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 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: Phil HunterDriver: Tom Bulford

Sunday 1 Aug 2021Post and Wire Fencing IWolfson College Water Meadows
A new site for OCV. The Wolfson College water meadows lie immediately opposite the college grounds on the east bank of the Cherwell. Both of them are designated sites of special scientific interest (SSSI). They lie in the flood plain of the Cherwell and have been used as pasture and hay meads since medieval times. They remain a superb flower habitat, now owned and managed by Wolfson College. The meadows are grazed in winter which mean they need stock proof fencing. Today we'll install the first stretch of a new fence that will separate the north meadow from the public footpath that follows the bank of the river. We'll need to cut back some head high vegetation to get to the fence-line; remove the old fence, then install straining posts, intermediate posts, and, finally, the new stock wire. There'll be lots to do! For more details look for the task email. For directions to the site check out the reserve web page for Wolfson College Water Meadows on our website.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Tim Bletsoe

Tuesday 3 Aug 2021Committee meetingThe Head Of The River
The committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. Prior to COVID19 meetings were held in the town hall and we hope to return there soon, but for now we'll be taking advantage of the warmer weather to meet outdoors. You don't need to be a committee member to join us, please email secretary@ocv.org.uk with a few days notice so that I can make a booking.
Contact: Jenny

Sunday 8 Aug 2021Post and Wire Fencing IIWolfson College Water Meadows
Another day on the Wolfson water meadows with more work on a new fence that separates the north meadow from the public footpath on the bank of the Cherwell. Today we'll look to install three more straining posts to accommodate the beginnings of a gentle curve in the course of the river. If you were with us last week you'll know what to expect. If not, get to it! Full details as usual in the weekly task email, so make sure you're signed up to the OCV email list.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Volunteer to drive

Saturday 14 Aug 2021OCV Scythe Training CourseThe Old Farmyard, Emmer Green, Reading
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OCV has raised funds to pay for a one day training course on the use of the particular kind of scythe, a so-called Austrian scythe, that we have been using for six or seven summer seasons now. Of all the tools that we have the scythes are the most difficult to use, but the most satisfying to use when used properly. They are also our most delicate tools and there is some skill required to use them well and safely. Today is a great opportunity to learn the basics. The course will be given by Clive Leeke at his base in the Chilterns just outside Reading (https://www.theoldfarmyard.co.uk ). The course will be free to volunteers. There will be eight places on the course and a reserve list. This is the place to thank the fund raising officers on our committee whose work often goes unnoticed. Booking priority will be given to members of the OCV committee, OCV leaders and drivers, paid up members of OCV, then all volunteers. At the time of writing we intend to take volunteers in the OCV minibus from Oxford. Contact Phil Hunter tasks@ocv.org.uk for more details.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Phil Hunter

Sunday 15 Aug 2021Reserve 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. As usual at Aston Rowant we'll be working with one of the wardens. Full details of what we'll be doing, and where and when to meet, will be in the weekly task email as usual, so make sure you've signed up to the OCV mailing list.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 22 Aug 2021Grass RakingSt 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. Last year was our best effort yet with about 5/6ths of the job completed on the day. As last year, we'll be using tarpaulins to raft the mown cuttings to the compost dumps.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Tom Bulford

Sunday 29 Aug 2021Rush and Reed-Bed 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. If you had a place on our scythe training course earlier in the month today is the day to put it all into practice. Look out for more details in the task email.
Leader: Tom HeathDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 7 Sep 2021Committee meetingTown Hall
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The committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. Prior to COVID19 meetings were held in the town hall and after a long break I hope we will be able to return there, but please await further information by email. You don't need to be a committee member to join us, please email secretary@ocv.org.uk for details.
Contact: Jenny