Task Programme

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Sunday 5 Jan 2020Willow PollardingAston's Eyot, Oxford
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Aston’s Eyot is a large 30 acre site, literally speaking an island (hence ‘Eyot’). It's bordered by the Thames, Cherwell New Cut and the Shire Lake Ditch, and is situated 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 willows in two locations on the bank of the Shire Lake Ditch: one at the point where the Ditch meets the Thames, and the other at the entrance to the Eyot from the Kidney’s Reserve a few hundred meters further up the Ditch.
Leader: Phil HunterDriver: Dan Moden

Tuesday 7 Jan 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 12 Jan 2020Site MaintenanceStansfeld 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 educational resource, partly as a hub for science and tech commercial start-ups. It’s a state of the art development and well worth coming to have a look. Today’s task will involve, among other things, work to manage the woodland and scrub. For more info nearer the day see the OCV weekly task email, and for more on Stansfeld Park under the management of The Oxford Trust see their website: http://theoxfordtrust.co.uk/stansfeld-education-centre/.
Leader: Jenny HillDriver: Chris Skepper

Sunday 19 Jan 2020Reserve 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 can't keep going, and we're significantly short of volunteers prepared to lead and drive at the moment. If we can't find more leaders and drivers over the next couple of months it's likely that we'll have to start cancelling tasks, which would be a great shame given that we have more requests for work than we have Sundays in the year. So if you can help out have a chat with a task leader or driver, or 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: Helen BurtonDriver: Phil Hunter

Sunday 26 Jan 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. For more info see the Friends’ website http://trap-grounds.org.uk. We’ll be helping out with some winter maintenance work, so make sure you’re on the OCV mailing list for the leader’s task email which will give all the details.
Leader: Anne CossuttaDriver: Dan Moden

Wednesday 29 Jan 2020Music Night Social - 8.30pm The Furry Mic at The Mad Hatter
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For the first Social of 2020, 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! 10% of the bar 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 2 Feb 2020CoppicingPissen Wood, Oxfordshire
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We were last here in this small private woodland in the Chilterns in the winter of 2018 to coppice hazel and install wire cages around the stools to protect the re-growth from being grazed by deer. Today we’ll return to check on progress and do some more coppicing. If you came on our residential coppicing course at Westonbirt last November you'll be more than welcome today.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Tim Howard

Tuesday 4 Feb 2020Special General MeetingTown Hall
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In place of our regular committee meeting, we're having a Special General Meeting to discuss a fairly technical change to our constitution. Details have been sent to members by email. Everyone is welcome to come along and members will be able to speak and vote if they want. Afterwards we'll probably go for a sociable pint at the Royal Blenheim, so feel free to drop in afterwards, particularly if you're interested in getting more involved with OCV.
Contact: Jenny

Sunday 9 Feb 2020Hedge-Laying and Willow PollardingNorth 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, and a community orchard. On Sunday February 8th 2015 we laid the hedge on this Reserve which separates the meadow from the orchard. Now, five years to the day, we’ll be back to do some secondary laying. The hedge is in fine shape, and it’ll be interesting to see how many volunteers that worked on the hedge back in 2015 make it back for today’s task. Volunteers come and go, but hedges, if left to themselves, stay put! There’ll also be some work to do on the willows that surround the pond.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 16 Feb 2020Reserve 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 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, usually ongoing work to maintain or restore the grassland habitat. The details as to what and where 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 and to drive the minibus so if you can help out, then this would be a good one to start with. Please contact Phil at tasks@ocv.org.uk.
Leader: Jenny HillDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 23 Feb 2020Scrub Bashing & Tree-PlantingBurgess Field Nature Park, North Oxford
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Our first visit of the year to Burgess Field, a large reserve in North Oxford that borders Port Meadow. The plan for today is to work on the Eastern edge of the site. We’ll clear one or two discrete areas of scrub and then replant saplings to create pockets of new woodland. The long-term plan is to develop a series of these pockets along the length of the boundary with the railway to rejuvenate the barrier of woodland and to compensate for the expected future loss of the ash trees hereabouts.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 1 Mar 2020Scrub ManagementCrecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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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. The scrub is thick and thorny hereabouts and as the site will have been grazed by cattle over the winter it may be very muddy underfoot. If it’s been wet, wellies could be useful.
Leader: Chris SkepperDriver: Volunteer to drive

Tuesday 3 Mar 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 8 Mar 2020Scrub ManagementGrays Lane Bank, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
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Another scrub bashing task (by the time we get to the end of March you’ll be a dab hand at this sort of thing) but today’s task is in a special location – a privately owned chalk grassland bank in a secluded part of the Chilterns, designated as an SSSI. We’ve worked here in the past but not for a while. Recently, the landowner has made significant improvements and developed a long-term management plan that includes cattle grazing. We’ve been asked to help out with the labour-intensive work of removing the extensive regrowth of hawthorn and dogwood when still in its initial stages. It will be a completely different experience from last week’s scrub bashing at Crecy Hill. And, come to think of it, completely different from next week’s too!
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 15 Mar 2020Scrub ManagementBurgess Field Nature Park, North Oxford
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We’re back at Burgess Field today to work at the Northern end of this big site which sits side by side with Port Meadow. The aim is to keep the wide open spaces wide and open by taking out some of the invasive scrub. It won’t be a clear-cut exercise however, we’ll need to be selective as some of the ‘islands’ of dense scrub make for good habitat. There’ll be a bonfire.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 22 Mar 2020Reserve MaintenanceJubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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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. The task today will be to continue from where we left off last November with more scrub bashing work further along the ridge on the south of the site by the main footpath that’s continuous with Top Lane.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 29 Mar 2020Reserve ManagementAston 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 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.
Leader: Volunteer to leadDriver: Volunteer to drive

Sunday 5 Apr 2020
 

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.
Contact: Jenny

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

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