Task Programme

Gallery pictureGallery pictureGallery pictureGallery pictureGallery pictureGallery picture

UpcomingRecent2018201720162015201420132012Older

Sunday 12 Aug 2018Meadow Mowing & RakingIffley Island, Oxford
Gallery picture
A traditional OCV task for high summer: our regular cut of this SSSI by the Thames, on behalf of the Oxford Preservation Trust. Despite its name the site is not quite an island, but there are houseboats on an inlet to one side and the open river to another. We'll cut the sedge and reeds and rake the cuttings off so they won't enrich the soil. The end result is beneficial to the wild flowers on the site, and, in particular, to the fritillaries hereabouts. If the sun shines this is one of the high-lights of the OCV calendar. As last year we'll be using our set of Austrian Scythes - look out for more details in the weekly task email.
Leader: Andy MoDriver: Phil Hunter

Tuesday 7 Aug 2018Committee Meeting 8pmTown Hall
The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly.This month we're in the Jury Room - if you'd like to come along and see how we run things and perhaps get more involved, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Jenny

Sunday 5 Aug 2018Boardwalk & Steps IIGreenmoor Ponds, Woodcote
Gallery picture
Today we return to Woodcote in the Chilterns for a second day of work on an intricate construction task at Greenmoor Ponds. What we didn't finish last Sunday we'll finish today.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Phil Hunter

Sunday 29 Jul 2018Boardwalk & Steps IGreenmoor Ponds, Woodcote
Gallery picture
A new site for OCV in the Chilterns AONB, managed and cared for by the Woodcote Conservation Group. The plan is to build two relatively short stretches of boardwalk that will serve to bridge a pair of parallel ditches, and so give pedestrian access to and from a lane that runs along the southern edge of the site. As well as the boardwalks we'll also need to install a free-standing handrail and a flight of steps, so there should be enough to keep us busy for two days work. Note that Woodcote is further afield than usual for OCV so it's likely that we'll be back in Oxford later than usual. Watch out for the weekly email for details.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Phil Hunter

Sunday 22 Jul 2018Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
Gallery picture
Our regular monthly visit to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. The site is managed by Natural England and, as usual, we'll be working under the guidance of one of the site wardens. Summer time work at Aston Rowant could be fencing, path work, or looking after the sheep. As usual, the details of the planned work will be announced on the mailing list in the week preceding the task. So if you're not already on our mailing list, then now is the time to join it. We're always looking for new task leaders (OCV depends on some volunteers being willing to lead) and an Aston Rowant task is a great opportunity to try it out under the supervision of one of the wardens. Contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk for more details.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 15 Jul 2018Post-task social at Jacob's Inn, WolvercoteJacob's Inn, Wolvercote
Come join us for a post-task social at Jacob's Inn, Wolvercote. When: 18:00, Sunday 15th July Where: Jacob's Inn, Wolvercote As you'll already know from today's earlier email, this week's OCV task is at Burgess Field in North Oxford, next to Port Meadow. It's a new site for OCV, and extremely well positioned for drinks and a meal afterward with many good pubs only a short walk away! We've chosen Jacob's Inn at Wolvercote, so we'll be walking over to the northern end of Port Meadow (about 15-20 minutes from where we'll be working) after we've finished packing up for the day. There'll be a selection of pub grub available, which you can take a look at on their website, and of course plenty of drinks to choose from. The forecast is (still!) glorious, so if that holds out we can definitely make use of their decked beer garden. Of course, you're equally welcome to come if you haven't been out on Sunday's task - the more the merrier! If the weather streak keeps up, it'll make a for a fine walk over to Wolvercote on Sunday afternoon. Equally, you can make your own way there and meet us around 18:00 at Jacob's Inn. As with all our socials, you don't ever have to have volunteered to come; everyone is welcome, and it's a great way to find out more about OCV if you're thinking of getting involved. Hope to see you there!
Contact: Jamie

Sunday 15 Jul 2018Post and Wire Fence RemovalBurgess Field Nature Park, North Oxford
Gallery picture
Burgess Field Nature Park is another Oxford nature reserve that used to be a city landfill site. It's a large site of 8.5 hectares and, like Aston's Eyot and the Trap Grounds, it lies close to the river Thames, to be precise, between the main railway line and Port Meadow. The land is owned by the City Council, and we'll be working with a newly formed local group that want to take a hand in its upkeep. To begin with we'll dismantle as much as we can of a redundant post and wire fence that stretches the entire length of the eastern side of the site. We'll be pulling staples, rolling barbed wire, and knocking out posts. Given its location the site has huge conservation and recreational potential and today is likely to be the first in a series of regular tasks that will involve meadow mowing, hedge-laying, and scrub control.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 8 Jul 2018Fen Cutting & Raking Day 2Lye Valley, Oxford
Gallery picture
A second successive Sunday at Lye Valley. It used to be the case that we could rake both fens in the valley in a single day. It's a mark of the progressive improvement in the quality and extent of this relatively rare habitat that it now takes us two full days. The Friends of Lye Valley have been making constant improvements and the results are impressive. - come and see for yourself. This Sunday we'll be on, and possibly in, the north fen. As last week, if there's been rain, you'll need wellies.
Leader: Jenny HillDriver: Dan Moden

Tuesday 3 Jul 2018Committee Meeting 8pmTown Hall
The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly.This month we're in the Jury Room - if you'd like to come along and see how we run things and perhaps get more involved, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Jenny

Sunday 1 Jul 2018Fen Cutting & Raking Day 1Lye Valley, Oxford
Gallery picture
Lye Valley is one of three specially designated conservation sites in the 'Wild Oxford' BBOWT project (for more information see http://www.bbowt.org.uk/wildoxford). There are two fens at Lye Valley: one to the north, off the Slade; and one to the south, by the golf course. Today we'll work on the south fen. Once again, we'll be joined by the Friends of Lye Valley, and ecologist Judy Webb, who usually manages to find, and photograph, all kinds of fascinating things (click on 'Reserves', then 'Lye Valley', then 'Photos'). It's the kind of job that needs lots of people, so come along and lend a hand. If there's been rain, you'll need wellies.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Ed Polehampton

Sunday 24 Jun 2018Dry Stone Walling and Site MaintenanceDeddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
Gallery picture
Over previous summers we've spent many happy hours repairing the drystone wall that borders the entrance to the Deddington Castle site. There's just one more section to rebuild to complete the project, and that will be the focus of today's task. It's a short section but it needs reconstructing from the ground up in a way that knits neatly into the adjoining wall faces. So it might be a little tricky! At the time of writing there should be other work to do on site besides the wall work.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 17 Jun 2018Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
Gallery picture
Our monthly return visit to this important National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. It's a site that includes important chalk grassland grazed by flocks of sheep. Early summer means it's likely that we'll be working to improve public access on the site by improving paths, installing hand-rails and gates, or repairing post and wire fences. Whatever the work, and whatever the weather, full details will be in the weekly email as usual. We're always looking for new task leaders (OCV depends on some volunteers being willing to lead) and an Aston Rowant task is a great opportunity to try it out under the supervision of one of the Natural England wardens who manage the site. Contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk for more details.
Leader: Andy MoDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 10 Jun 2018Bird Hide Repair and Site MaintenanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
Gallery picture
The Trap Grounds is a small pocket of the countryside in the middle of urban north Oxford hard by the canal. It's managed by an enthusiastic volunteer group and includes woodland, ponds, reed-beds, and areas of meadow and marsh. There's usually a variety of conservation tasks to keep us busy here but today we'll be concentrating on a repair of the recently vandalised bird hide. We'll add a kick board bottom centre, and replace two sections of wattle screen. There might also be some more stump-perches to install given that the proto-type installed on our last visit was an unqualified success.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Jo Gay

Tuesday 5 Jun 2018Committee Meeting 8pmTown Hall
The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly.This month we're in the Jury Room - if you'd like to come along and see how we run things and perhaps get more involved, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Jenny

Sunday 3 Jun 2018Path revetment and MaintenanceMatthew Arnold Field, Oxford
Gallery picture
Another day's work on Boars Hill. This time on the southern side of the hill in a wood just below Mathew Arnold Field on a site owned by the Oxford Preservation Trust. We've worked here before on a boardwalk and a couple of path revetments. The boardwalk is still in good shape and we replaced one of the revetments back in 2016. Today it's the turn of the other revetment. We'll set plank boards into the bank below the path, drive in half-posts, nail posts to boards, then back fill to repair erosion and support the pathway. We'll also be doing some landscaping to widen the path that runs along the top edge of the woodland.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 27 May 2018Fencing & Gate Relocation - Day 2Chilswell Valley, Oxford
Gallery picture
Day two of the fencing project at Chilswell Valley arranged in collaboration with BBOWT as part of their 'Wild Oxford' conservation project (for more info. See http://www.bbowt.org.uk/wildoxford). We'll be working in a wooded part of the valley to reroute a public access path and reinstall a line of stock-proof fencing. Last Sunday we completed the fencing on the North side of the valley and the stretch that crosses the brook. Today we'll re-hang the pedestrian gate and install two more short stretches of wire fencing to either side of it. So we've still got a couple of straining posts and a gate-post to dig in.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Tim Bletsoe

Sunday 20 May 2018Fencing & Gate Relocation - Day 1Chilswell Valley, Oxford
Gallery picture
We were last in Chilswell Valley in September 2016. As then, today's task has been arranged in collaboration with BBOWT as part of their 'Wild Oxford' conservation project (for more info. See http://www.bbowt.org.uk/wildoxford). We'll be working in a wooded part of the valley to reroute a public access path, relocate a pedestrian gate, and replace a short but relatively complicated stretch of post and wire fencing. The fence will run down the south slope of the valley, cross the brook at the bottom, then run up the north slope, and we may need to dig in as many as five straining posts to accommodate the gate re-hang and changes in the direction of the fence-line. So that's the reason we'll be back next week to finish the job!
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Phil Hunter

Sunday 13 May 2018Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
Gallery picture
We're back to one of our favourite sites this week. We'll be helping the Reserve warden maintain the nationally important calcareous grassland habitat. At this time of year we might actually begin to see some of the rare plants that our work helps to protect. We could be helping out with fence and gate repairs, looking after one of the flocks of sheep, or doing whatever other maintenance jobs are required on the site. As usual everyone will be welcome and full details of the project and the meeting place will be given in the weekly email. If you've ever thought about getting more involved as an OCV task leader then this would be a great one to start with - contact Phil Hunter tasks@ocv.org.uk for more info.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 6 May 2018Nettle MowingAston's Eyot, Oxford
Gallery picture
This large 30 acre site is an 'island' bordered by the Thames, Cherwell New Cut and Shire Lake Ditch, just downstream from Christ Church Meadow. The land is owned by Christ Church College and is managed by an enthusiastic Friends group with some help from the Oxford City Council. We'll be working for, and with, the Friends to open up a large nettle-infested glade. The plan is to mow and rake the denser swaths of nettles; but to pull or dig them out where they're in competition with less vigorous but more floriferous plants. If you're a big fan of nettles this is probably not the task for you.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Tim Bletsoe

Tuesday 1 May 2018AGM - 8pm at the Oxford Town HallTown Hall
The Annual General Meeting will be held at 8pm on Tuesday the 1st May in the St Aldateā€™s Room at the Town Hall (on St. Aldates). Everyone is welcome at the AGM, however often you come out on tasks, or if you just want to find out what we've been up to over the last year (you don't need to be a member). We'll have a report about the previous year, and then elect the committee for next year. The official meeting shouldn't take too long, and then we'll be heading to the Royal Blenheim pub for a drink. If anyone is interested in standing for a committee position, please email secretary@ocv.org.uk before Tuesday 24th April.
Contact: Jenny