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 29 Mar 2020Reserve Management
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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 either lead tasks, or drive our minibus. Indeed without leaders and drivers we couldn’t keep going, and we’re significantly short of volunteers prepared to lead and drive at the moment. So if you can help 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. **UPDATE: SADLY DUE TO THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK THIS EVENT IS NOW CANCELLED.**
 

Sunday 5 Apr 2020Site Maintenance
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Burgess Field Nature Park is another Oxford nature reserve that used to be a city landfill site. It's a large site of 8.5 hectares and, like Aston's Eyot and the Trap Grounds, it lies close to the river Thames, between the main railway line and Port Meadow. The land is owned by the City Council, and we'll be working with a newly formed local group that want to take a hand in its upkeep. It's likely that we'll continue the work we began last month to create newly planted pockets of woodland along the long eastern border of the site by the railway. Full details will be posted by the task leader in the weekly task email, so make sure you're on the OCV mailing list! **UPDATE: SADLY DUE TO THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK THIS EVENT IS NOW CANCELLED.**
 

Tuesday 7 Apr 2020Committee meeting 8pmTown Hall
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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. . **UPDATE: DUE TO THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK THIS MEETING IS NOW ONLINE ONLY, WITH NO PUB VISIT.**
Contact: Jenny

Sunday 12 Apr 2020Easter Sunday
A Sunday off as it's Easter Day, which gives our volunteer leaders and drivers a welcome break. If you think you could help out either by leading tasks or by driving for us please get in touch. We're always looking for volunteers prepared to step up and take a hand in leading tasks or driving the minibus. Contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk for more details
 

Sunday 19 Apr 2020Reserve Maintenance
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Our April visit to our local National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. 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 under the supervision of Steph Wilson, 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 slopesto 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. **UPDATE: SADLY DUE TO THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK THIS EVENT IS NOW CANCELLED.**
 

Friday 24 Apr 2020 -
Tuesday 28 Apr 2020
Re-wilding Residential Trip
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An exciting plan for a long weekend in Scotland. In a possible first for OCV, we are going to actually be planting scrub! We'll be working high up on the mountains, above the tree line where there is an ambitious project underway to restore forest wilderness to an entire valley. We last volunteered in this area in 2013, planting small trees. This time it will be montane scrub. The plan is to travel up on the Friday, and we'll volunteer with a group from the Borders Forest Trust on Saturday and Sunday. It's a bit of hike up, so some of their group are going to be camping overnight on Saturday. The camping is entirely optional as we'll be staying for the rest of the time in a village hall. Then we'll have Monday to see the area, and return on Tuesday. The work will be strenuous but we usually eat well and have a fun time on these trips. Save the date! It will be a memorable weekend. When booking opens we'll announce it first to members, so make sure your membership is up-to-date. **UPDATE: SADLY DUE TO THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK THIS EVENT IS NOW CANCELLED.**
 

Sunday 3 May 2020Pond WorkMilham Ford Nature Park
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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. We'll be working 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: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 5 May 2020Committee meeting 8pmTown Hall
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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 10 May 2020Site Maintenance & Bespoke CarpentryStansfeld 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. Today's task has been arranged with Dr. Roger Baker, the Trust's Outdoor Learning and Ecology Manager, with a family friendly set of jobs to do, including the reinforcement of the many paths with bark chippings. The plan for today also includes the bespoke construction of a double beehive frame. For more info nearer the day see the OCV weekly task email, and for more on the exciting prospects for Stansfeld Park under the management of The Oxford Trust see their website: http://theoxfordtrust.co.uk/stansfeld-education-centre/.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 17 May 2020Reserve 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: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 24 May 2020Revetment 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 as well. If there are enough of us we'll also help out with the recent management plan in the woods which is designed to re-establish the peat wetland. In the past this has meant working with Rod D'Ayala to improvise dams from natural materials on hand, so bring wellingtons!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 31 May 2020Reserve 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 great example of a state of the art urban wildlife site with an ideal combination of complementary micro-habitats - come along and check it out! On our most recent tasks here we've been helping to add to the habitat range with the construction and landscaping of a newt pond in a quiet corner of the site.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 2 Jun 2020Committee meeting 8pmTown Hall
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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