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 16 Apr 2021Evening Litter Pick Walk 5.30pm-8pmSouth-East Oxford
A socially-distanced evening litter-pick around the footpaths, cycleways and nature reserves of south-east Oxford. Instead of an evening social, which would not be very practical with the rule of six, we'll instead try to clear up some of the unsightly lockdown debris before it makes it way into streams and rivers and potentially affects wildlife. We'll divide into teams of 2 to 4 people, with each team assigned different routes. It will be mostly paths, parks and nature reserves, largely avoiding main roads. Email chair@ocv.org.uk if you'd like to take part.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 18 Apr 2021Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our reinforced measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 will still be in place for this task, including a limit on the number of volunteers. To book a place please reply to the leader's task email sent out in the week preceding the task. If you have not received confirmation from the leader that your place has been booked please don't come to the task.We pick up our regular monthly schedule of tasks at Aston Rowant today with the first task at our local National Nature Reserve since December. It's a site that includes chalk grassland slopes grazed by flocks of sheep. We're always looking for new task leaders (OCV depends on some volunteers being willing to lead) and an Aston Rowant task is a great opportunity to try it out with expert help from one of the Natural England wardens who manage the site. Contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk for more details. At this time of year we might be working on the grass slopes to improve conditions for the flora and, by extension, the insect life special to the site, or maintaining good public access along the various paths. The details of what we'll be doing and where will be in the weekly email as usual.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Tom Bulford

Saturday 24 Apr 2021Reserve MaintenanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
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Our reinforced measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 will still be in place for this task, including a limit on the number of volunteers. To book a place please reply to the leader's task email sent out in the week preceding the task. If you have not received confirmation from the leader that your place has been booked please don't come to the task. Notice that this is one of our occasional Saturday tasks, and that we have a double-header of local tasks this weekend! The Trap Grounds is a small pocket of 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. It's a great example of a state of the art urban wildlife site with an ideal combination of complementary micro-habitats. As usual there will be mixed-bag of things to do. Given the time of year we might well be working in the ponds and reed beds. Another job to take in hand will be to 'pop' (i.e. lever out) a myriad of small self-seeded ash saplings in the wooded areas.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 25 Apr 2021Site Maintenance & Pond WorkMilham Ford Nature Park
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Our reinforced measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 will still be in place for this task, including a limit on the number of volunteers. To book a place please reply to the leader's task email sent out in the week preceding the task. If you have not received confirmation from the leader that your place has been booked please don't come to the task. 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. This is one of the most heavily used urban green spaces in Oxford, and we'll be working on behalf of the Oxford City Council. Most of the work will be in the ponds under the direction of freelance ecologist Judy Webb to dredge invasive plant growth and re-establish areas of open water necessary not least for the local dragonfly population. We'll also be digging out hard rush tussocks on the banks and margins of the pond if you'd rather not wade in.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Phil Hunter

Sunday 2 May 2021Site MaintenanceJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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Our reinforced measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 will still be in place for this task, including a limit on the number of volunteers. To book a place please reply to the leader's task email sent out in the week preceding the task. If you have not received confirmation from the leader that your place has been booked please don't come to the task. 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, a classical example of a traditional water meadow environment, lying between the rivers Glyme and Dorn. There's lots of work to do, a real mixed bag: maintaning the post and rail, and post and wire fence-lines; cutting back blackthorn; clearing fallen trees; we also have an owl box to install -- made by OCV's very own Chair -- Chris Skepper. So a mix of all-sorts to do today, and as it's likely we'll be well spread out watch for the task email for all the details.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 9 May 2021Raised Bed ConstructionEast Ward Allotments, Oxford
The East Ward Allotments are in the heart of East Oxford off Cricket Road. We were last here in the summer of 2019 to help The Children's Allotment project reclaim a derelict corner of the Allotment site. For more details of the project see http://thechildrensallotment.org. At the time of writing, the central job of today's task will be to install some raised beds. For more details nearer the day make sure you've signed up to the OCV email list.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 16 May 2021Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We're back at one of our favourite sites this week. We'll be helping the Reserve warden maintain the nationally important calcareous grassland habitat. At this time of year we might actually begin to see some of the plants natural to the chalk grassland and the insect populations that depend on them. We could be helping out with fence and gate repairs, or tackling other maintenance jobs required on site. As usual everyone will be welcome and full details of the project and the meeting place will be given in the weekly email. If you've ever thought about getting more involved as an OCV task leader then this would be a great one to start with -- contact Phil Hunter tasks@ocv.org.uk for more info.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Tim Howard

Sunday 23 May 2021Wet Meadow Cut and RakeBurnt Mill Meadow, Old Marston
Burnt Mill Meadow (otherwise known as Almonds Farm Fields) lies on the cusp of the Cherwell flood plain immediately to the north of The Victoria Arms pub in North Oxford, and is owned by Oxford City Council. The Freshwater Habitats Trust, together with Judy Webb and in collaboration with the current tenant farmer, have drawn up a management plan for the Meadow. Today we'll be working on one element of that plan to mow and rake a strip of meadow area in the northern corner of the site along the wet channel that runs along the foot of the shallow-banked escarpment. It's likely to be wet underfoot, so bring wellingtons! The site is a prime example of a unique habitat contingent upon its peculiar geographic and geological characterists. For more details on the history of the site and the flora and fauna it supports see Judy Webb's web-site page here: https://judithwebb.weebly.com/almonds-farm-bank.html.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 30 May 2021Revetment Construction & Woodland ManagementMatthew Arnold Field, Oxford
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Matthew Arnold Field in Boars Hill is a mixed woodland and grassland site, named after the poet, cultural critic and influential schools' inspector Matthew Arnold. Today, as usual, we'll be working for the Oxford Preservation Trust. The main task for today is to extend the two path revetments that we've installed in previous years along the northern edge of the site with a third section of revetment. The path hereabouts also needs to be widened and levelled, so there'll be some landscaping to do. There are two other main jobs to tackle in addition: repair work to the decking of the boardwalk OCV installed back in 2009; and cropping the pollarded willows in the fen area in line with the recent management plan which is designed to re-establish the peat wetland - bring wellingtons!
Leader: Tom HeathDriver: Chris Skepper