Task Programme

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

Sunday 11 Feb 2018Scrub BashingAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This week we make our February visit to one of our favourite sites in the Chiltern Hills. A land-mark for travellers on the M40 and well-known for its huge numbers of red kites, this National Nature Reserve is owned and managed by Natural England. We'll be doing some scrub bashing along the old hollow ways that cut across the grassland, and burning what we cut. We're always looking for volunteers to lead tasks. If you'd like to help out, then this would be a good one to start with. If you're interested contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 6 Feb 2018Committee Meeting 8pmTown Hall
The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly.This month we're in the Jury Room - if you'd like to come along and see how we run things and perhaps get more involved, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Ed

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

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

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

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

Sunday 14 Jan 2018Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We've had a little trouble with the general email list this week. If you haven't had the email from Tim, we'll be scrub bashing. Meet at the Natural England site office roundabout 10 a.m. Our first visit of the year to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns which commands extensive views across the Oxford plain. Tasks at this time of year usually involve coppicing woodland, or tackling the hawthorn, bramble and scrub that encroach on the chalk grassland slopes. Make sure you're on the OCV mailing list for detailed information nearer the day. We're always looking for volunteers who might lead tasks, indeed without leaders we couldn't keep going, and we're significantly short of volunteers prepared to lead at the moment. So if you're interested contact Phil Hunter via tasks@ocv.org.uk . At Aston Rowant we always work under the guidance of one of the Reserve wardens, so today would be a great opportunity to try it out.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Tim Howard

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

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

Tuesday 2 Jan 2018Committee meeting 8pm - CANCELLEDTown Hall
The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly.This month we're in the Jury Room - if you'd like to come along and see how we run things and perhaps get more involved, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm. **MEETING CANCELLED THIS MONTH**
Contact: Ed

Sunday 31 Dec 2017New Year's Eve
Another Sunday off! We'll be back in the New Year.
 

Saturday 30 Dec 2017Hedge LayingRectory Farm Fields, Kidlington
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See out the old year with some hedge-laying! Hedges make great habitat for all sorts of wildlife and for the final task of 2017 we're back in old Kidlington on the penultimate day of the year, a Saturday, to continue work on an extensive hedge-line that borders one of the pastures at Rectory Farm Fields. We'll pick up from where we left off earlier in the month. There will be more scrub and top growth to cut and burn, and we'll stake and bind the laid material to encourage dense re-growth in subsequent seasons.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 24 Dec 2017Christmas Eve
No task today! Happy Christmas.
 

Sunday 17 Dec 2017Scrub BashingCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Another day's work on behalf of the local parish council to reclaim this small but beautifully sited reserve from invasive scrub. The management plan involves grazing the reserve with livestock - Dexters, apparently the smallest British breed of cattle. The hope is that they'll nibble the nascent scrub, but if they're to do their thing we need to open up some grazing areas for them by taking out the mature bramble and hawthorn.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 10 Dec 2017TASK CANCELLED DUE TO SNOW!Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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It's 7.15 am - there's a good fall of snow in Oxford and as the forecast is for snow all morning (at least as far west High Wycombe) today's task is cancelled. See you next Sunday!
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 5 Dec 2017Committee meeting 8pmTown Hall
The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly.This month we're in the Jury Room - if you'd like to come along and see how we run things and perhaps get more involved, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Ed

Sunday 3 Dec 2017Hedge LayingRectory Farm Fields, Kidlington
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Rectory Farm Fields is an extensive area of open ground just to the East of Church Street, Kidlington. We'll be working for a private client who wants to manage the land for its natural flora and fauna. BBOWT and the RSPB have made encouraging reports on the site's present and future significance for local wild life. The long term plan is to restore what were once extensive hedge and wall lines. Up till now we've been concentrating on the walls, today we'll turn to the hedges, specifically an old hedge-line that's been several years growing further and further out of shape! Earlier in the year we removed an old post and wire fence to improve access and to enable some extensive siding-up work to be done. Today we should get a good idea of just how much of the old material can still be usefully laid.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 26 Nov 2017Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Another of our regular monthly visits to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve, managed by Natural England and situated on the western edge of the Chilterns with extensive views across the Oxfordshire plain. The Reserve supports juniper, an extensive variety of wild flowers native to unimproved chalk grassland, together with sheep, woodland, and an abundance of red kites. Exactly what we do today, and where, will be announced in the weekly email so make sure you're on the general email list for the details. We're always looking for volunteers who might lead tasks, indeed without leaders we couldn't keep going, and we're significantly short of volunteers prepared to lead at the moment. So if you're interested contact Phil Hunter via tasks@ocv.org.uk . Any of our current leaders will be happy to help you get started by doubling up on a task to show you the ropes.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 21 Nov 2017Pub social 7pmThe Kings Arms, Broad Street
Join us for a drink or two at the King's Arms on Broad Street. There will be a good selection of beer and excellent food too if you want it. We'll order food at about 7pm but feel free to drop in at any time if you want to join us for a drink. No need to tell us you're coming, but if you're new and you want someone to look out for you then let me know at socials@ocv.org.uk.
Contact: Chris