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

Sunday 25 Aug 2019Grass RakeSt Mary's Fields, Kidlington, Oxfordshire
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As last summer, we'll be working with the determined group of locals 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 previous years are anything to go by the provision of generous, high quality, home-made cake rations will help.
Leader: Jenny HillDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 1 Sep 2019Meadow Cut & RakeCuxham, South Oxfordshire
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In the summer of 2017 we helped the residents of Cuxham take the first steps to establish a new wild flower meadow in their village. Today we'll return to mow and rake the meadow for the third time. 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. Everything that we cut needs to be raked off the meadow, so there'll be a lot to do before we can resort to the local pub (The Half Moon, and some excellent complimentary pizza).
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Volunteer to drive

Monday 2 Sep 2019Conservation Optimism Film Festival Social - 8pmOxford Museum of Natural History
Oxford University Natural History Museum is hosting a small film festival as part of the Conservation Optimism Summit. Starting at 8pm, there will be a panel discussion around the importance of film making to raise awareness of conservation issues, followed by the screening of a diversity of short movies. No need to RSVP but you do have to reserve your spot (free) via Eventbrite (http://bit.ly/ocv-20-09-2019). Hope to see you there!
Contact: Anne

Tuesday 3 Sep 2019Committee MeetingTown 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 you're very welcome to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Jenny

Sunday 8 Sep 2019Site MaintenanceSimon'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 first visit of the year. There are two parts to today's task. We'll scythe and rake clear the reed bed, and improvise a fence on the river bank at the bottom of the site using the natural materials on site. There are also a couple of willows that need some light touch pollarding. We'll be working on behalf of the Oxford Preservation Trust. It'll be wet underfoot, so bring wellies!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 15 Sep 2019Site 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 rejuvenated the site partly as a local amenity and partly an educational resource. At this time of year it's likely that we'll be mowing the grassland and meadow areas, working on the path handrails, and doing some scrub bashing. For more Stansfeld Park see the Oxford Trust website: http://theoxfordtrust.co.uk/stansfeld-education-centre/.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 22 Sep 2019Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our late Summer visit to our most regular work site: a National Nature Reserve on the Chiltern escarpment just above the Ridgeway footpath. On a clear day there are extensive views across Aylesbury Vale past, and sometimes over, the Red Kites that cruise the updrafts. Whatever the task, we'll be working with one of the highly-knowledgeable wardens from Natural England. Exact details of the work involved for today's visit will be announced nearer the time via the OCV email list - so make sure you're signed up!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 29 Sep 2019Hedge-LayingRectory Farm Fields, Kidlington
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Our last hedge-laying task at Rectory Farm Fields back in January took us past the halfway point. The condition of the top-growth heavy hedgeline makes for slow progress but with a good day today we're hoping to finish the project this winter. We'll look to lay, stake and bind another 10-15 meter section of hedge and there'll be a bonfire. We'll be doing more hedge-laying later in the winter season, so this is a good chance to get your eye (and arm) in early on. If you've never done this before come along and give it a go, it's one of the most enjoyable and satisfying things we do.
Leader: Tim EvansDriver: Volunteer to drive

Saturday 9 Nov 2019 -
Sunday 10 Nov 2019
Coppicing Training WeekendWestonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
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In these training sessions, we'll be learning about coppicing: a traditional, sustainable way to manage woodland for the production of timber which is also excellent for maintaining biodiversity in woodland. Brian Williamson is a former OCVer, professional coppicer and hurdle maker, and winner of a Royal Forestry Society 'Excellence in Forestry' Award. He'll be showing us his current project at Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire. We'll learn about the principles of coppicing, how to identify commonly coppiced trees, safe use and maintenance of bill hooks, good tree felling techniques covering some tricky scenarios. It will also be a chance to have a look around Westonbirt's incredible collection of trees from around the world. We hope to arrange camping nearby for those that want to stay both days. But if a night's Winter camping is not your thing, it should still be possible to come for just either or both days. More information about how to book coming up for OCV members nearer the time, but this is a warning to save the date.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive