Task Programme

Gallery pictureGallery pictureGallery pictureGallery pictureGallery picture

UpcomingRecent2017201620152014201320122011Older

Sunday 19 Mar 2017Reserve MaintenanceJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
Gallery picture
Jubilee Fields were purchased from the Duke of Marlborough by the Wootton Conservation Trust in 2003 to mark the Queen's jubilee. It's a lovely site at any time of year lying between the rivers Glyme and Dorn, and, as usual, there are likely to be several parts to today's task, including, at the time of writing, some elementary bridge repairs.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Phil Hunter

Thursday 16 Mar 2017Pizza Social - 7pmPizzeria da Mario
A chance to enjoy the finest pizza in Oxford at Mario's on Cowley Road. There's also other traditional Italian food on the menu, including a great range of pasta dishes. Afterwards we'll probably go for a drink at The Star, so feel free to meet us there later if you prefer. You don't have to be a regular volunteer to come to a social - everyone is welcome. Let me know on socials@ocv.org.uk if you'll be coming so I know numbers for booking a table. Hope you can make it!
Contact: Chris

Sunday 12 Mar 2017Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
Gallery picture
An early Spring visit to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns, owned and managed by Natural England. You'll recognise the landscape if you've ever travelled towards London on the M40. Indeed, you'll see up close the chalk geology that determines the character of the reserve and its fauna and flora as you drive through the immense cutting in the hillside. Today we'll be helping the wardens care for the grassland, or the woods and paths that sit on top of the chalk. As usual, everyone's welcome! This is a big site so watch out for the weekly email for precise details as to the location of today's task.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 7 Mar 2017Committee Meeting 8-9pmTown Hall
The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly.This month we're in the Jury Room - if you'd like to come along and see how we run things and perhaps get more involved, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Ed

Sunday 5 Mar 2017Reserve MaintenanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
Gallery picture
Another day's work at the Trap Grounds, an extensive urban wildlife site in North Oxford. As usual, we'll be working alongside the Friends of The Trap Grounds on a range of seasonal jobs which at this time of year might include anything from bramble bashing, path maintenance, landscaping, or early season work on the meadow areas. There'll be more details posted nearer the day in the weekly OCV email.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 26 Feb 2017Site MaintenanceStansfeld Park, Oxford
Gallery picture
Stansfeld Park in Headington Quarry is set within 18 acres of woodland with ponds, marshland and meadows. The undulating landscape results from quarrying for limestone in the area that was used to build many of Oxford's colleges, churches and civic buildings. When quarrying ended, a variety of habitats formed, including limestone grassland, ash and hazel woodland, dense hawthorn scrub, ponds and wetland. The Oxford Trust has taken over the development and management of the site as a combined innovation and science education centre, and as a new space for the local community to enjoy. For more information see http://theoxfordtrust.co.uk/stansfeld-education-centre/ ('Rejuvenating Stansfeld'). Precise details of the day's work will be circulated in the weekly email so make sure you're on the list!
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Tim Howard

Saturday 25 Feb 2017Post-task social - curry Chutneys, Indian restaurant
Join us at 18:00 for a curry at Chutneys Restaurant. You don't need to have been on the day's task (or ever been to one). Email enquiries@ocv.org.uk to book a place.
Contact: Tim

Saturday 25 Feb 2017Scrub ClearanceSwyncombe Estate, South Oxfordshire
Gallery picture
Swyncombe Estate consists of over 600 acres of high, mature beech woodland and chalk grassland in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding National Beauty. For today's task, another occasional Saturday outing, we'll be cutting scrub on Sliding Hill, the western extension of Swyncombe Down, just south of the village of Watlington. This will help maintain the unimproved chalk grassland and hence the wild flower species special to the Chiltern hills. On a clear day there are extensive views across the surrounding landscape.
Leader: Jo HaydukDriver: Phil Hunter

Sunday 19 Feb 2017Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
Gallery picture
This week we make our February visit to one of our favourite sites in the Chiltern Hills. Well-known to travellers on the M40 for its huge numbers of red kites, this National Nature Reserve is owned and managed by Natural England for the benefit of wildlife and to maintain public access. We'll be helping out the wardens who manage it with the priority projects for this month whether it be scrub clearance, coppicing, or a little winter sheep work. Whichever, the work will be described in the weekly email, so now's a good time to check you're on our mailing list. We're always looking for volunteers to lead tasks. If you'd like to help out, then this would be a good one to start with. If you're interested contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 12 Feb 2017Hedge-LayingWindale Community Primary School, Blackbird Leys, Oxford
Gallery picture
We're back in urban south-east Oxford today to work in the garden and nature area at Windale Primary School. Back in 2013 we laid a stretch of their boundary hedge, last winter we laid the middle section (which looks in fine fettle) and today we'll complete the job. The unlaid portion of hedge has put on lots of top-growth in the meantime, so there will be plenty of siding-up to be done before we can get pleaching. Laying the hedge as best we can will make it a dense wildlife habitat and is far-preferable to trimming it.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 7 Feb 2017Committee Meeting 8-9pmTown Hall
The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly.This month we're in the Jury Room - if you'd like to come along and see how we run things and perhaps get more involved, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Ed

Sunday 5 Feb 2017Scrub BashingGrim's Ditch, Blewbury, South Oxfordshire
Gallery picture
Grim's Ditch is a Scheduled Ancient Monument near the Ridgeway in the rolling, chalk downs south of Blewbury. It appears to have been a land boundary dating back to the later Iron Age. This section is jointly managed by English Heritage and Natural England. This will be scrub bashing with a view and with more than usual care as we're to take pains that we don't disturb the monument. It's a difficult site to find so make sure you're on the OCV email list for directions nearer the day.
Leader: Jo HaydukDriver: Phil Hunter

Thursday 2 Feb 2017Pub Social 7pmThe Kings Arms, Broad Street
Join us for food or just for a drink at the King's Arms on Broad Street at 7pm. We'll be ordering food at 7pm and will stay around afterwards for a drink or several, so feel free to drop in whenever you want. You don't have to be a regular volunteer to come to socials. Email chair@ocv.org.uk for more information, or if you're new and want us to keep a look out for you.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 29 Jan 2017Conservation LandscapingTrap Grounds, Oxford
Gallery picture
Another visit to the Trap Grounds: a small pocket of countryside in the middle of urban north Oxford between the canal and the railway. Formerly a dump (literally!) it's now a designated Local Wildlife Site and consists of several interrelated habitats: ponds, wetland, woodland, and meadow. Despite years of successful reclamation work on the site there are still strata of junk and rubbish to be found and dug out in the more remote corners. The plan for today is to begin landscaping one of these corners. Come and have a go at some urban re-wilding!
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Chris Skepper

Friday 20 Jan 2017 -
Sunday 22 Jan 2017
Reserve MaintenanceThe Flits NNR, Herefordshire
This weekend sees one of our occasional weekend trips away from Oxford. The Flits National Nature Reserve is situated in the flood plain of the River Wye, near Preston on Wye in Herefordshire. It's an area of low-lying grassland, fen, scrub and woodland on peaty soils. The Reserve warden, Bob Silverwood, is an old friend of OCV from his time at Aston Rowant and we'll be working with him to coppice alders and pollard willows - typical winter woodland work. The plan is to drive out on Friday evening, work Saturday and Sunday, then drive back to Oxford on Sunday evening. We'll spend two nights at the Moccas Village Hall, the same accommodation as our Herefordshire residential in May last year. Residentials are open to all OCV members, and if you are not a member yet, you can join at the time of booking.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Ed Polehampton

Sunday 15 Jan 2017Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
Gallery picture
Our first visit of the year to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns which has extensive views out over the Oxford plain. Tasks at this time of year usually involve coppicing woodland, or tackling the hawthorn, bramble and scrub that encroach on the chalk grassland slopes. As usual, we'll be working with one of the Natural England wardens who manage the Reserve. Make sure you're on the OCV mailing list for detailed information nearer the day.
Leader: Tim HowardDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 8 Jan 2017CoppicingBrasenose Wood, Oxford
Gallery picture
A return to Brasenose Wood. We'll continue the work we began last November and, as then, we'll be working with Shotover Wildlife who have been trialling a high-cut coppice regime. This is a technique designed to compensate for the problem of deer grazing, especially in a woodland where species diversity is a priority. The wood is a designated SSSI, a great place for bird song, and a rich habitat for a wide diversity of wildlife.
Leader: Richard NewtonDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 3 Jan 2017Committee Meeting 8-9pmTown Hall
The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly.This month we're in the Jury Room - if you'd like to come along and see how we run things and perhaps get more involved, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Ed

Monday 2 Jan 2017Scrub Clearance & Yew PruningHolywell Cemetery, Oxford
Gallery picture
A special New Years' Bank Holiday task to blow away the festive fug. By the mid 19th. century the graveyards of the six parishes of central Oxford were full. In 1847 Merton College provided land for a new burial site behind St Cross Church - Holywell Cemetery. Today the site is managed and conserved as a unique kind of urban wildlife space by The Friends of Holywell Cemetery with help from OCV. We'll cut the invasive scrub, and prune back and tie in some of the yew trees.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 25 Dec 2016Happy Christmas!
There will be no OCV task today.