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 20 Jun 2021Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our 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 plese don't come to the task. We're back at our local national nature reserve in the Chilterns today. It's a site that includes chalk grassland, grazed by flocks of sheep. Early summer means it's likely that we'll be working on public access to the site by improving paths, or repairing or installing post and wire fences. But whatever the work, it should be worth coming along if only to check out the wild flower habitats. Full details will be in the weekly email as usual. 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 under the supervision of one of the Natural England wardens who manage the site. Contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk for more details.
Leader: Tim BletsoeDriver: Tom Bulford

Sunday 27 Jun 2021Site RestorationThe Children's Allotment, East Ward Allotments, Oxford
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Our 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 plese don't come to the task.The East Ward Allotments are in the heart of East Oxford off Cricket Road. We were last here at the beginning of May to clear the site, install seven raised beds, and generally help out with the devlopment of the Children's Allotment project after a year of suspended animation. For more details about the project see http://thechildrensallotment.org. At the time of writing, the central job of today's task will be to do the groundwork on the side of the site opposite to the raised beds -- there's likely to be a small mountain of topsoil to shift. For more details nearer the day make sure you've signed up to the OCV email list.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Tom Bulford

Saturday 3 Jul 2021Skunk Cabbage DiggingWhite Barn Lane, Boars Hill
Put the words 'skunk' and 'cabbage' together and what do you get? Well, the scientific answer is Lysichiton Americanus, otherwise known as Skunk Cabbage. It's a non-native horticultural monster that tends to quickly dominate the wet woodland habitats that it enjoys. It's also difficult to remove once established, nevertheless that's what we'll try to do today on a private site on the south west slope of Boars Hill. We'll try every which way to see how best to tackle the plant. It grows form a large, usually deep, rhizome so we'll be digging, mattocking, levering and lopping. It may be that removing it by hand is too difficult to be worthwhile, especially given the extent of the spread of the plant down stream from Boars Hill, but if we don't give it a go we'll never know. Notice too that this is one of our occasional Saturday tasks.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 4 Jul 2021Water Meadow Mow & RakeBurnt Mill Meadow, Old Marston
You don't see a new OCV site for a year or so, and then two show up at once. We were meant to mow the water meadow at Burnt Mill back in May, but the site was underwater, so today we'll try again. Burnt Mill Meadow (otherwise known as Almonds Farm Fields) lies on the cusp of the Cherwell flood plain immediately to the north of the 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 site. 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: Tom HeathDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 6 Jul 2021Committee meetingTown Hall
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The committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. Normally meetings are held in the town hall but for the time being these have been moved online. You don't need to be a committee member to join us, please email secretary@ocv.org.uk for details of how to join the call.
Contact: Jenny

Sunday 11 Jul 2021Step and Path ConstructionCrecy 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 over the last year to reclaim the unimproved grassland from the invasive scrub that had come to dominate. We were last here a month ago to reinstate good access to the site via the main entrance with some extensive path and step work. The plan for today is to securely revet the steps we constructed in June, and to renovate the stepped path in the middle of the site.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 18 Jul 2021Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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The Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns is managed by Natural England and, as usual, we'll be working under the guidance of one of the site wardens. This is often the best time of year to appreciate the flowers natural to the chalk grassland habitat, the main feature of the reserve. It's likely that we'll be asked to help out with work that had to be postponed over the past year. Details will be announced on the mailing list in the week preceding the task. So if you're not already on our mailing list, then now is the time to join it. 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 under the supervision of one of the wardens. Contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk for more details.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 25 Jul 2021Meadow Mow & RakeNorth Hinksey Nature Reserve
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Last summer we spent two days mowing the two meadow areas on the reserve either side of the central hedge. Today we'll try and complete the job in just the one day. 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. There will be full details in the weekly task email as usual.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive