Task Programme

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Sunday 17 Sep 2017Site MaintenanceStansfeld Park, Oxford
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The Oxford Trust are pressing on with the rejuvenation of Stansfeld and it's likely that today we'll be mowing and raking the grassland areas of the site and cutting back extensive areas of scrub. There's a good chance that today will see the first bonfire of the season - a significant moment in the OCV calendar.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Tim Howard

Thursday 14 Sep 2017Burger Social 7pmAtomic Burger, Cowley Road
Join us for a burger at Atomic Burger on Cowley Road in Oxford. It's highly recommended for its unique menu and style. Everyone's welcome, even if you're not a regular on tasks, but just want to find out about OCV. If you'd like to come then please email chair@ocv.org.uk so that we can book a table for the right number of people.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 10 Sep 2017Reed & Bramble CuttingSimon's Land, Sandford on Thames, Oxford
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This secluded half acre of gently sloping reed-bed leads down to the Thames to the North of Sandford. The river bank was once the mooring site of the former Magdalen College Barge. In March 2007 the land was donated to the Oxford Preservation Trust by Mr and Mrs Simons of Boars Hill. This will be our second visit of the summer. We'll knock back any re-growth in the reed bed and, after grazing on blackberries, tackle the large bramble patch that borders the upstream side of the site. As before, we'll be working on behalf of the Oxford Preservation Trust. It'll be wet underfoot so bring wellies!
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 5 Sep 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 Sep 2017Grass RakingSt Mary's Fields, Kidlington, Oxfordshire
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As last summer, we'll be working with the determined group of volunteers who maintain this popular conservation area owned by the local parish council and situated between St. Mary's Church and the river Cherwell. The job is to rake off the mown material from the yearly grass-cut. This is important to keep the fertility of the soil low and so encourage the rarer plants and wildflowers. It will be hard, but straightforward work and important for biodiversity. It's a big site, and a big task, but if last year is anything to go by the provision of generous, high quality, home-made cake rations will help.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Tim Bletsoe

Sunday 27 Aug 2017Platform Construction IIRivermead Nature Park
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Today we'll finish what we started yesterday! If you worked on the boardwalk in June, or on our other recent construction jobs in Lye Valley, you'll be familiar with the materials we'll be using: recycled plastic rather than treated timber. It can be tough on saws and drills but should last until kingdom come. The platform extension and ramp is all on dry land, but the dipping platform will involve some work in the pond itself so we'll provide thigh and chest waders.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Phil Hunter

Saturday 26 Aug 2017Platform Construction IRivermead Nature Park
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You might not expect to find a nature park hard by Rose Hill housing estate, bordered by the Southern Bypass and the River Thames - but here it is. Back in June we built a boardwalk on site and this weekend we'll return to do some more construction work. The plan has two elements. The first is to install a rectangular dipping platform on the edge of the pond. The second is to extend an existing platform so as to fit a shallow ramp that will enable wheel-chair access. We'll be working on behalf of the Council and in cooperation with BBOWT's Wild Oxford project (see http://www.bbowt.org.uk/wildoxford for more details).
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Phil Hunter

Sunday 20 Aug 2017Meadow Mowing & RakingCuxham, South Oxfordshire
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A new site for OCV. The residents of Cuxham want to establish a new wild flower meadow in their village. So today we'll help out by cutting the meadow and raking clear the mown swaths. It's a good size, but mainly level ground and with grasses rather than reeds and sedge (unlike Iffley island), so today's task is likely to be a lot closer to the genuine experience of traditional scythe mowing.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 13 Aug 2017Reed Cutting & RakingIffley Island, Oxford
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Another 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.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Ed Polehampton

Tuesday 8 Aug 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 6 Aug 2017Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This National Nature Reserve is an OCV favourite. It's set on the chalk slopes that mark the western boundary of the Chiltern Hills. The sheep-cropped grass that covers the chalk is an ideal wild flower habitat. Our work here in high summer usually involves either the maintenance and improvement of the means of public access or hands-on care of the sheep. We'll be working with one of the reserve wardens, which means that if you've ever thought about leading a task then this would be a good one to start with. If you're interested contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk. Full details of the day's work will be posted in the weekly email as usual.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Ed Polehampton

Saturday 5 Aug 2017Tool Shed Clearout and Tool Maintenance 11amCutteslowe Tool Store
Today's plan is to clean out the tool shed: get everything out, get rid of any rubbish, sweep out the dirt that's built up, and seal up some of the holes that let the mice in. We'll also do some tool sharpening before the start of the scrub bashing season, renew some yellow paint and maybe even clean the minibus if we have enough people. There's absolutely loads to do, so the more people who can help the better. Afterwards we might go to a pub in Wolvercote for a well-earned pint and/or something to eat. Contact chair@ocv.org.uk for details if you're able to come and help out.
Contact: Chris

Sunday 30 Jul 2017Dry Stone Walling & Site MaintenanceRectory Farm Fields, Kidlington
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Today we'll pick up, literally, from where we left off earlier in the summer, and if today's task goes as well there's a good chance we'll finish the current section of wall. There's a surprisingly large amount of good quality stone on site, so there's plenty of material to work with. Do you have a knack for dry-stone walling? The only way to find out is to do it! There's still a significant amount of stone that needs to be dug up, sorted, and laid out for future work. We'll also take down an old post and wire fence to clear the way for some extensive hedge-laying later in the year. So even if you don't fancy the dry-stone walling there should be enough to keep you busy.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Ray Hitchins

Saturday 29 Jul 2017Reserve MaintenanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
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One of our occasional Saturday tasks at this special location in North Oxford sandwiched between the canal and the main railway line into Oxford. It's managed by the Friends of Trap Grounds (http://trap-grounds.org.uk/) and has been recently granted the status of Local Wildlife Site. We usually tackle a challenging list of jobs whenever we go to the Trap Grounds and, as normal, the details will be posted in the weekly task email. Make sure you're on the OCV mailing list!
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 23 Jul 2017Site MaintenanceStansfeld Park, Oxford
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Stansfeld Park in Headington Quarry, Oxford 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. We'll be working for the Oxford Trust who have taken on the job of rejuvenating the site partly as a local amenity and partly as an educational resource. For more on the exciting prospects for Stansfeld Park under the management of The Oxford Trust see their website: http://theoxfordtrust.co.uk/stansfeld-education-centre/.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Phil Hunter

Sunday 16 Jul 2017Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular monthly visit to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. The site is run 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.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 9 Jul 2017Fen Cutting and RakingLye Valley, Oxford
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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: Tim BletsoeDriver: Ray Hitchins

Tuesday 4 Jul 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 2 Jul 2017Fen Cutting and RakingLye Valley, Oxford
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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: Phil HunterDriver: Tim Evans

Sunday 25 Jun 2017Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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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. We'll be working with a warden from Natural England. 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.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Tim Howard