Task Programme

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Sunday 22 Apr 2018Fen Cutting and RakingSimon'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. Last summer we mowed and raked the site to enhance the potential for native flora. As last year we'll be using our Austrian scythes. Today's task will be the first of two cuts this summer in line with a management plan to keep on top of the re-growth. It's likely to be wet underfoot so bring wellies!
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Ray Hitchins

Sunday 15 Apr 2018Site Maintenance & FencingJubilee 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. It's usually the case on this site that we have a selection of jobs to tackle, but the main task today will be to continue the fence repairs that we began back in January. Keep an eye out for the task email posted via the general email list sometime in the week preceding.
Leader: David MaxDriver: Phil Hunter

Sunday 8 Apr 2018Site MaintenanceStansfeld Park, Oxford
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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, stone 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'). We'll be working with Roger Baker, the Trust's Outdoor Learning and Ecology Manager. Precise details of the day's work will be circulated in the weekly email (so make sure you're on the list!) but at the time of writing we'll be doing some planting and dealing with fallen timber brought down by the heavy snowfall at the end of last year.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 3 Apr 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 Apr 2018Easter Day - A Day Off!
There are at least two good reasons for this day off: it's Easter Sunday; and it gives our hard-pressed band of leaders and drivers a welcome break. If you think you could help out either by leading tasks or by driving for us please get in touch, you'll be welcomed with open arms. Contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk for more details. It's also April Fools' Day - but that's got nothing to do with it.
 

Thursday 29 Mar 2018OCV March SocialThe Fir Tree
Come join us for a mid-week meal and drinks at The Fir Tree! It's on Iffley Road, just opposite the turn for one of our regular sites, Aston's Eyot. It's got great reviews and they claim to have an extensive pizza menu, so if you're up for a slice or three then feel free to come along. We'll meet there at about 19:30 on Thursday 29th March. Exact time to be confirmed on booking - I'll keep you posted if anything changes. You don't have to be a regular volunteer to come; everyone is welcome, and it's a great way of finding out more about OCV if you're thinking of getting involved. Email socials@ocv.org.uk if you'd like to come, to give us an idea of numbers beforehand. Hope to see you there!
Contact: Jamie

Sunday 25 Mar 2018Site Maintenance & Pond WorkMilham Ford Nature Park
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Milham Ford Nature Park stream and ponds were created in 2008-2009 in an area that had previously been 8 tarmac tennis courts for use of the previous Milham Ford School. A stream which had been piped underground across the playing field was brought to the surface, meandered, and now feeds a complex of 4 interlinked ponds. We'll be working in the ponds under the direction of freelance ecologist Judy Webb to dredge invasive plant growth and re-establish areas of open water beloved by dragonflies. There will also be work to be done on the banks and the pond surrounds if you'd rather not wade in. Note that British Summer Time began last night!
Leader: Jenny HillDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 18 Mar 2018Hedge Laying **CANCELLED DUE TO SNOW**Rectory Farm Fields, Kidlington
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The plan today is to do some more work on the hedge-line at Rectory Farm Fields. We were last here at the very end of 2017 and today we'll look to lay, stake and bind some more sections of hedge. Although it's late in the season for this kind of work, we've checked that there's no bird nesting activity yet - so we'll not be resorting to the back-up plan of dry stone wall repairs.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 11 Mar 2018Reserve MaintenanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
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The second of two days at The Trap Grounds. Today, Sunday, we'll be joined by a working party made up of the Friends themselves. We'll push on with any work still in hand from yesterday. This will be the final opportunity to effect serious change in the woodland areas before the nesting season begins. For more information on the site, including a diary of sightings, see the Friends website via the link on our Trap Grounds Reserve Page.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Ed Polehampton

Saturday 10 Mar 2018Reserve MaintenanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
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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 (The Friends of The Trap Grounds) and includes a range of habitats: woodland, ponds, reed-beds, and areas of meadow and marsh. Today, Saturday, the first of two consecutive days work here, we'll team up with Outdoor Lads - the gay outdoor pursuits group. We always have plenty to do at the Trap Grounds and this weekend will be no different. You can expect to be tree-planting, bramble-digging, pond-wading, even landscaping. The details will be circulated nearer the day, so make sure you're on the OCV mailing list!
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Phil Hunter

Tuesday 6 Mar 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 Mar 2018TASK CANCELLED DUE TO THE WEATHER!Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Storm Emma meets 'the beast from the east' - so our early Spring visit to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns has been cancelled.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 27 Feb 2018OCV Social 2018 #2Everest Nepalese Restaurant
Come join us for a mid-week meal and drinks at Everest Nepalese! Joined with The Donnington Arms on Howard St., you'll find the best of both worlds rolled into one. There's plenty of choice on the menu, whether you're into spice or not, and vegetarians and vegans are also catered for. See the full menu on the website. You don't have to be a regular volunteer to come along. Everyone is welcome, and it's a great way of finding out more about OCV if you're thinking of getting involved. Email socials@ocv.org.uk if you'd like to come, to give us an idea of numbers beforehand. Exact time to be confirmed on booking, but likely to be around 19:00/19:30. Hope to see you there!
Contact: Jamie

Sunday 25 Feb 2018Scrub BashingSwyncombe Estate, South Oxfordshire
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Swyncombe Estate consists of over 600 acres of high, mature beech woodland and chalk grassland in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding National Beauty. Today 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. It's an exposed location. On a clear day there are extensive 180 degree views over the surrounding landscape, and on a windy day in winter, despite a bonfire, it can be bitterly cold - so wrap up warm!
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Dan Moden

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