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 23 Dec 2018Christmas Break
No task today - Merry Christmas!
 

Sunday 30 Dec 2018Scrub ControlCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Our final task of 2018, and a great way to blow away the Christmas fug. Created in 1997, Crecy Hill Local Nature Reserve is a County Wildlife Site and Local Nature Reserve in Tackley, ten miles north of Oxford. The reserve is sited on the slope of a railway embankment with views across the open, rolling countryside opposite. We'll spend the day cutting back and burning extensive scrub to open up the paths and restore access to the site for both local people and the cattle that will be put to graze over the winter.
Leader: Andy MoDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 6 Jan 2019Coppicing, Pollarding, & Stream-ClearingNorth Hinksey Nature Reserve
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This small, popular and well used urban reserve in West Oxford incorporates a number of distinct habitats: stream, pond and reed-bed, stands of willow and hazel, a meadow, a community orchard, and a splendidly variegated hedge, which we laid four years ago back in 2015. The hedge is in fine fettle and we'll be back this time in 2020 to lay the secondary re-growth. Today, however, we'll be coppicing hazel, pollarding willow, and opening up the banks of the stream. There'll be a bonfire to burn most of what we cut but we'll also aim to harvest stakes and binders for hedge-laying work elsewhere later in the season.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Dan Moden

Tuesday 8 Jan 2019Committee Meeting 8pmTown 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim pub from about 9pm.
Contact: Jenny

Sunday 13 Jan 2019CoppicingLangdon Wood, Aston Upthorpe
A new site for OCV just to the east of Grim's Ditch on the approaches to the Aston Upthorpe Downs south of Blewbury. The wood is a designated SSSI and is mostly mature hazel on the west facing slope of Langdon Hill. The landowner has a grant from Natural England to manage the site and we'll coppice a discrete area as part of an ongoing management plan. As last week we'll look to harvest stakes and binders.
Leader: Jenny HillDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 20 Jan 2019Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our first visit of the year to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns which commands extensive views across the Oxford plain. Tasks at this time of year usually involve coppicing woodland, or tackling the hawthorn, bramble and scrub that encroach on the chalk grassland slopes. Make sure you're on the OCV mailing list for detailed information nearer the day. We're always looking for volunteers who might lead tasks, indeed without leaders we couldn't keep going, and we're significantly short of volunteers prepared to lead at the moment. So if you're interested contact Phil Hunter via tasks@ocv.org.uk . At Aston Rowant we always work under the guidance of one of the Reserve wardens, so today would be a great opportunity to try it out.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Wednesday 23 Jan 2019Music Night Social - 8.30pmThe Furry Mic at The Mad Hatter
For the first Social of 2019, we'll kick things off with a bit of music. We'll meet at 8:30pm at the Mad Hatter, in East Oxford, for their open mic night "The Furry Mic". Not to worry if you don't have any artistic flair, we'll be there to watch, although anyone is welcome to perform if they want! The bar has a good selection of beers and cocktails and 10% of their profits that night will go to OCV, so it's a unique way to support the organisation! Everyone is welcome, and it's a great way to find out more about OCV if you're thinking of getting involved in our weekly tasks. No need to RSVP, but feel free to contact socials@ocv.org.uk if you have any questions.
Contact: Anne

Sunday 27 Jan 2019Hedge-LayingRectory Farm Fields, Kidlington
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We're about half-way through the hedge-laying job at Rectory Farm Fields. It's a challenge to lay such an old and outgrown hedge-line but we made steady progess at the end of last year not least with some nicely sharpened, double-handed Yorkshire billhooks (see the photos in the website gallery). There will be the usual amount of hefty top-growth to take out which means a bonfire will be a necessary part of the day's work.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 3 Feb 2019Site MaintenanceStansfeld Park, Oxford
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The rejuvenation of Stansfeld by the Oxford Trust goes on apace in line with plans to open later this spring. Last December OCV teamed up with the Trust to run a corporate task day dedicated to the construction of a line of sleeper-steps. Part of today's task will involve the installation of three lengths (i.e. about 30 meters in total) of double handrail on either side and at the bottom of the steps. That gives us quite a few posts to drive in and there's bound to be complications caused by tree roots, so it might get interesting! There'll be some scrub bashing to do too.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 10 Feb 2019Willow PollardingAston's Eyot, Oxford
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Aston's Eyot is a large 30 acre site, literally speaking an island (hence 'Eyot') bordered by the Thames, Cherwell New Cut and Shire Lake Ditch, just downstream from Christ Church Meadow. The land is owned by Christ Church College and is managed by an enthusiastic Friends group with some help from the Oxford City Council. We'll be working for, and with, the Friends to pollard a line of large willows on the bank of the Shire Lake Ditch, north of the Jackdaw Lane Entrance, where the ditch diverges from the main channel of the river Cherwell. There shouldn't be any need for the bomb squad.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 17 Feb 2019Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This week we make our February visit to one of our favourite sites in the Chiltern Hills. A land-mark for travellers on the M40 and well-known for its huge numbers of red kites, this National Nature Reserve is owned and managed by Natural England. We'll be helping the wardens who manage the Reserve on whatever winter jobs they have in hand, whether it be scrub clearance, coppicing, or a little winter sheep work. Whichever, the work will be described in the weekly email, so now's a good time to check you're on our mailing list. We're always looking for volunteers to lead tasks. If you'd like to help out, then this would be a good one to start with. If you're interested contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 24 Feb 2019Scrub ControlSwyncombe Estate, South Oxfordshire
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Swyncombe Estate consists of over 600 acres of high, mature beech woodland and chalk grassland in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding National Beauty. In recent years we've cut scrub on the exposed spur of Sliding Hill, but the exact location of today's work is still to be decided at the time of writing - so watch this space! As last week, you'll find the details in the email from the task leader that will be sent via the mailing list sometime in the week preceding the task.
Leader: Jenny HillDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 3 Mar 2019Scrub ControlCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Created in 1997, Crecy Hill Local Nature Reserve is a County Wildlife Site and Local Nature Reserve in Tackley, ten miles north of Oxford. The reserve is sited on the slope of a railway embankment with views across the open, rolling countryside opposite. We'll spend the day cutting back and burning extensive scrub to open up the paths and maintain access to the site.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 10 Mar 2019Willow PollardingBoundary Brook, Oxford
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In 1990 the Oxford Urban Wildlife Group converted a site of derelict allotments into a 3 acre nature reserve a stone's throw from the housing estates of east Oxford. There are now plans to breathe new life into the site under a joint venture involving BBOWT's Wild Oxford scheme, Oxford City Council, and a new local friends group. The site has gone unmanaged for several years so there's quite a bit of reclamation work to do, including the pollarding of some large willows in the south eastern corner of the site - which is what we'll tackle today.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 17 Mar 2019Hedge-LayingBurgess Field Nature Park, North Oxford
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There are many meters of hedge at Burgess Field and today we'll make a start on the active management of some them with a session of hedge-laying which might also include some replanting. We'll look to accommodate some on the job tuition in the task by pairing beginners with volunteers who have some experience. So if you'd like to come along, see what's involved, and try your hand, you'll be welcome. Laying a hedge well encourages thick, healthy re-growth which provides a perfect habitat for a range of wildlife.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 24 Mar 2019Reserve MaintenanceAston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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An early Spring visit to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns, owned and managed by Natural England. You'll recognise the landscape if you've ever travelled towards London on the M40. Indeed, you'll see up close the chalk geology that determines the character of the reserve and its fauna and flora as you drive through the immense cutting in the hillside. Today we'll be helping the wardens care for the grassland, or the woods and paths that sit on top of the chalk. As usual, everyone's welcome! This is a big site so watch out for the weekly email for precise details as to the location of today's task. We're always looking for volunteers who might lead tasks, indeed without leaders we couldn't keep going, so if you're interested contact Phil Hunter via tasks@ocv.org.uk . Any of our current leaders will be happy to help you get started by doubling up on a task to show you the ropes.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 31 Mar 2019Site MaintenanceTrap Grounds, Oxford
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The Trap Grounds is a small pocket of the 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 mark of how busy we've been that we haven't had a task here since last June, but today we'll be back to undertake some construction work which has still to be decided at the time of writing. We always have plenty to do at the Trap Grounds and the details will be circulated nearer the day, so, once again, make sure you're on the OCV mailing list!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive