to the beautiful National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. Working with an experienced warden from Natural England, we'll be clearing a line through some scrub to allow a new fence to be installed in the future. Fences are key to managing the flocks of sheep that keep the grassland in fine condition. If you've never been to this national nature reserve you could do a lot worse than come along with OCV and find out how it's managed.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 7 Sep 2010Committee MeetingTown Hall
OCV's monthly committee meeting is taking place in the Jury Room of the Town Hall at 8pm. Everyone is welcome - come along to find out how the charity is run and perhaps get involved. Alternatively, you can join us afterwards for a pint at Far From the Madding Crowd from around 9pm (down the alley next to where Borders used to be).
Contact: Lydia

Sunday 12 Sep 2010Wildflower Planting and HedgelayingDeddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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Two different projects for today. We'll be helping to plant a wild flower meadow in an unused part of the cemetery, we've not done this kind of work for a bit, but it should be well within our capabilities and perhaps won't be too strenuous. Then we'll be kicking off the Autumn 2010 hedgelaying season with another short section of the hedge alongside the cemetery footpath. We'll be able to see how the hedgelaying we did the year before is fairing. It was showing some promising signs of rejuvenation the last time we looked. Given the age of the hedge, the hedgelaying work is likely to be a bit brutal and look quite drastic, but the end result should be a denser hedge, more useful for wildlife as a corridor, habitat and source of food.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Paul Clarke

Saturday 18 Sep 2010Scrub ClearanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
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Another visit to the Trap Grounds, a varied site in North Oxford that is rapidly-becoming a regular destination for us. We'll be working with locals from the Friends of the Trap Grounds to uproot brambles from the meadow area and perhaps make seats out of cut timber. There will most likely be a bonfire to celebrate the arrival of Autumn!
Leader: Andy MoDriver: Tim Bletsoe

Sunday 19 Sep 2010CoppicingHutchcombe Copse, Oxford
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A new site for OCV, this privately-owned copse in North Hinksey is a piece of traditional coppice woodland. There are stools of hazel and ash with much larger oaks dominating in places. Being quite small, it rubs up against the backs of people's gardens and borders the copse and fen attached to Louie Memorial Fields. We'll be working with the owner and focussing on coppicing and scrub clearance. Our aims will be to remove non-native bushes spreading in from the gardens, reduce the encroachment of the scrub and bramble onto the meadow, and coppice some of the hazel.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Paul Clarke

Tuesday 21 Sep 2010Curry!Majliss Indian Restaurant
Majliss Indian Restaurant this month, on the Cowley Road, Oxford. As it's always full of people, I reckon it must be quite a good place to eat. Please feel free to tell me otherwise! More details to be sent by email soon.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 26 Sep 2010Reserve maintenanceLouie Memorial Fields, North Hinksey, Oxford
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We last visited this site in June to sensitively clear some scrub in preparation for some hydrology work on the ditch and fen. In the past, we've also helped to prevent further willow encroachment onto the fen. This week we'll be returning to help with more tasks on the site, planned and supervised by hydrology and ecology experts. These include cutting sedge on the fen, planting-up the edge of the new pond, removal of alien shrubs, and some willow pruning. Join the OCV mailing list for more information about this and any other projects.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Jo Gay

Saturday 2 Oct 2010Brewery TripHook Norton Brewery
A trip to the Hook Norton Brewery in North Oxfordshire. This is a daytime social with the tour starting at 2pm in the Afternoon. There will be minibus transport from the usual pick ups in Oxford. There are only 10 places available so get in quick!
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 3 Oct 2010Fen rakingLye Valley, Oxford
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OCV have been involved with the Lye Valley Nature Reserve in East Oxford for many years. Even though it's a small acreage, it's full of rich wildlife habitat. Last Summer we helped to extend a pond in the wetland, as well as our usual tasks of clearing the footpaths, pollarding the willows and raking the fen. Today we'll be fen-raking again, managing it in this traditional way prevents it scrubbing over and avoids the soil getting enriched. This maximises biodiversity on this beautiful SSSI. It's hard work, but very worthwhile.
Leader: Michelle ReidDriver: Paul Clarke

Saturday 9 Oct 2010Peat CuttingParsonage Moor, Oxfordshire
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We're returning to this valuable nature reserve to take part in a project planned by BBOWT who own this site, an SSSI and SAC (Special Area of Conservation). This project is aimed at creating some areas of open water in the fen and encouraging early succession areas by cutting peat. Essentially we're digging peat from one area and moving it to another. That may sound simple, but it should be very incredibly important for wildlife diversity on this site. Wellies will be very advisable!
Leader: Steve LilleyDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 10 Oct 2010Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular monthly visit to this favourite site in the Chilterns. We'll be working with the wardens from Natural England to do whatever reserve maintenance is most pressing. At this time of year it could be scrub clearance, fence building or caring for one of the flocks of sheep on the site. Further details will be in the regular weekly email. Update - This week we'll be refurbishing livestock fencing and doing a bit of scrub bashing as well.
Leader: Andy MoDriver: Tim Bletsoe

Sunday 17 Oct 2010Dipping PlatformsStansfeld Park, Oxford
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We worked at Stansfeld last year building some dipping platforms; small walkways extending into ponds used for collecting samples from the water. These have been very successful and useful for the many schoolchildren who visit the centre. Since Stansfeld is also the home of our tool store, we won't have to drive far after the usual pick-ups and we won't have to worry about forgetting any crucial tools! This site is in Oxford so feel free to come for just part of the day if you prefer.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 24 Oct 2010Peat CuttingParsonage Moor, Oxfordshire
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Another visit to this wetland site adjoining Cothill Fen. Working for BBOWT on this site, we'll be doing some more peat cutting work to help create open areas of water and encourage early succession species to move in. There should be plenty of digging and barrowing work required. Wellies will almost certainly be essential if you don't want to get your feet too wet.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Jo Gay

Saturday 30 Oct 2010Coppicing Training TaskBoarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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We're coppicing this week at Boarstall Duck Decoy in Buckinghamshire. It's one of the few remaining duck decoys in the country and is owned by the National Trust. Our work is going to involve clearing a section of the woodland, in order to harvest the coppice products for a variety of purposes. Traditional coppicing results in areas of woodland with enhanced light levels and sparks off a whole variety of new flora at ground level while the coppice stools are regenerating. We've already seen this happening in the areas we coppiced last year. This is a task with a focus on learning how to do this traditional activity, so there will be some informal training from experienced OCVers.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Tim Bletsoe

Sunday 31 Oct 2010Scrub ClearanceWatlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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We've been coming to this splendid National Trust site in the Chilterns for several years, to assist with controlling the scrub and to enjoy the excellent views. The last time we worked here it was thick in snow, with the reflected sunlight illuminating the scores of Red Kites circling overhead. As usual we'll be scrub clearing and working with the Friends of Watlington Hill, but this time we'll also be helping them to celebrate their 20th Anniversary with bonfire-cooked jacket potatoes and potentially some buffet food to go with them. Stay tuned-in on the OCV mailing list for more information nearer the time.
Leader: Andy MoDriver: Jo Gay

Tuesday 2 Nov 2010Committee MeetingTown Hall
The committee meets once a month in theTown Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us in the Jury Room at 8pm. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.
Contact: Lydia

Sunday 7 Nov 2010Reserve MaintenanceMeadow Lane Nature Reserve, Iffley, Oxford
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This week we'll be working with wardens from Oxford City Council. We'll be working at Meadow Lane Nature Reserve which has been allowed to scrub over in recent years. Our role is classic scrub bashing to help to restore it to meadow, allowing the rarer and more interesting wild flowers to flourish. There'll be plenty of hard work, but the results should be rewarding, and we're envisaging regular return visits to keep well managed. More details will be given on the weekly email as normal.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Phil Hunter

Saturday 13 Nov 2010Hedge RejuvenationMoor Lane, West Hagbourne
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Last Winter we did some work clearing scrub at the edge of the byway in South Oxfordshire. The idea was to sensitively clear scrub without using machinery, so the gaps could be re-planted and the hedge rejuvenated without destroying the great diversity of species present in this ancient hedge. Today we're doing another section further up the byway towards the bridge carrying the cycleway overhead. We can admire the progress made on the section which villagers have replanted already and prepare the next section.
Leader: Steve LilleyDriver: Phil Hunter

Sunday 14 Nov 2010Willow pollarding and path maintenanceLye Valley, Oxford
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We will be helping out at one of our old favourite sites in East Oxford. Part of the Lye Valley nature reserve is designated as an SSSI because of it's great value for wildlife. Working with Oxford City Council's countryside team we'll be pollarding the willows, keeping paths accessible and possibly helping to repair the board walk. Willow pollarding is vitally important to maintain the fen, which would otherwise become shaded over, and get covered in scrub.
Leader: Rosie PopeDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 16 Nov 2010PubBookbinders pub, Jericho
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A visit to the bookbinders pub in Jericho. Maybe we could play a game or three and have a few pints in this cosy pub, they also do food if you're hungry. We shall be meeting in there at 7.30pm.
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 21 Nov 2010Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our monthly trip to our most regular work site. We'll be helping the wardens from Natural England care for this large National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We'll be helping with priority projects on the site. At this time of year the work could be scrub clearance or involve caring for one of the flocks of sheep that help to maintain the valuable chalk grassland.
Leader: Carri SwannDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 28 Nov 2010HedgelayingEast Hagbourne, Oxfordshire
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Several years ago a new hedge was planted on this site in South Oxfordshire. It's now got to a suitable time for laying it and we've been asked by the Parish Council to help out. Hedgelaying is a traditional technique that almost died out with the mechanisation of agriculture and the switch to wire fencing. Now it is recognised as a great way to conserve wildlife habitats by making a hedge denser and a much better home for birds and small mammals. Newcomers and old hands equally welcome to come along.
Leader: Andy MoDriver: Tim Bletsoe

Saturday 4 Dec 2010 -
Sunday 5 Dec 2010
Coppicing Training WeekendWestonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
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Coppicing is an ancient practice for sustainably managing woodland to produce wood products and fuel. Traditional coppice woodland is rich in a diverse range of wildlife, including all the early succession species that thrive straight after coppicing. This weekend we'll be learning how to go about coppicing with Brian Williamson, a former OCVer and professional coppicer who is incredibly knowledgeable and experienced on the subject. We don't normally plan residentials for the depths of December but we thought an overnight stay in a wood would separate the men from the boys, and the women from the girls! Hopefully we can huddle up round the camp fire and it will be cosy. There's a barn to sleep in if you don't fancy it in a tent, and there should be toilets and washing facilities nearby. Most importantly, it's a chance to learn all about coppicing and it should give you everything you need to take part in or lead an OCV coppicing task in the future. Expect to be reminded many times to bring warm clothes!
Leader: Lydia ClarkeDriver: Paul Clarke

Tuesday 7 Dec 2010Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pmTown Hall
The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near where Borders used to be) from about 9pm.
Contact: Lydia

Friday 10 Dec 2010Christmas PartyPeace House, Paradise St
Contact: Naomi

Sunday 12 Dec 2010Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our final visit of the year to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. We'll be helping out with whatever the wardens from Natural England want us to do. Quite possibly it will be scrub clearance to prevent scrub encroaching onto the valuable chalk grassland. Chalk grassland is so rare and valuable for a rich variety of wild flowers that it is sometimes called the rainforest of Southern England. This is not quite accurate since it is a totally man-made habitat, and if grazing and scrub clearance work wasn't carried out regularly it would soon revert to scrub and eventually to woodland. The nature of the work planned this week will be revealed in the weekly email as usual.
Leader: Lucy CapstickDriver: Tim Bletsoe

Sunday 19 Dec 2010Scrub Clearance - CANCELLEDTrap Grounds, Oxford
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***** UPDATE: This task has been CANCELLED due to the depth of snow covering the site and snow-related transport problems. ***** For the last task of the year we'll be scrub clearing at the Trap Grounds in North Oxford. This is a varied site with ponds, woodland and a small meadow area. A former rubbish tip, it was saved as a nature reserve and Town Green after an epic campaign. We've helped to clear rubbish in the past and also attacked the brambles and created some new paths. We're continuing with that work this week. It's the last task of the year so feel free to bring along potatoes or parsnips to roast in the bonfire. The Trap Grounds is close to the centre of Oxford so feel free to come for part of the day if you have some last minute Christmas shopping to fit in.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 26 Dec 2010No task due to Christmas
It's Boxing Day, so we won't be having any task this week. It's a good opportunity to look back at a year's OCV activities and think of our many accomplishments. If you need to work off some Christmas excess, why not visit one of the nature reserves we work at and admire fences, steps, grassland, coppice, hedges and all the other products of OCVers hard work? Remember that OCV always needs more volunteers, leaders, drivers and committee members, so why not get more involved in 2011? And why not bring your friends along too?