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

Friday 26 Jul 2019Potluck + Tools Maintenance Social - 5.30pmCutteslowe Park, Oxford
Join us at our Cutteslowe Park toolshed from 5.30pm where our amazing tools need a bit of love so we can keep doing good work year round! There will be some sharpening to be done, a few shelves to fix, minor minibus repairs to be carried out... No experience whatsoever necessary, it's just a good opportunity to get together and if you've never been to the toolshed, a way to see what goes on "behind the scenes"! Please bring some snacks and drinks to share if you'd like. I can pick up a few people from the town centre if they need a lift. Please RSVP if you'd like to join: socials@ocv.org.uk
Contact: Anne

Sunday 28 Jul 2019Meadow Cut & RakeNorth Hinksey Nature Reserve
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This small reserve, created on what was once allotments, now borders a business park, and sees a lot of use. Despite its small size it has a good mix of habitats - a stream and pond, a small meadow, a splendid hedge, and a community orchard. The main job today will be to scythe and rake the meadow area to enhance conditions for wildflowers. There's a chance too that we'll be working to improve the pond and stream areas with some excavation work on the banks.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Jo Gay

Sunday 4 Aug 2019Site ReclamationEast Ward Allotments, Oxford
The East Ward Allotments are in the heart of East Oxford off Cricket Road. The plan today is to help The Children's Allotment project reclaim a corner of the Allotment site that used to be a nursery area. For more details see http://thechildrensallotment.org. At the time of writing there are a number of possible tasks: redundant shed walls to take down and dismantle; stands of bramble to dig out; even the installation of a compost toilet. For more details nearer the day make sure you've signed up to the OCV email list.
Leader: Andy MoDriver: Chris Skepper

Tuesday 6 Aug 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 11 Aug 2019Meadow Cut & RakeIffley Island, Oxford
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A traditional 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 - look out for more details in the weekly task email.
Leader: Anne CossuttaDriver: Tim Bletsoe

Thursday 15 Aug 2019Wind and Solar Farms TourWestmill Community Wind & Solar Farm
For August's social, we'll head to Westmill Community Wind & Solar Farm for a guided tour to see community energy in action! We'll experience the scale of the turbines and solar park up close, learn about renewable energy, hear the history of the site and find out about the installation and energy generation of the five turbines and over twenty thousand solar panels. We'll have a meal somewhere nearby before heading back to Oxford. We'll meet our tour guide at the farm at 6.30pm if you want to make your own way there, otherwise minibus pick-up will be organised (time and pick-up point TBC).
Contact: Anne

Sunday 18 Aug 2019Reserve 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 of the public access routes or the installation of the new all-steel 'clip-it' fencing system (and that's not always quite as easy as you might think it sounds).Whatever the job 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 to the mailing list via the task leader's email as usual.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

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

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. We'll knock back any re-growth in the reed bed and tackle the large bramble patch that borders the upstream side of the site. There may also be some coppicing to do and some work to help dam the natural springs to enhance the wetland characteristics of the site. 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