Task Programme

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These are our forthcoming events. Details of pick up times and locations are on our FAQ and we send out an email during the week before each task on our Mailing List. For any other questions please contact

Thursday 13 Aug 2020Socially distant socialSouth Park, Oxford
This month, join us for a socially distant social in South Park, Oxford. Under current government guidelines we can meet in any outdoor space in a group of up to 6 people from different households and we should have plenty of space in the park to socialize while keeping at a safe distance. But to keep track of numbers, please let me know if you're planning on joining. As usual, everyone is welcome but If you're in a high risk group, or you or someone in your household have symptoms of the virus, please stay at home. Hope to see you there! socials@ocv.org.uk
Contact: Anne

Sunday 16 Aug 2020Ragwort Pulling & Scrub ClearanceCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Crecy Hill is a small reserve just to the east of the village of Tackley hard by the main railway line into Oxford. It's owned by the local parish council, and we've been making regular visits to reclaim the unimproved grassland from the invasive scrub that has come to dominate. We were last here in June, and managed to start work at the far northern end of the site, clearing dense hawthorn and bramble. Today, we've been asked to pay special attention to the ragwort on the reserve. The seed tends to drift onto the neighbouring pastures and if the plant material gets into the hay it can cause serious illness in horses. So we'll be pulling ragwort, which we haven't done for quite a while, and, if there's enough of us, also knocking back some more scrub. Note that we won't be using the minibus to transport volunteers, so you'll have to make your on way to the site. Directions will be in the weekly task email as usual. We'll be back in Oxford next weekend.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Phil Hunter

Saturday 22 Aug 2020Meadow Mow & Rake and Scrub ClearanceNorth Hinksey Nature Reserve
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Note that this is one of our occasional Saturday tasks. We've had such good turnouts of volunteers recently (thankyou everyone!) that we thought we might try a two task weekend with work in Oxford both today and tomorrow. So take your pick! A month or so ago we mowed and raked the community orchard here at North Hinksey. Today we return to mow and rake the grass meadow on the other side of the hedge. For the meadow we'll use scythes, but there will also be some more brutal work with the OCV slashers (the name is a pretty good clue to the tool and how to use it) to tackle the thick scrub that runs along the ditch. This is an urban reserve, owned and managed by the local parish council, with an unusually complex mixture of habitats in a relatively small space -- a real gem. We'll still be following our social distancing and hygiene measures, full details will be in the weekly task email as usual, or you can check them out on the FAQs page of the website.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Dan Moden

Sunday 23 Aug 2020Willow PollardingAston's Eyot, Oxford
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Note that today's task has been changed! We hope to be back at Aston Rowant in September, but today we're much closer to home at Aston's Eyot in East Oxford. We'll be working on the willows that line the Shire Lake Ditch and the Cherwell. Pollarding will keep them healthy and in good condition, and will also allow sunlight to reach the water surfaces which should help with the long term plan to rejuvenate the habitat on this part of the site. If the willows are neglected their larger limbs tend to fracture and collapse, as you'll see today - we'll be hauling out a couple of big willow boughs that have crashed down.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Tim Bletsoe

Sunday 30 Aug 2020Grass RakingSt Mary's Fields, Kidlington, Oxfordshire
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As in recent summers, rain or shine, we'll be working with the determined group of locals who maintain this popular conservation area. It's owned and managed by the local parish council and lies 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, and given our Covid-19 measures, we'll have to do it without the benefit of the usual supplies of excellent home-made cake.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Dan Moden