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Sunday 5 Jan 2003 – Coppicing at Finemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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An ancient woodland originally part of the Great Forest of Bernwood, Finemere Wood is not too far from Bicester. The wood is apparently exceptional for butterflies and has all three species of British woodpecker. The OCV will be coppicing to encourage regeneration of the under-storey and ground flora.

  • Leader: Kate Ravilious
  • Driver: Jamie Wood
Sunday 12 Jan 2003 – Step building at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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We shall be working at Shotover Country Park to the east of Oxford, which hosts small pockets of heathland interspersed with deciduous woodland. We shall be building steps to improve public access.

  • Leader: MC
  • Driver: Loz
Sunday 26 Jan 2003 – Coppicing at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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Beyond Blenheim and the crowds, just north of the picturesque town centre are the old watermeadows. Today they are managed for wildlife. We shall be coppicing and tree planting.

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Mark Spencer
Sunday 2 Feb 2003 – Coppicing at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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Foxholes is an extensive woodland reserve in the Cotswolds, managed by the Local Wildlife Trust. The traditional craft of charcoal burning is practised, for which part of the wood is coppiced to provide fuel. We shall be helping with the coppicing and logging.

  • Leader: Steve Homes
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 9 Feb 2003 – Step building at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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Back to Shotover to complete the steps that we started last time. If you are considering coming directly to the site, please check with us.

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Sunday 16 Feb 2003 – Scrub cutting at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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A return to the reserve set on the Chiltern Hills. We will be removing invasive scrub and bramble.

  • Leader: MC
  • Driver: Loz
Sunday 30 Mar 2003 – Scrub cutting at Calvert Jubilee, Calvert, Buckinghamshire
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A return to the Buckinghamshire site, this time for the traditional winter social task of scrub clearance. You can chat to your friends while maintaining a impression of enthusiastic chopping!

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: Mark Spencer
Sunday 6 Apr 2003 – Scrub cutting at Chilswell Valley, Oxford
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Carrying on the sterling work of clearing the grassland slope of invading scrub. Lovely site hidden away off the A34 but you feel like you're in the middle of the countryside.

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Steve Homes
Tuesday 8 Apr 2003 – Aunt Sally at Fox and Hounds

The soft tupp of wood and taste of hopps.

  • Contact: Mark
Sunday 13 Apr 2003 – Fencing at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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A return to this popular site in the Chilterns where we will be constructing rabbit proof fencing around Juniper exclosures to protect the rare evergreen.

  • Leader: Ruth Dalton
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Tuesday 15 Apr 2003 – Bluebell Walk at Radley Woods, Radley, Oxfordshire

A walk round the woods in Radley

  • Contact: Kate
Sunday 4 May 2003 – Scrub cutting at Pilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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This should be a good time of year to visit the BBOWT site in Bucks. The cowslips should be in flower on the ridge and furrow, there are usually a sighting or two of orchids along with the flora of the marshy areas. The work will be removal of small scrub allowing for plenty of opportunity to wander around the fields!

  • Leader: Kate Ravilious
  • Driver: Charlotte Vinnicombe
Sunday 11 May 2003 – Fencing at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Continuing the work started on 13th April, another chance to fine tune your fencing skills and not a rapier in sight.

  • Leader: David
  • Driver: Ailsa
Sunday 25 May 2003 – Maintaining heather beds at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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We will be working in a small area of the locally rare habitat of heathland from which you have fine views across Oxford. You can either meet at the usual pick up points or, if you're feeling masochistic (?), cycle up Shotover hill to the car park at Shotover Plain.

  • Leader: Liz Kirby
  • Driver: Anthony Kirby
Sunday 1 Jun 2003 – Gate construction at Finemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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If this is not a first for the OCV then it certainly hasn't been done for a fair few years. It's not compulsory to bring a partner for construction of the kissing gate, but perhaps it might be nice?

  • Leader: Kate Ravilious
  • Driver: Jamie Wood
Sunday 8 Jun 2003 – Scrub cutting at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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A return to this Urban site located in Longwall Street. A chance to wander round (during tea - break of course!) to see if you can spot anyone famous. We will be clearing scrub and generally making the area more accessible to both people and wildlife.

  • Leader: Charlotte Vinnicombe
  • Driver: Paul Brears
Sunday 15 Jun 2003 – Footpath work at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Back to the site in the Chilterns where Red Kites regularly put in an appearance to watch us eating our lunch. It's very rare that we see less than 4 of these magnificent birds. We will be clearing a footpath to allow better access to part of the reserve to improve peoples enjoyment of the habitats there.

  • Leader: Ruth Dalton
  • Driver: Loz
Sunday 22 Jun 2003 – Footpath work at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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We will be working in a different part of the reserve this week, the task again aiming to improve access to a reserve for the public. This work differs from last week in that we will also be constructing a footpath as well as maintaining those already established

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 1 Jul 2003 – pub visit at A pub

A pub visit meeting in the Hobgoblin at 8pm

  • Contact: Paul
Sunday 6 Jul 2003 – ragwort pulling at Port Meadow, Oxford
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If we can find any ragwort in flower we will be helping to clear this bright yellow, invasive daisy from Port Meadow. Later in the day we will be repairing a footpath at Burgess Fields.

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Charlotte Vinnicombe
Tuesday 8 Jul 2003 – meeting at Borders

Get involved, and help with running the group! We meet at Borders at 8pm (usually downstairs) to organise forthcoming tasks and socials. Afterwards we usually find the energy to visit a nearby pub.

  • Contact: Steve
Wednesday 9 Jul 2003 – scrub cutting at Cumbria
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cutting sea buckthorn by the coast and a days walking in the lakes

  • Leader: Loz
  • Driver: MC
Tuesday 15 Jul 2003 – punting at Cherwell Boat House
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Meet at Cherwell Boathouse at 7.30

  • Contact: Jamie
Sunday 20 Jul 2003 – moving sheep at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We will be helping the warden move the sheep to a differnt part of the site.

  • Leader: Liz Kirby
  • Driver: Anthony Kirby
Tuesday 22 Jul 2003 – meeting at Borders

Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry

  • Contact: Steve
Sunday 27 Jul 2003 – coppicing at Brasenose Wood, Oxford
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Come and demonstrate your skills in the ancient art of coppicing, or if you have never tried it before come and learn! Today is going to be a Working Woodland Day with a coppicing demonstration. Coppicing is a traditional method of woodland management which involves cutting down different areas of the understorey in rotation. The resulting diversity of different aged areas supports a diverse flora and fauna.

  • Leader: Kate Ravilious
  • Driver: Jamie Wood
Tuesday 29 Jul 2003 – theatre at A pub

Wadham College Gardens, 7:30 pm. The production is by Oxford Shakespeare Company (who used to be known as Bold and Saucy) - based on their past performances, this should be one of the best productions on this summer.

  • Contact: Liz
Sunday 3 Aug 2003 – scrub clearance at Iffley Island, Oxford
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A bit of scrub clearance and a chance to do some pollarding on the Willow trees.

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Ailsa
Tuesday 5 Aug 2003 – meeting at Borders

Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry

  • Contact: Steve
Sunday 10 Aug 2003 – ragwort pulling at Port Meadow, Oxford
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If there is any there we will pull it up. This task may change nearer the time

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 12 Aug 2003 – rounders at A pub

We will be playing the annual (very informal) game of rounders on The Angel & Greyhound Meadow. No previous experience necessary! Meet at entrance 7:30pm; later we will very likely be at The Angel and Greyhound pub.

  • Contact: Liz
Tuesday 19 Aug 2003 – meeting at Borders

Get involved, and help with running the group! We meet at Borders at 8pm (usually downstairs) to organise forthcoming tasks and socials. Afterwards we usually find the energy to visit a nearby pub.

  • Contact: Steve
Tuesday 26 Aug 2003 – Italian meal at Gino's at A pub

Please contact Liz in advance to book your seat at the table. Despite its setting at Gloucester Green (by the bus station) Gino's is one of the most authentic Italian restaurants in Oxford. 8pm.

  • Contact: Liz
Sunday 31 Aug 2003 – fencing or footpath work at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Back to the Chilterns and another chance to see some Red Kites. The task will probably be fencing or footpath work, but will be confirmed nearer the time.

Tuesday 2 Sep 2003 – meeting at Borders

Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry

  • Contact: Steve
Sunday 7 Sep 2003 – bridge building at Chilswell Valley, Oxford
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Today we will be constructing a bridge to go over some of the reed beds in this peaceful, hidden valley.

  • Leader: Anthony Kirby
  • Driver: Liz Kirby
Tuesday 9 Sep 2003 – an acoustic night at A pub

For this week’s OCV social we are going to see an acoustic band called “The Chancers”. The venue is the Port Mahon pub on St Clements, cost £3, gig starts 8.30pm. I suggest we meet from 8pm in the Port Mahon.

  • Contact: Liz
Sunday 14 Sep 2003 – coppicing at Brasenose Wood, Oxford
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In a change to the original program we will now be coppicing in Brasenose wood.

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Tuesday 16 Sep 2003 – meeting at Borders

Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry

  • Contact: Steve
Sunday 21 Sep 2003 – fencing or footpath work at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Back to the Chilterns and another chance to see some Red Kites. The task will probably be fencing or footpath work, but will be confirmed nearer the time.

  • Leader: Kate Ravilious
  • Driver: Jamie Wood
Tuesday 23 Sep 2003 – Meet the brewer talk and quiz. at A pub

We will be meeting in Far From the Madding Crowd, Friars Entry. This is a fine pub next to Borders in the city centre. There will be a talk from Adnams Brewery followed by a quiz. We shall be meeting in the pub at 8pm.

  • Contact: Paul
Sunday 28 Sep 2003 – making charcoal at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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Have you ever wondered how charcoal is made? Well now is your chance to find out! We will be log splitting, stacking the charcoal kiln and cutting back the bracken at this lovely woodland site in the Cotswolds.

  • Leader: Loz
  • Driver: MC
Tuesday 30 Sep 2003 – meeting at Borders

Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry

  • Contact: Steve
Sunday 5 Oct 2003 – constuction work at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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A return to this lovely site with fine views of the rolling Cotswold hills. This time we will be constructing a handrail for a footpath and a footrest for a bench, plus a bit of scrub bashing if time permits!

  • Leader: Anthony Kirby
  • Driver: Liz Kirby
Monday 6 Oct 2003 – Poetry Slam at A pub

We are going to watch a friend of MCs perform some comic poetry at Poetry Slam in the Brickworks on the Cowley Rd. She is a very good comic poet - just returned from the Edinburgh fringe. <br /> The Brickworks is 182 Cowley Rd and serves a range of interesting Belgium beer. Contact MC in advance to arrange tickets.

  • Contact: MC
Sunday 12 Oct 2003 – reed clearance at Boundary Brook, Oxford
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Time to get out your wellies, or slip on some waders! (OCV has a few pairs available to borrow.) We will be clearing some reeds from the pond and helping to construct a boardwalk.

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Charlotte Vinnicombe
Tuesday 14 Oct 2003 – Meeting at Borders

Get involved, and help with running the group! We meet at Borders at 8pm (usually downstairs) to organise forthcoming tasks and socials. Afterwards we usually find the energy to visit a nearby pub.

  • Contact: Liz
Sunday 19 Oct 2003 – raking grass at Lye Valley, Oxford
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Another of our urban sites, Lye Valley is a green corridor stretching from Headington to East Oxford. Today we will be raking up cut grass from the fen and doing a little bit of footpath clearance

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: Paul Brears
Tuesday 21 Oct 2003 – Skittles at the Isis Tavern at A pub

Your chance to win \"Gloria\" - the OCV skittles trophy (but no previous experience necessary!). The Isis Tavern is on the Thames towpath, between Iffley Lock and Donnington Bridge. Please let me know by 14th October if you wish to come, as I need to book the skittle alley. There will be a charge for the skittle alley

  • Contact: Liz
Saturday 25 Oct 2003 – dry stone walling at Worth Matravers, Swanage
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If you enjoy jigsaw puzzles then this dry stone walling weekend is for you! We will be staying in Worth Matravers village hall and spending the weekend helping to repair a dry stone wall and enjoying the splendid views along the Purbeck coast. On Saturday night there will be ample time to sample the real ales in the local pub! For further details and bookings (by 17th October) contact Kate and Jamie (557418).

  • Leader: Kate Ravilious
  • Driver: Jamie Wood
Tuesday 28 Oct 2003 – Meeting at Borders

Get involved, and help with running the group! We meet at Borders at 8pm (usually downstairs) to organise forthcoming tasks and socials. Afterwards we usually find the energy to visit a nearby pub

  • Contact: Liz
Sunday 2 Nov 2003 – hedgelaying at Pilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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We will be doing some hedgelaying around the edge of this ancient pasture site in the Buckinghamshire countryside. If you haven’t tried hedgelaying before then this is a good place to come and have a go.

  • Leader: Jamie Wood
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 4 Nov 2003 – a Bonfire at A pub

The social on Tuesday will be a bonfire party, kindly hosted by John. It\'ll start at 8pm, please bring drinks and snacks. Firewood will be provided!

  • Contact: Liz
Sunday 9 Nov 2003 – raking scrub at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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This time we will be going to the wetlands area of Shotover Country Park and helping to raking up scrub. There may also be some footpath clearance work to be done.

Tuesday 11 Nov 2003 – a meeting at Borders

Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry

  • Contact: Steve
Sunday 16 Nov 2003 – scrub bashing at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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A traditional OCV autumn task at this lovely site in the Chiltern hills. Today we will be scrub bashing and keeping warm around the bonfire!

  • Leader: MC
  • Driver: Loz
Tuesday 18 Nov 2003 – Allegri String Quartet at A pub

8pm at the Holywell Music Room. Tickets £10. Please let me know in advance if you wish to come.

  • Contact: Liz
Sunday 23 Nov 2003 – constructing a footpath at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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A return visit to this interesting country park. This time we will be constructing a new footpath.

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 30 Nov 2003 – widening a ride at Finemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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Today we will be cutting down trees to widen a grassy ride in this ancient woodland. This will help to increase wildlife diversity in the woodland and encourage butterflies and wild flowers such as orchids.

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Steve Homes
Tuesday 2 Dec 2003 – a cinema trip at Phoenix Cinema

Likely to be at the Phoenix. Film to be decided nearer the time.

  • Contact: Liz
Sunday 7 Dec 2003 – hedgelaying at Grays Lane Bank, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
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This will be OCV’s first visit to this lovely peaceful site in the Chiltern Hills. It is a site of special scientific importance (SSSI) and is home to many rare species of plants and insects. We will be removing hawthorn from the chalk grasslands and laying a hedge.

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: Charlotte Vinnicombe
Tuesday 9 Dec 2003 – a meeting at Borders

Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry

  • Contact: Steve
Sunday 14 Dec 2003 – hedgelaying at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Forget the stresses of Christmas shopping and come and relax at OCV’s special Christmas task! You can try your hand at hedgelaying, or do some scrub bashing to keep the bonfire going. We plan to have a festive feast so please bring along some food to share (chocolates, chestnuts, mince pies etc.).

  • Leader: Loz
  • Driver: MC
Tuesday 16 Dec 2003 – mulled wine and mince pies at A pub

From 8pm at Kate and Jamies house. Please bring either some wine to mull, or mince pies to share.

  • Contact: Kate
Saturday 20 Dec 2003 – the Christmas Dinner at A pub

The annual OCV feast! Saturday 20th Dec, 7.30 pm, at Liz and Anthony\'s house (Home Close, Wolvercote). We need to know numbers in advance, and need volunteers to help with food buying and preparation. There will be a charge to cover the cost of the food. Please let Liz know by 9th December if you would like to attend.

  • Contact: Anthony
Sunday 4 Jan 2004 – hedgelaying and planting at Boundary Brook, Oxford
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Come and work off some of the Christmas and New Year excesses by doing a spot of hedgelaying, hedge planting and path maintenance! We will be helping to lay a hedge that OCV planted over 10 years ago.

Tuesday 6 Jan 2004 – a meeting at Borders

Meet at Borders at 8pm, followed by socialising in a nearby hostelry

  • Contact: Steve
Sunday 11 Jan 2004 – building a footbridge at Calvert Jubilee, Calvert, Buckinghamshire
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If the weather permits we will be replacing a rotting footbridge today (otherwise it will be hedgelaying).

Tuesday 13 Jan 2004 – pub quiz at A pub

This Tuesday’s social is a pub quiz in the Prince of Wales in Iffley. The Prince of Wales is in Iffley on Church Way and is one of my favourite pubs in Oxford (and also my local.) The quiz is an entertaining one, the land lord doesn’t take it too seriously, and normally starts about 9. The last time the OCV took part, we were in a playoff for the money; can we do better this year? We intend to be there from 8pm to get a good table.

  • Contact: Paul
Sunday 18 Jan 2004 – scrub clearance at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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Come and spot some famous names while peeling back the ivy from tomb stones and clearing the scrup in this ancient cemetery.

  • Leader: Anthony Kirby
  • Driver: Charlotte Vinnicombe
Tuesday 20 Jan 2004 – meeting at Borders

Meeting followed by a pint (or three) in Far from the Madding Crowd

  • Contact: Steve
Sunday 25 Jan 2004 – Pond clearance at Marsh Baldon, Oxfordshire
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The village pond is in desperate need of reed clearance. Come and don some waders (we have some to borrow) and help provide the local ducks with a home again.

  • Leader: Kate Ravilious
  • Driver: Jamie Wood
Tuesday 27 Jan 2004 – poker night at A pub

This is the second of the now traditional OCV Poker Nights. There will be NO MONEY involved, we will merely split some chips between us at the beginning of the night and the winner will be the one with the most by the end. We&#x2019;ll probably play &#x201c;Dealer&#x2019;s Choice&#x201d;. Basically there are innumerate variations to make people end up with 5 cards, we&#x2019;ll introduce them as we go.<br /> Hope to see you there; Harcourt Arms, Tuesday, 8pm.

  • Contact: Jamie
Sunday 1 Feb 2004 – Hedgelaying at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Hedgelaying at one of our favourite sites in the Chilterns.

  • Leader: MC
  • Driver: Loz
Tuesday 3 Feb 2004 – Extrodinary General Meeting at Borders

8pm in Borders - a meeting to change some of the constitution and elect some new members to the committee. If you are interested in becoming more involved in the group and would like to know what some of the committee positions entail then please contact Steve (OCV Chair). As usual we will be going for a drink in \'Far from the Madding Crowd\' afterwards (around 9pm onwards). All welcome.

  • Contact: Steve
Sunday 8 Feb 2004 – hedge planting at Coldharbour Farm, North Aston, Oxfordshire

Today we will be planting a hedge at this organic farm in the rolling Cotswold countryside.

  • Leader: Kate Ravilious
  • Driver: Jamie Wood
Tuesday 10 Feb 2004 – Film night at Phoenix Cinema

A trip to the Phoenix Cinema. Contact Kate for details closer to the time (tel. 557418).

  • Contact: Kate
Sunday 15 Feb 2004 – Coppicing at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Come and learn how to coppice woodland, or help to put in some visitor management posts. Red Kite sightings guaranteed!

  • Leader: Steve Homes
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 17 Feb 2004 – OCV Meeting at A pub

A new venue for our meetings - The Gardeners Arms on Plantation Road @ 8pm. Conveniently located for drinks after the meeting! All welcome.

  • Contact: Kate
Sunday 22 Feb 2004 – hedgelaying at Calvert Jubilee, Calvert, Buckinghamshire
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Come and help to lay an unconventional hedge at Calvert Jubilee!

  • Leader: Loz
  • Driver: MC
Tuesday 24 Feb 2004 – Pancake night at A pub

Come and eat lots of pancakes at Kate & Jamie\'s (8pm @ 22 Canal Street, Jericho). Contact us in advance (557418) if you would like to come so that we know how much batter to make!

  • Contact: Kate
Sunday 29 Feb 2004 – scrub bashing at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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Helping to prevent the brambles and hawthorn from taking over on Shotover heathland – phase 1.

Tuesday 2 Mar 2004 – OCV meeting at A pub

8pm @ The Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road. All welcome.

  • Contact: Kate
Sunday 7 Mar 2004 – pond clearance at Western Turville Reservoir, World's End, Buckinghamshire
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Another chance to get your wellies on and help to clear the reeds from a pond. (OCV has some wellies and waders to lend out if you don’t have your own.)

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Charlotte Vinnicombe
Tuesday 9 Mar 2004 – Laser Quest at A pub

Your chance to wear a vibrating plastic bib! Contact Jamie if you would like to come (557418).

  • Contact: Jamie
Sunday 14 Mar 2004 – Hedgelaying Resi (2 days) at Pilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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Come and learn or improve your skills in the art of hedgelaying. We hope to hedge a significant length in our two-day resi at this ancient pasture site in the Buckinghamshire countryside. Accommodation will be in a local village hall (sleeping bag and mat required). To reserve a place ring Jerome on 768 578 by 5th March.

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: Kate Ravilious
Tuesday 16 Mar 2004 – OCV meeting at A pub

8pm @ The Gardener\'s ARms, Plantation Road. All welcome.

  • Contact: Kate
Sunday 21 Mar 2004 – scrub clearing at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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Helping to prevent the brambles and hawthorn from taking over on Shotover heathland – phase 2!

Tuesday 23 Mar 2004 – Thai meal at A pub

A visit to the Oxford Thai on Cowley Road - the best Thai in Oxford, we think! Contact Jamie to reserve your place (557418).

  • Contact: Jamie
Sunday 28 Mar 2004 – footpath work at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Helping to create some resting places along a disabled footpath.

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Paul Brears
Tuesday 30 Mar 2004 – OCV meeting at A pub

8pm @ The Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road. All welcome.

  • Contact: Kate
Sunday 4 Apr 2004 – Fencing at Raleigh Park, Oxford
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The fence around the boundary of Raleigh Park is getting wobbly and needs repairing. Come and ensure that the cattle can continue to graze safely by helping to remove the old fence and constructing a new one.

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Steve Homes
Tuesday 6 Apr 2004 – a cinema trip at Phoenix Cinema

Film night at the Pheonix; Monster or Zatoichi. Meet at the Radcliffe Arms 7.30 or in the bar of the Phoenix at 8.30

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 11 Apr 2004 – having a lie in! at Home

Easter Sunday - no task

Sunday 18 Apr 2004 – Fencing at Raleigh Park, Oxford
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Continue finishing off the fencing work that we started two weeks ago.

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Jane Fisher
Tuesday 20 Apr 2004 – Spring blue-bell walk at A pub

Meet at 6.20pm, St Aldates at bus stand H2. Please phone Jane for more details.

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 25 Apr 2004 – constructing a noticeboard at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Constructing and installing an information board and helping to create a new footpath.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Sharon Williams
Tuesday 27 Apr 2004 – a meeting at A pub

OCV meeting* followed by sociable pint

  • Contact: Steve
Sunday 2 May 2004 – constructing a bund at Boundary Brook, Oxford
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Come and find out what a ‘bund’ is by helping to construct one today!

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Charlotte Vinnicombe
Tuesday 4 May 2004 – tool sharpening at The Tool Store

Tool Sharpening followed by a pint at a secret location! Contact Martin for further details.

  • Contact: Martin
Thursday 6 May 2004 – badger watching at A pub

Badger counting for the Oxford Univeristy Wildlife Research Unit. Meet at 6pm at the main car park at Wytham Woods. Bring warm clothes to keep warm when sitting still and to keep biting insects off! Finishes around 9.15pm.

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 9 May 2004 – counting orchids at Pilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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Today we will be doing a variety of tasks including helping with an orchid count, removing some of the hawthorn that invades the meadow and cutting up some of the fallen trees.

  • Leader: MC
  • Driver: Loz
Tuesday 11 May 2004 – Meeting at A pub

OCV meeting followed by sociable pint.

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 16 May 2004 – a mystery at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Task not known at the time of going to press, but a good day out in the Chiltern Hills is guaranteed!

  • Leader: Steve Homes
  • Driver: Martin Crane
Tuesday 18 May 2004 – Chinese meal at A pub

Chinese Meal @ The Pink Giraffe – contact Jane for details

  • Contact: Paul
Sunday 23 May 2004 – step building at Dancersend, Buckinghamshire

Today we will be helping to build some steps at this wildlife reserve in Buckinghamshire. Due to the nature of the work there will only be space for 10 volunteers – please pre-book with Jerome (768578) if you would like to come.

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 25 May 2004 – The AGM at A pub

OCV AGM followed by sociable pint. A new committee is elected at the AGM. Further details about the positions and what they entail are available from Steve. If you are interested in becoming more involved with OCV and would like to join the committee then come along to the AGM.

  • Contact: Steve
Friday 28 May 2004 – dry stone walling resi at Worth Matravers, Swanage
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Come and learn the art of dry-stone walling, while soaking up the bank-holiday sunshine at Durlston Country Park, Swanage. We will drive down on Friday evening and return to Oxford on Monday evening. Our accommodation is in a village hall (sleeping bag required). We will work on Sat and Mon, while Sunday will be a day off and a chance to explore some of the beautiful Purbeck coastline.

  • Leader: Kate Ravilious
  • Driver: Jamie Wood
Tuesday 1 Jun 2004 – theatre at A pub

Monsoon, A production by a French theatre group about the earth and the perils of human exploitation.

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 6 Jun 2004 – removing hawthorn at Grays Lane Bank, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
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This rolling chalk grassland should be a carpet of colour right now and there will be plenty of orchids to see. Come and help to keep it this way by pulling up the invasive hawthorn.

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Charlotte Vinnicombe
Tuesday 8 Jun 2004 – meeting at A pub

OCV Meeting followed by sociable pint

  • Contact: Steve
Sunday 13 Jun 2004 – a mystery! at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Another chance to see the Red Kites soaring overhead at this lovely site in the Chilterns – task details available nearer the time.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: John French
Tuesday 15 Jun 2004 – a site visit at Grays Lane Bank, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
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A chance to see the orchids in flower at Litmore Shaw and have a guided tour, followed by a pint in the Fox Pub. Contact Jane for details.

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 20 Jun 2004 – First Aid Course at First Aid course

If you lead or drive for the OCV (or are interested in doing so!) then you may want to come on this first aid course, which will be tailored towards dealing with the injuries we are most likely to encounter during conservation tasks. There are 12 available places. To book your place give Jamie or Kate a ring (557418).

  • Leader: MC
  • Driver: Loz
Tuesday 22 Jun 2004 – meeting at A pub

OCV Meeting followed by sociable pint

  • Contact: Steve
Sunday 27 Jun 2004 – raking the fen at Lye Valley, Oxford
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Lye Valley is one of Oxford’s most important wildlife sites: a herb rich, calcareous fen. Today we will be raking up cut reeds to help maintain this unique environment.

  • Leader: Kate Ravilious
  • Driver: Jamie Wood
Tuesday 29 Jun 2004 – Pub Quiz at A pub

Your OCV pub quiz team needs you! Meet at the Eagle and Child on St Giles, at 8pm to think of a team name and get some drinks in before the quiz starts. (NOTE Change of location!)

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 4 Jul 2004 – fence contruction and ragwort at Port Meadow, Oxford
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We will be helping to construct a fence to keep the cattle in and pulling out some of the invasive ragwort from the meadow.

  • Leader: Malcom Wilkins
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 11 Jul 2004 – path clearance at Boundary Brook, Oxford
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A return to this urban reserve, where the main tasks will be clearance and levelling of paths, and digging up brambles and ground elder.

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Martin Crane
Tuesday 13 Jul 2004 – Glow-worms, Kites and BBQ at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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The warden at Aston Rowant NNR is running a guided walk of glow-worms, red kites and other beautiful natural things for volunteer groups who work at the reserve. After there will be a BBQ on the site, overlooking the fabulous views of the Oxfordshire countryside. If you are interested in coming please email Jane at jafi@ceh.ac.uk mentioning if you are a veggie/non-veggie etc and whether you need a lift. I shall email all those who are interested to nearer the time.

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 18 Jul 2004 – widening a ride at Wytham Woods, Oxford

We will be raking up grass and cutting scrub to help widen the rides in this beautiful hilltop woodland.

  • Leader: Charlotte Vinnicombe
  • Driver: Jane Fisher
Sunday 25 Jul 2004 – some task at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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A so-far unspecified task at our regular reserve on the edge of the Chiltern Hills

  • Leader: Helena Thomaides
  • Driver: Malcom Wilkins
Tuesday 27 Jul 2004 – Punting on the Cherwell at Cherwell Boat House
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Spend a pleasent summer evening punting to the pub (its not very far!). Meet at the Cherwell Boat house at 7.30pm.

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 1 Aug 2004 – fence construction at Port Meadow, Oxford
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finishing the fence we started on 4th July!

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: John French
Saturday 7 Aug 2004 – Exmoor Summer Resi (1 week) at Exmoor National Park, Devon
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Staying in the National Trust Basecamp near Lynton in Devon. We will be working in the grounds of some of the beautiful National Trust properties around Exmoor, doing tasks such as footpath building, fencing and Rhododendron bashing! There are 18 bunks available (£10 deposit required) – contact Kate (557418) to book your place.

  • Leader: Kate Ravilious
  • Driver: Jamie Wood
Tuesday 17 Aug 2004 – Meeting at A pub

Meeting at the Gardener\'s Arms

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 22 Aug 2004 – scrub clearance at Iffley Island, Oxford
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Come and spend a day in this idyllic meadow, helping to clear some of the invasive scrub and encouraging the Snake’s head fritillary to come through.

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Martin Crane
Tuesday 24 Aug 2004 – Rounders and Pub at Ozone Leisure Complex

Meet at the University parks, at the entrance way off Parks Rd, at 7.30, followed by a few pints at the Lamb and Flag.

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 29 Aug 2004 – some task at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Back to the Chilterns for another task not yet known as this programme is prepared. Red kites are likely to be seen.

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 31 Aug 2004 – meeting at A pub

OCV meeting followed(?) by sociable pint

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 5 Sep 2004 – pond clearance at Marsh Baldon, Oxfordshire
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Pond Clearance phase II! The Marsh Baldon ducks are much happier as a result of our efforts at reed clearance in January of this year, but there is still more to be done: come and don the waders and help to revive the diversity of life in the village pond.

  • Leader: Jane Fisher
  • Driver: Paul Brears
Tuesday 7 Sep 2004 – Aunt Sally at A pub

Local Oxfordshire game for local people (or played badly by the OCV). Meet at 7.30 in the Fox and Hounds on Abingdon Rd.

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 12 Sep 2004 – scrub clearance at Pilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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In anticipation of the hedgelaying season to come we will be preparing the hedge by removing scrub and doing some odd jobs at this lovely, ancient meadow site.

  • Leader: Helena Thomaides
  • Driver: Martin Crane
Tuesday 14 Sep 2004 – meeting and farewell meal at A pub

I\\\'m writing to let everyone know that next Tuesday\\\'s meeting will not follow the usual format. We will meet at 7.00pm in the Angel and Greyhound for a thirty-minute meeting (essential business only - any items for discussion will be held over to the next meeting). Then at 8.00pm we\'re going to the Moonlight Tandoori for a farewell curry with Kate and Jamie. I\'ll book the table on Monday afternoon - so please let me know by noon on Monday (13th) if you\'d like to come.

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 19 Sep 2004 – various tasks at Cothill National Nature Reserve
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We will be managing wet grassland and reed beds at this fenland site

  • Leader: Loz
  • Driver: MC
Sunday 26 Sep 2004 – pond clearance at Western Turville Reservoir, World's End, Buckinghamshire
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Another chance to splash around in a pond. Again we will be helping to unclog the pond by removing some of the invasive reeds.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Saturday 2 Oct 2004 – at Boundary Brook, Oxford
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This urban reserve off Iffley Road has a large pond and a small pond. We will be digging out weed and cuting brambles from the large one, and possibly clearing reed and rushes out of the latter.

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Paul Brears
Sunday 3 Oct 2004 – more pond clearance at Boundary Brook, Oxford
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This urban reserve off Iffley Road has a large pond and a small pond. We will be digging out weed and cutting brambles in and around the largepond and possible clearing reed and rushes out of the small pond.

  • Leader: Malcom Wilkins
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 5 Oct 2004 – Film night at Phoenix Cinema

Meet for a beer in the Radcliff Arms, Cranham Street, Jericho at 7.30 or in the Phoenix Cinema at 8.30. Films on that evening are yet to be confirmed.

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 10 Oct 2004 – scrub clearance at Sibford Ferris, North Oxfordshire

This task at a site new to the group will involve clearing scrub to encourage the growth of an uncommon plant, perfoliate penny cress.

  • Leader: Barney Stratford
  • Driver: Charlotte Vinnicombe
Sunday 17 Oct 2004 – fencing at Stansfeld Park, Oxford
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We will be protecting recently coppiced hazel woodland by putting up stakes-and-binders fencing

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Jane Fisher
Tuesday 19 Oct 2004 – poker in a pub at A pub

Poker in the Pub, be prepared to loose thousands of ££££s (of monopoly money!).

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 24 Oct 2004 – tasks unknown at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This extensive reserve is at the edge of the Chiltern Hills. The work is likely to be scrub management and / or fence removal.

  • Leader: Jane Fisher
  • Driver: Malcom Wilkins
Friday 29 Oct 2004 – HEDGELAYING RESIDENTIAL at Pilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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Friday 29 - Sunday 31 Hedge laying at this ancient pasture site in Buckinghamshire; there will also be some coppicing at a nearby site to get stakes for the hedgelaying. Accommodation will be in a local village hall (sleeping bag and mat required). To reserve a place ring Peter on 07952 908408 by 22nd October.

Tuesday 2 Nov 2004 – Skittles at A pub

Skittles in the Isis Tavern. Contact: Jane

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 7 Nov 2004 – Heathland restoration at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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We will be continuing the restoration of heathland at Shotover, by removing other plants such as gorse from among the heather

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: Martin Crane
Sunday 14 Nov 2004 – coppicing at Coldharbour Farm, North Aston, Oxfordshire

We will be coppicing and where necessary planting to create a hedge on this organic farm in the Cotswolds.

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Charlotte Vinnicombe
Tuesday 16 Nov 2004 – pub quiz at A pub

Pub quiz. Meet at the Eagle and Child, St Giles, at 7.30pm.

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 21 Nov 2004 – scrub management at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Likely tasks are scrub management and fenceline removal.

  • Leader: Helena Thomaides
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Sunday 28 Nov 2004 – scrub management at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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We will be continuing the restoration of heathland, by removing other plants, such as gorse, from amongst the heather

  • Leader: Helena Thomaides
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 30 Nov 2004 – Live Music at A pub

This social will be (or at least will commence in) the Port Mahon pub, St. Clements (near the bottom of Headington hill), meeting 8:30-9pm. All welcome. Maybe there will be live music to listen to there. Maybe there won\'t. What is the true nature of reality? Did the tree fall in the forest? No-one really knows for sure. But we shall find out...

  • Contact: Malcom
Sunday 5 Dec 2004 – scrub management at Finemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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We will be working in this ancient woodland, clearing scrub from a path which is becoming overgrown.

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: Steve Homes
Sunday 12 Dec 2004 – scrub management at Grays Lane Bank, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
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Scrub clearance; possibly hedge laying at a site where this time last year we saw red kites roosting.

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Martin Crane
Saturday 18 Dec 2004 – Christmas Meal at A pub

OCV Christmas Meal – location to be arranged.

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 19 Dec 2004 – eating baked potaoes at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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The pre-Xmas task is something of a tradition and people are encouraged to bring chocolates, chestnuts and mince pies to share.

  • Leader: Jane Fisher
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 9 Jan 2005 – scrub clearance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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On a clear day, this large reserve on the Chiltern escarpment has good views across Oxfordshire and you can often see red kites too. Our three tasks here this quarter will probably involve scrub clearance and access work (fence removal and gate hanging)

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Paul Brears
Tuesday 11 Jan 2005 – Monopoly at A pub

Monopoly Evening. Bring drinks and nibbles. Meet at Paul's house 8.30pm.

  • Contact: Paul
Sunday 16 Jan 2005 – scrub clearence at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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This site close to the city centre is maintained somewhere between tidiness and wildness, by cutting back the vegetation in a part of it each year. This is what we are doing today.

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 23 Jan 2005 – Heathland weeding at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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A continuation of last quarter\'s task on Shotover Hill, just outside Oxford.We will be helping to restore heathland, by removing other plants from among the heather.

  • Leader: Jane Fisher
  • Driver: Charlotte Vinnicombe
Sunday 30 Jan 2005 – Scrub clearance at Whitecross Green Wood, Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire
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A return, after some years, to this wood at the edge of Otmoor. The work will be the cutting back of scrub at the edge of woodland rides.

  • Leader: Helena Thomaides
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Sunday 6 Feb 2005 – Path work at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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A continuation of last year\'s work creating paths, to include extending these paths and cutting back scrub regrowth.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 13 Feb 2005 – Scrub clearance, access work at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Tasks will probably be scrub clearance and access work (fence removal and gate hanging)

  • Leader: Steve Homes
  • Driver: Martin Crane
Sunday 20 Feb 2005 – Coppicing at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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Maintaining and thinning planted woodland, and scrub clearance, at this large wooded reserve in the Cotswolds. ( NB this is a change from the advertised resi)

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Helena Thomaides
Sunday 27 Feb 2005 – Scrub clearance at Environmental Education Centre, Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire

Scrub clearance at this little reserve near Didcot, which is new to the OCV.

  • Leader: Helena Thomaides
  • Driver: Paul Brears
Sunday 6 Mar 2005 – Hedge laying at Pilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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We will be hedge laying at a site in rural Buckinghamshire, a perennial task for the OCV. A chance to try your hand at this craft.

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Steve Homes
Tuesday 8 Mar 2005 – OCV pub quiz at A pub

Meet at 8pm at the Eagle and Child Pub, St Giles. Brains and beer drinking skills welcome.

  • Contact: Jane
Sunday 13 Mar 2005 – Step building at Lye Valley, Oxford
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This small but varied reserve flanks Lye Brook, a couple of miles east of the city centre. We will be building steps, to improve access.

Sunday 20 Mar 2005 – Scrub clearance, access work at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Another day at this reserve in the Chilterns, doing tasks including scrub clearance and access work.

  • Leader: Jane Fisher
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Tuesday 22 Mar 2005 – Take Away and games at A pub

Please come along to Helena\\\'s house for take-away and games (feel free to bring some games) at 8pm. Let Helena know if you are planning to come, so that she will know what the house will look like afterwards.

  • Contact: Helena
Sunday 3 Apr 2005 – Fencing at Pilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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The first of two tasks in which we will be renewing the fencing at this reserve in rural Buckinghamshire.

  • Leader: Paul Brears
  • Driver: Martin Crane
Sunday 10 Apr 2005 – Come along and see at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This is a large nature reserve on the edge of the Chilterns, with grassland and woodland and good views across Oxfordshire on a clear day. Work for this and possibly the next task here includes gate installation.

Wednesday 13 Apr 2005 – Greyhound racing at A pub

Greyhound racing at the Oxford Stadium. Further details to be announced on the website nearer the time.

  • Contact: Paul
Wednesday 13 Apr 2005 – tool sharpening at The Tool Store

Tool sharpening followed by pints in a secret location. Meet at tool store. Contact Martin.

  • Contact: Martin
Sunday 17 Apr 2005 – More fencing at Pilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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We will be continuing the fencing work started at this site two weeks ago.

  • Leader: Helena Thomaides
  • Driver: Paul Brears
Tuesday 19 Apr 2005 – Walk around Iffley Spit at Iffley Island, Oxford
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Walk around Iffley Spit to look at the Snakeshead Fritillaries. Meet at the juction of donnington Bridge road and meadow lane at 7.30

  • Contact: Paul
Sunday 24 Apr 2005 – clearing part of a reserve at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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This cemetery in central Oxford doubles as a nature reserve. It is cut back on a rotation, so that some parts of it are wild, some of it less so. We will be clearing part of it.

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Jane Fisher
Tuesday 26 Apr 2005 – meeting at A pub

A meeting at the Gardener\\\'s Arms on Plantation Road followed by a sociable pint

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 1 May 2005 – Heathland weeding at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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More heathland restoration work at this country park on a hill just outside Oxford, we\\\\\\\'ll be removing other types of plant from amongst heather to assist its becoming established.

  • Leader: Renaud Meunier
  • Driver: Charlotte Vinnicombe
Tuesday 3 May 2005 – Badger watching at Wytham Woods, Oxford

Badger census at Wytham Woods (6.15pm at the Wytham Woods main car park, finish 9.15pm; warm clothing and unscented insect repellent). Contact Charlotte.

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 8 May 2005 – work as yet unknown at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Another Sunday at this reserve on the edge of the Chilterns, the work possibly to include a continuation of the gate installation work started 4 weeks ago.

  • Leader: Helena Thomaides
  • Driver: Jane Fisher
Tuesday 10 May 2005 – meeting at A pub

A meeting at the Gardener\\\'s Arms on Plantation Road followed by a sociable pint

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 15 May 2005 – Heathland restoration at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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We will be continuing heathland restoration work from the task 2 weeks ago.

  • Leader: Renaud Meunier
  • Driver: Malcom Wilkins
Sunday 22 May 2005 – 8 mile walk at Swyncombe Estate, South Oxfordshire
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Today\'s event will be an 8 mile walk in the Chilterns, taking in some reserves we\'ve worked in. Red kites, deer and slow worms have been seen on this route through wildlife rich chalk grasslands and woods. Bring comfortable boots for walking in and water to drink, in addition to the usual waterproofs and packed lunch.

Tuesday 24 May 2005 – Annual General Meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener’s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by the usual business meeting, followed by the usual sociable pint(s).

  • Contact: Charlotte
Friday 27 May 2005 – Dry stone walling (residential at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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On this residential, we will be helping to rebuild a dry stone wall which has fallen into disrepair. The site is on the Purbeck coast near Swanange, Dorset, and there\'ll be time off to explore. We\'ll be staying in a village hall, to which we\'ll be driving on Friday; we return on the Monday. Sleeping bag and mat required. This is currently (early April) fully booked, but if you\'re interested phone John on Ox. 764913, in case there\'s a cancellation.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Steve Homes
Sunday 5 Jun 2005 – come and see at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Another task on the slopes of the Chilterns. See the red kites there (on a good day). We are likely to be helping maintain the grassland there by removing invasive plants, and / or helping look after the flock of sheep.

  • Leader: Laura Preston
  • Driver: Simon Lipscomb
Tuesday 7 Jun 2005 – meeting at A pub

A meeting at the Gardener\\\'s Arms on Plantation Road followed by a sociable pint

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 12 Jun 2005 – Woodland tasks at Bessels Leigh Wood, Appleton, Oxfordshire

The work at this site, for the Oxfordshire Woodland Project, will include woodland tasks such as the cutting back of bracken to help re-establish hazel there, and clearance of rights of way.

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Charlotte Vinnicombe
Tuesday 14 Jun 2005 – site visit at A pub

Visit to Horspath Village to look at a prospective worksite in the village. Transport can be arranged contact Helena

  • Contact: Helena
Tuesday 14 Jun 2005 – at Ozone Leisure Complex

Sunday 19 Jun 2005 – Tree planting at Boundary Brook, Oxford
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This is a little reserve just off Iffley Road, a mile or two from the City Centre. We will be planting some trees there (not path making as previously stated), to create some new woodland and a hedge.

  • Leader: Nora Allavoine
  • Driver: Steve Homes
Monday 20 Jun 2005 – meeting and midsummer solstice at A pub

meeting to be held at Stone Henge to discuss Life, the Universe and Everything until dawn, followed by a greasy spoon breakfast. Transport can be provided. Contact Charlotte.

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 26 Jun 2005 – at SS Mary and John Churchyard, Oxford

Various tasks to help with the restoration of this churchyard on Cowley Road from an overgrown state, to one in which it is both accessible and managed for wildlife.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Paul Brears
Tuesday 28 Jun 2005 – Treasure Hunt at A pub

This week\'s social is slightly unusual. It is a treasure hunt in central Oxford that starts at 7.30pm at the Lamb and Flag pub (a drink may be required to stimulate those little grey cells and solve each of 7 different riddles that lead to the final destination and the treasure). Treasure is awarded to the 1st person/team to arrive at the final destination.

  • Contact: Helena
Sunday 3 Jul 2005 – fenland management at Lye Valley, Oxford
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Making hay while the sun shines

  • Leader: Nora Allavoine
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 5 Jul 2005 – a meeting at A pub

Meeting at 8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 10 Jul 2005 – path work at Western Turville Reservoir, World's End, Buckinghamshire
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We will be doing some work to stabilise a path alongside a stream, at this BBOWT managed site near Aylesbury.

  • Leader: Helena Thomaides
  • Driver: Paul Brears
Sunday 17 Jul 2005 – path work at Lye Valley, Oxford
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Lye Valley, a little reserve a couple of miles east of Oxford centre, includes woodland and calcareous fen. We will be surfacing a path in need of repair.

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 19 Jul 2005 – meeting at A pub

A meeting at 8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 24 Jul 2005 – various tasks at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular visit to this big reserve in the Chilterns is likely to involve control of ragwort and thistles, and fence maintenance.

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 26 Jul 2005 – outdoor theatre at A pub

Culture. Meet outside the Creation Theatre at Park off St Clements at 6.50-7pm to get tickets to see an interesting production of Midsummer Night\'s Dream (a bard special).

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 31 Jul 2005 – woodland ride grass cutting at Wytham Woods, Oxford

We will be cutting and raking grass in the rides through this woodland near Oxford.

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Jane Fisher
Tuesday 2 Aug 2005 – meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 7 Aug 2005 – scrub clearance at Iffley Island, Oxford
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A secluded little meadow by the Thames, this is one of the places in Oxford where fritillaries grow. We will be helping keep it that way by clearing invasive scrub.

Tuesday 9 Aug 2005 – Treasure hunt at A pub

Booze or Brain. Meet at the world-famous Turf tavern off Holywell Street at 7pm for Treasure Hunt part II. Experience a walking tour of Oxford in search of some mind-boggling clues, printed on the back of postcards within sealed envelopes.

  • Contact: Helena
Sunday 14 Aug 2005 – to be confirmed at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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Our work in the extensive country park on Shotover Hill, just outside the city, is likely to include path clearance and pulling out of bracken.

  • Leader: Renaud Meunier
  • Driver: Jane Fisher
Tuesday 16 Aug 2005 – meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 21 Aug 2005 – to be confirmed at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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More work at this reserve at the edge of the Chilterns, which features views a long way across Oxfordshire on a clear day. This time the tasks here will probably be fence and gate maintenance.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 23 Aug 2005 – Film at A pub

The Odeon on George Street offers us one bit of brain candy, one film that has been getting more serious attention, and a kid\\\'s film that is probably brilliant because it is directed by Tim Burton: BEWITCHED [PG] - 8.05pm CRASH [15] 8.35pm. CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY [PG] 8.35pm I propose we meet in the Grapes on George Street at 7. Let me know if you\\\'re coming -

  • Contact: Charlotte
Tuesday 30 Aug 2005 – Meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener’s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 4 Sep 2005 – scrub management at Chilswell Valley, Oxford
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A return to a site south of the city which features wetland, a wood and grassy slopes. We’ll be helping maintain the grassland by cutting light scrub.

  • Leader: Jane Fisher
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 6 Sep 2005 – games at A pub

Mind games. Board and word games at Paul & Helena\\\'s house. Start at 7.30pm. Nibbles provided.

  • Contact: Helena
Sunday 11 Sep 2005 – pond digging at Western Turville Reservoir, World's End, Buckinghamshire
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On our second visit to Weston Turville this quarter, we\'ll be digging a pond. This site includes a large reed bed that is home to a range of wild flowers (though not necessarily at this time of year).

  • Leader: Jane Fisher
  • Driver: Martin Crane
Tuesday 13 Sep 2005 – Meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 18 Sep 2005 – probably scrub management at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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A further task at our most-visited reserve, red kites live in the area and you can often see a few. Today’s work will probably involve scrub clearance.

  • Leader: Nora Allavoine
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 20 Sep 2005 – meal at A pub

Feast. Yummy Jamaican cuisine at the Hi-Lo Jamaican Eatery, 68-70 Cowley Road. Meet there at 7pm.

  • Contact: Helena
Sunday 25 Sep 2005 – making paths at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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More work creating paths to help improve access, at a site overlooking the Cherwell river and the Oxford canal.

  • Leader: Helena Thomaides
  • Driver: Paul Brears
Sunday 2 Oct 2005 – Scrub and bramble clearance at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
Gallery picture

  • Leader: Andrew Wood
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 4 Oct 2005 – Meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint. Stuffing Weasel into envelopes!

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 9 Oct 2005 – Cutting scrub/small trees at Finemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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The local wildlife trust describe it as \'a mosaic of ancient coppice woodland, scrub regrowth and wild woodland\' notable for the black hairstreak butterfly and all three British woodpeckers. We\'ll be cutting scrub/small trees which encroach on the open glades and take away the diversity of habitat. There\'ll be a bonfire to keep you warm and happy if it is a cold day in this majestic, serene, green place.

  • Leader: Nora Allavoine
  • Driver: Jane Fisher
Thursday 13 Oct 2005 – Beer festival at A pub

Beer & Cider; Meet at 8pm outside Town Hall to sample at will at the Beer Festival (entry £2.50)

  • Contact: Nora
Sunday 16 Oct 2005 – Hedge laying at Little Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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Hedge-laying with Brian Williamson, ex-OCV, BBOWT, tree surgeon and now hurdle-maker in mid-Devon. This is for beginners, old-hands, in fact all hands. We need to raise our skill-levels, otherwise we\'ll only do low-skill work such as scrub clearance through the winter. Hedge-laying turns a gappy row of trees into a livestock-proof, shelter-giving, habitat-rich barrier, so everyone wins. You can learn it, do it and be ready for later hedge-laying tasks, whilst having fun as well.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 18 Oct 2005 – Meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener\\\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Charlotte
Sunday 23 Oct 2005 – Pond clearance at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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The parish council want to revive a pond that has become swampy with fallen trees, rotten black leaves and too much shade. With waders, some of you can clear what\\\'s in the water. Others can work on the banks to let more light in. Our cuttings will be turned into woodchips by a machine, and the chips used later to surface the paths. It\\\'s our first visit to this pond, though we\\\'ve been many times to Crecy Hill in Tackley. This will be true pioneer stuff, possibly even Tarzan-like.

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: Martin Crane
Tuesday 25 Oct 2005 – Music at A pub

Recital of Haydn, Mahler, Ravel by winner of 2005 Kathleen Ferrier award, preconcert talk at 7.15pm (tickets £11.00)

  • Contact: Helena
Sunday 30 Oct 2005 – Hedge laying at Little Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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Our second visit to this reserve. We\'ll be working with Chris Parker, Countryside Manager for Northmoor Trust, or with Jo, one of the full-time workers there. We\'ll be hedge-laying again in order to turn a young hedge into an intense, livestock-proof habitat for insects, small mammals and low-nesting birds. We may leave some trees to grow as standards/tall ones for birds which build nests further from the ground. Another chance to walk around an Iron Age hill fort with a stunning views

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Jane Fisher
Monday 31 Oct 2005 – Halloween Tour at A pub

Halloween; Unique ghost tour starting from Oxford Information Centre at 7.45pm (Price: TBA)

  • Contact: Helena
Tuesday 1 Nov 2005 – Meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener\\\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Nora
Saturday 5 Nov 2005 – Bonfire party at A pub

Burn the Guy; Bonfire party at John the Incinerator\\\\\\\'s (Limited places)

  • Contact: John
Sunday 6 Nov 2005 – Clearing and pond work at Lye Valley, Oxford
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We\'ll be working for Oxford City Council on this rare wetland site near Headington. The calcareous fen must be kept low in nutrients to restrict the growth of grasses and promote the survival of wild plants. The Countryside Rangers will cut the grass, sedge and reed with strimmers or mowers. Our job is to rake up the cuttings and dump them away from the fen to prevent the compost enriching the soil. To vary this work, we’ll also cut back willow regrowth. Waders will be available.

  • Leader: Helena Thomaides
  • Driver: Paul Brears
Sunday 13 Nov 2005 – Birch clearance at Snelsmore Common, Newbury, West Berkshire

Why a joint task? We are a local group but part of a national movement that began in 1959. Since 1979 when OCV began, other groups have lived and died, so we’ve lost contact with other conservers. This is a chance to meet some and steal their best ideas. Why Snelsmore Common? Keith says it has over 2000 species and lots of birch clearance to do. With a bonfire and a guided walk, this will be a very sociable outing to a place we’ve never been before.

  • Leader: Liz Dale
  • Driver: Colin Wilson
Tuesday 15 Nov 2005 – Theatre at A pub

Old classic; View a play by Marlowe or Shakespeare or Euripides (details TBA)

  • Contact: Helena
Sunday 20 Nov 2005 – Clearing scub/invasive trees at Whitecross Green Wood, Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire
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It\'s mature woodland with some open glades which insects need to complete their life-cycle. Scrub/young invasive trees will fill in these open spaces within a few years if left uncut. In general, birds prefer trees while insects prefer open grassland. If you want a balance of birds and insects on a reserve, someone has to intervene with bow saws and loppers. That\'s what we\'ll do and that\'s why we do it - being cruel to be kind, you might say. Bonfire here for a winter day.

  • Leader: Jane Fisher
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Tuesday 22 Nov 2005 – Meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener\\\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Nora
Sunday 27 Nov 2005 – Laying a boundary hedge at Boundary Brook, Oxford
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Our job is laying a boundary hedge which the OCV planted in the 1990s. This stops the hawthorn growing too tall and shading out neighbouring plants. It gives a vandal-proof barrier and it keeps out your cat. The main predator of nesting birds on an urban site is the domestic cat, but moggies can\\\'t get through the dense thorny stems of a hedge.

  • Leader: Nora Allavoine
  • Driver: Martin Crane
Tuesday 29 Nov 2005 – The Big Bang at A pub

A feast of heartwarming bangers and mash to tempt all gullets. Meet at 7.30pm at the Big Bang 124 Walton Street.

  • Contact: Helena
Sunday 4 Dec 2005 – Scrub clearance and other at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We normally work here once a month, but this is our only visit in this quarter. We\\\'ll be clearing scrub with maybe a few smaller jobs if they come up - it pays to be versatile. There\\\'ll be a bonfire and pre-Christmas guzzling of potatoes, pies and whatever else you can bring.

  • Leader: Jane Fisher
  • Driver: Clare Arnison-Newgass
Tuesday 6 Dec 2005 – Meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener\\\\\\\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Nora
Saturday 10 Dec 2005 – Meal at A pub

X-mas spirit; dinner in house under construction (Limited places)

  • Contact: Martin
Sunday 11 Dec 2005 – Heathland scrub control. at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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We will be helping to control scrub on this rare heathland site. There may also be work repairing or removing rabbit fencing. The aim is to encourage heather and low-growing plants (plus the insects that rely on them) while restricting the birch and bracken that could take over.

  • Leader: Andrew Wood
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 13 Dec 2005 – Film at A pub

No superstition; Cinema to chase away winter blues

  • Contact: Helena
Sunday 18 Dec 2005 – Maintaining young trees at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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This is the real Christmas task, with bonfire, mince pies, potatoes and possibly parsnips (but only if you bring them). Foxholes is famous for its charcoal kiln, which you can look at though it probably won\\\'t be fired up at the time. We\\\'ll be removing plastic tree-guards from plants that are big enough now to look after themselves. Also, we\\\'ll thin out young trees in a plantation to promote mature growth of the ealthiest trees.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Helena Thomaides
Tuesday 20 Dec 2005 – Meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint. Stuffing Weasel into envelopes!

  • Contact: Nora
Sunday 8 Jan 2006 – Hedlgelaying at Boundary Brook, Oxford
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Welcome back to conservation - and to hedgelaying. We started work on the hedge at the back of the reserve in November. Now we'll finish that and maybe do a fewsmaller jobs for our great friends and allies The Oxford Urban Wildlife Group. They always make us welcome with tea, coffee and perhaps home-made biscuits in their visitors' centre. Hedgelaying beginners and old hands equally welcome. There will be a roaring bonfire

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 10 Jan 2006 – meeting at A pub

8.00 pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Nora
Sunday 15 Jan 2006 – Path maintainance at Cothill National Nature Reserve
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This is a reserve managed by English Nature, who also run Aston Rowant. Last time we went there to cut sedge and grass, then rake up the cuttings. This time the ground will be wetter, so it could be path work or scrub cutting. Whatever, we'll have waders and wellies to borrow and Mick or Anne of EN to explain what's needed. If they ask what's the difference between a bog and a fen, you can spoil their fun by answering that a bog is acid but a fen is alkaline.

  • Leader: Nora Allavoine
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 17 Jan 2006 – pub quiz at A pub

A pub quiz at The Turf Tavern. Meet there at 8pm. See mailing list for details.

  • Contact: Helena
Sunday 22 Jan 2006 – Braken Clearence at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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We\'ll be working for Oxford City Council, probably pulling out bracken, brambles and birch which threaten the rare heathland habitat - that means lots of heather on a hillside with a great view of Oxford. Sheep used to eat the invasive species, but now the road traffic and dogs make that too hazardous. There may be other work on rabbit fencing and paths to vary the day. This is a good outing for those with bikes - you can go for just half a day if you like.

  • Leader: Emily Whitehead
  • Driver: Martin Crane
Tuesday 24 Jan 2006 – meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener's Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Nora
Sunday 29 Jan 2006 – Scrub Bashing at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This is a joint task with BeC, the Berkshire Conservation Volunteers. Last November the OCV went to Snelsmore Common near Newbury inBerkshire to work with BeC. Now we've invited them to an Oxfordshire reserve in return. We'll be scrub-bashing witha bonfire to burn the cuttings and to gather round for sociable chat, baked potatoes and tea.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Jane Fisher
Tuesday 31 Jan 2006 – Burns night supper at A pub

Tasty grub with a scottish flavour at a location to be revealed

  • Contact: Helena
Sunday 5 Feb 2006 – Sheep task at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This is a day for sheep. In the past we've trimmed their feet, tagged their ears, fenced them in, fenced them out and dagged them too. English Nature have Beulah sheep, a tough Welsh breed with a white fleece, and Jacob sheep, which are black and white butlook like goats, and Soay sheep, which are smaller, plus Exmoor ponies. They are all part of the organic grassland management plan. The breeds are chosen for their ability to live on unfertilised grassland all-year-rround with no shelter.

Tuesday 7 Feb 2006 – meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener's Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Nora
Sunday 12 Feb 2006 – Hedge Laying at Little Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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We're hedge laying again forthe Northmoor Trust. And Castle Hill, near our worksite, was an Iron Age hill fort. It has a stunning view of Oxfordshire.And here's a chance to learn hedge laying or brush up yourskills. How many more reasons do you need?

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Wednesday 15 Feb 2006 – Talk of the OCV at A pub

Witty talk on conservation and the OCV. Starts at 7.30pm at Gladiator Club on Iffley Road (corner with Percy Street). Free entry. Social with Urban Wildlife Group.

  • Contact: John
Sunday 19 Feb 2006 – Thinning out a plantation at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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At Foxholes we'll be working withMartin Barnsley, the volunteer warden, who has asked us to thin out a plantation - not conifers, but broadleaf species chosen forbio-diversity. We'll also remove plastic Anderson tree-guards - oh yes, and have a roaring fire to keep out the winter cold. You can have a look at a charcoal kiln if you want, but it's not likely to be burning at the time. A day deep in the woods,so wear green stockings like Robin Hood i

  • Leader: Jane Fisher
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 21 Feb 2006 – meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Nora
Sunday 26 Feb 2006 – hedge Laying at Little Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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More hedge laying for the NorthmoorTrust, who may send Chris or Jo of the countryside staff to work with us. This will be our last hedge laying at the reserve, but we'll return after Easter for summer projects such as footpaths and fencing. We're sure to have a walk at lunchtimeover the Wittenham clumps - two hills which give a great view of the Thames. It's a young hedge without any gnarly awkward bi

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 28 Feb 2006 – Drama evening at A pub

Meet at 7pm at the Burton Taylor Theatre to see Maud by Tennyson for a fiver. Contact Helena for advance tickets.

  • Contact: Helena
Sunday 5 Mar 2006 – scrub bashing at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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These invasive trees are like perennial weeds in your garden- you think they're beaten and they just spring up again blowing raspberries. English Nature have a policy of not usingherbicides to paint on the cut stumps, and grubbing out those stumps with spades and mattocks takes days. So scrub-bashing is continual. The benefit to us is that it feeds a great bonfire, it takes us to wild parts of the countryside and you can see the difference you've made in a day.

  • Leader: Merlin Llewelyn-Pratt
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Tuesday 7 Mar 2006 – meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener's Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Nora
Sunday 12 Mar 2006 – hedge laying at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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We'll be hedge laying at Wootton by Woodstock, a charming and picturesque village that doubtless seethes with rustic yearnings beneath the tweedy surface. Our hedge is a gappy, moribund thingwhich we'll lay where it's worth laying and replant (but not today) when there's nothing to fill the voids.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 14 Mar 2006 – Games at A pub

Games and dessert at the Brears Palace. 8pm at 14, River View. Bring cushion.

  • Contact: Helena
Sunday 19 Mar 2006 – building a otter holt at Ozone Leisure Complex

Otters range over 25miles of a river and its bankside land, using maybe 20 different places to hide and shelter during daylight. As they're mainly nocturnal, you'll rarely see more than their footprints or spraints/poo. Natural holts are holes between tree roots,as in 'Tarka the Otter' by Henry Williamson, or hollow trees or piles of brushwood washed up by winter floods.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Tuesday 21 Mar 2006 – meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Nora
Saturday 25 Mar 2006 – Woodland Management at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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We return to Foxholes Wood, a beautiful woodland that was once part of Wychwood Forest. As part of BBOWT's ongoing coppicing/management programme, we will be removing a stretch of deer fencing from a young coppice, allowing the wildlife back into this coup to make their home amongst the young ash that is now big and strong enough to survive the nibblings of deer. There will be some serious scrub to bash here, and large bonfire guaranteed!

Sunday 26 Mar 2006 – heathland management at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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Shotover Country Park. Another visit to this hillside site near Headington. It's managed for wildlife and for leisure by the Countryside Service of Oxford City Council - that's one manager andfour rangers who cover most of Oxford's urban reserves. You'll see them driving about in white Land Rovers. Here theaim is to protect the heather and ling plus the insects and mamma

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Jane Fisher
Tuesday 28 Mar 2006 – Music at A pub

Live Acoustic Jazz, Pop and Folk music whilst enjoying a quiet drink or coffee at Cafe Rouge on Little Clarendon Street. Meet inside at 8.15pm.

  • Contact: Helena
Tuesday 4 Apr 2006 – meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Nora
Saturday 8 Apr 2006 – fencing training day at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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Saturday and Sunday are two fencing days at Jubilee Meadows, Wootton by Woodstock. We'll learn post and rail, post and wire plus making a lift-out panel (a gate with no hinges). We were hedgelaying here a month ago and we'll return in July for more fencing - here's your chance to learn the skills.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Clare Arnison-Newgass
Sunday 9 Apr 2006 – 2nd day of fencing. at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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More chances to learn and practise in a beautiful riverside reserve. Come for Saturday or Sunday or both - it's up to you. Normal pickups in Oxford. We'll do as much post and rail fence as we can. Then we'll fill the gap with post and wire which is quicker, so you'll have a go at both. Then you can sit on the fence and decide which is best, or go on both sides to check where exactly the grass is greener.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 11 Apr 2006 – Easter egg hunt at A pub

Chocolate Easter egg hunt. CANCELLED.

  • Contact: Helena
Sunday 16 Apr 2006 – Easter Weekend. at Home

Go hunt an egg, because there's no task this weekend. Have a rest instead.

Sunday 23 Apr 2006 – Scrubs and bonfires at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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the Friends of Holywell Cemetery have an open day on 7th May and asked us to clear the paths, scrub and ivy to let visitors get around safely. They aim for a balance between respect for the graves and sympathy for nature in this unofficial reserve.

  • Leader: Emmanuelle Denis
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 25 Apr 2006 – Music night at A pub

Meet at the bar on the ground floor of Pizza Express for live pop & folk music, at 8pm.

  • Contact: Helena
Friday 28 Apr 2006 – Leaving Oxford at 6.15pm at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Our 3-day residential begins now, returning to Oxford on Monday evening. The work is dry stone walling on the Dorset Coast near Swanage. A dozen conservers are going. They signed up during our regular Sunday tasks, so there was no general email about this. If you want to go on the next residential (to the Isle of Wight, August 26-28th), get busy in the OCV's local work on Sundays! We're pretty short of drivers now - do you have a full adult UK licence and want to drive our minibus?

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Saturday 29 Apr 2006 – Dry stone walling resi. at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Our first work-day. For beginners, Ranger Ali will do a walling demonstration. Then we get stuck in in small groups, get together for tea-breaks and lunch, then we stop at about 4.30pm and go back for dinner.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Sunday 30 Apr 2006 – Our day off. at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Swanage has cliff-top walks, a steam railway, a beach, boat trips, a pier etc. We can do our own things or organise a group outing.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Monday 1 May 2006 – Our 2nd work-day. at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Finishing our work then returning to Oxford in the evening. Should be back by 9pm.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 2 May 2006 – Meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener's Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Nora
Tuesday 2 May 2006 – Meeting at A pub

8.00pm at the Gardener\\\'s Arms, Plantation Road, followed by a sociable pint.

  • Contact: Nora
Sunday 7 May 2006 – Bat roosts in a tunnel at Ozone Leisure Complex

Underground overground wombling free - in Horspath actually but our website has no word for that. You can work in the ex-railway tunnel on bat-boards or on path-work above ground at this wildlife conservation area on Butts Road, Horspath. This is a new work-site for us, though we did go into the tunnel on a social last year. It's 470 metres long and goes under Shotover Hill. It used to carry a branch-line to London Marylebone but now it's a hibernaculum for bats

  • Leader: Nora Allavoine
  • Driver: Jane Fisher
Tuesday 9 May 2006 – Vist new worksite. at Ozone Leisure Complex

Visit to Kingham Wood near Foxholes Reserve and Burford to check new work booked for August. Van pick-up at Tesco Metro, Cowley Rd, at 6.50pm and at Lamb and Flag, St Giles 7pm. Hoping to try a country pub in Kingham before getting back to Oxford by 9.30pm. No work involved but some walking, so wear boots and throw sticks for Martin Barnsley's dog called Tess. Email nicholasjohng@yahoo.co.uk with any questions (except what life means).

  • Contact: John
Sunday 14 May 2006 – Mulching and dry stone walling at Ozone Leisure Complex

No mystery really - it's near Burford but our website has no such word. We won't do fencing as planned, but will mulch a young conservation hedge with cardboard and manure. That suppresses weeds without herbicide and reduces water loss by evaporation. If time allows, we'll try repairing a collapsed dry stone wall using Cotswold stone in very small pieces. This could be like building Lego, but let's have a go anyway. A beautiful place to work and it'll be an organic winery.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 16 May 2006 – at Ozone Leisure Complex

  • Contact: unknown
Tuesday 16 May 2006 – at Home

  • Contact: unknown
Sunday 21 May 2006 – Protecting the Juniper. at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Juniper bushes and small trees grow on the hillsides here but rabbits tend to eat their seedlings, so the juniper grow older and older without being replaced naturally. We'll build a fence around a small juniper plantation and thereby preserve the plants plus the insects which depend on them. Beginners welcome, guided walk, see red kites, work for English Nature - beat that for one day's outing!

  • Leader: Nora Allavoine
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Tuesday 23 May 2006 – Leaving meal at A pub

Say goodbye to Jane Fisher. Bookings for Pink Giraffe meal are all taken. Call 07791567427 to meet us in a pub afterwards.

  • Contact: Helena
Sunday 28 May 2006 – A half-day task. at Little Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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Spring Bank Holiday weekend and you might go away on holiday. If some people want to go conserving, then we can go thistle-pulling on Church Meadows at the Little Wittenham Reserve for the afternoon. It's pretty dull work but the reserve is beautiful and, with a picnic in the sunshine, it could be a great day. Email gen_jimhead@yahoo.co.uk if you want to come. That's leader Jim. Pickups: 12.20pm Tesco Metro, 12.30pm Lamb and

  • Leader: Jim Newham
  • Driver: John Gorrill
Saturday 3 Jun 2006 – at Home

Sunday 4 Jun 2006 – Step-building. at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Step-building to improve public access and safety. We'll work for English Nature who are funded by tax payers; therefore, they take seriously their duty to help people enjoy the reserve without damage to the landscape or to themselves. We are also members of the public, so we're very happy to help. Beginners welcome, different jobs on offer, so don't be put off. Take it one step at a time. English Nature staff will answer all yo

  • Leader: Jane Fisher
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 6 Jun 2006 – Monthly meeting. at Oxford Town Hall
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New venue is the town hall, entrance in St.Aldate's and then head for the Jury Room. You can ask the receptionist in the foyer. 8pm sharp and then a choice of pubs on offer. We chose the town hall as it's near bus stops, it's free and it's quieter than The Gardener's Arms was. New people welcome but, if you haven't worked with the OCV on a Sunday, the meeting may be meaningless to you.

  • Contact: Miranda
Wednesday 7 Jun 2006 – Visit to Tackley. at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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An evening trip to two or maybe three reserves to check on future work, plus a pub visit afterwards to The Gardiners Arms in the village. Pickups 7.20pm Tesco Metro, Cowley and 7.30pm Lamb and Flag, St.Giles. Back to Oxford about 9.30pm.

  • Contact: John
Sunday 11 Jun 2006 – Protect the heather! at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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The south-facing Shotover hillside has a bed of heather which supports many species of insect as well as being beautiful to look at. It was planted about 5 years ago to enhance bio-diversity. Other species such as bramble, bracken and birch tree saplings grow faster and taller than heather, so we pull and dig them out. Sheep used to do the job but now there only us! A chance to come for just an hour or two between 10am and 4pm.

  • Leader: Jamie Carr
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Sunday 18 Jun 2006 – Building an otter holt. at Ozone Leisure Complex

This is our 2nd log-pile otter holt of the year, both of them funded by DEFRA (Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) as part of a countryside stewardship scheme in which farmers get a grant in return for promoting nature conservation on their land. This land is near Kennington by the Thames and the work is digging, lifting logs, hammering, trimming and cutting branches. If there are too many people for the small site, we'll clear up litter from

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Sunday 25 Jun 2006 – Paths, watering and more. at Boundary Brook, Oxford
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BB Nature park is run by our great allies in local conservation the Oxford Urban Wildlife Group. The reserve began as disused allotments in 1990 and now it's doubling in size as more allotments have fallen out of use. Paths will need repairing, new trees need watering and brambles cut back. This is an urban site off the Iffley Road. If you've never seen it, prepare to be amazed!

  • Leader: Jim Newham
  • Driver: John Gorrill
Tuesday 27 Jun 2006 – Site visit and pub too. at Ozone Leisure Complex

No mystery, we're off to Padbury, a village near Buckingham that our website hasn't heard of, to plan our 3rd otter holt of this year. We'll check the site, the materials and meet the farmer who gets a DEFRA grant for promoting nature conservation. Then we'll try the village pub and get back to Oxford about 10pm. Pickups Tesco Metro 7pm, Lamb and Flag, St.Giles, 7.10pm. nicholasjohng@yahoo.co.uk

  • Contact: John
Sunday 2 Jul 2006 – Pond training day. at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Rod D'Ayala of Pond Conservation is running this short course for us and any villagers who turn out. It's about surveying species in and around the swampy heath pond to make a plan for future work. People think they know what a pond should look like (ducks, fish etc) but plunging in to build that can destroy much rarer species. So how to manage a pond for wildlife? Waders provided plus trip to Wootton to see 2nd pond for comparison.

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Sunday 9 Jul 2006 – Thinning out trees. at Port Meadow, Oxford
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The plan was to pull out ragwort but there isn't any due to past attacks on it. Now the work is at Burgess Field next to Port meadow thinning young trees in a plantation. This allows surviving trees to develop properly with a well-balanced shape and long life-span. You can put your mark on Oxford's history here!

  • Leader: Renaud Meunier
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 11 Jul 2006 – Outdoor theatre at Ozone Leisure Complex

  • Contact: Nora
Sunday 16 Jul 2006 – Post and rail fencing work at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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We began this work on our fencing course in April. Now we'll go on with the 300-metre fence which keeps cattle out of boggy ground in winter. There's a lift-out section (like a gate but without hinges) to let cattle through in summer when the riverside land is firmer. The idea is to stop poaching: not dodgy blokes with rabbit snares but the churning up of mud by heavy hoofs when cattle stay on wet ground too long. Sheep and cattle mow the grass here at organic Jubilee Meadows.

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: John Gorrill
Sunday 23 Jul 2006 – Joint task with Plantlife Int. at Palmer's Bank, nr Fawler, Oxfordshire
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We worked with Plantlife International once before at Sibford Ferris - a disused quarry. Now the work is at Blenheim Park, Woodstock, trying to protect royal pennycress against invasive scrub. The site may be so sensitive that numbers are limited. In that case we'll split the group and do two tasks - maybe the 2nd at Wootton nearby. Working with other groups such as Pl.Int and the OUWG widens our range of work and lets us steal their best ideas...oops, cooperate with fellow conservers

Sunday 30 Jul 2006 – Our 3rd otter holt of the year at Ozone Leisure Complex

A log-pile otter holt designed to help lutra lutra (European otter and relative of the weasel) return to our rivers now that the water is less polluted. Not the Thames this time, but again on farmland and funded by DEFRA. The logs are ready-cut, so we trim and assemble them with hand-tools and a bit of ingenuity. I changed the BBOWT design so much that now it's the OCV Vertical Log Model (Trademark, patented, hands off!) which gives greater strength for less cutting. Far from

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Sunday 6 Aug 2006 – Save the young trees! at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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It s near Foxholes reserve and Chipping Norton - a community wood in the village of Kingham. The work is to cut brambles which are engulfing young trees planted 5 or 6 years ago, remove trees that have died and maybe rescue a small pond hidden under hawthorn hedging. A first visit to this site, except for a social trip when we had great beer and chips at The Plough Inn beside the village green and played Who can go highest on the swings.

  • Leader: Nora Allavoine
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 8 Aug 2006 – Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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Monthly meeting at Town Hall at 8pm. This is where we discuss day-to-day running of the charity. All welcome.

  • Contact: Jim
Sunday 13 Aug 2006 – Paths and scrub cutting. at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Crecy Hill has a steep slope in which we cut paths and surface them with woodchips. There's also a problem of hawthorn scrub bursting through the rare grassland habitat, so we cut it down to keep the hillside open. A beautiful site in the Cherwell Valley beside the railway to Banbury and the Oxford canal.

  • Leader: Nora Allavoine
  • Driver: Chris Skepper
Tuesday 15 Aug 2006 – Punting on the Cherwell at Cherwell Boat House
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Punting is also what summer is all about in Oxford! Meet at the Cherwell Boathouse at 6.30 with your picnic and Pimms, we ll rent punts there and split the cost. People who actually know how to steer the blooming things are strongly encouraged to come. If weather doesn t look good for punting we ll have drinks at the Rose and Crown instead. Contact Nora if you plan to come!

  • Contact: Nora
Sunday 20 Aug 2006 – footpath work at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This week we are returning to the Aston Rowant Nature Reserve, located on the west facing scarp of the Chilterns it has stunning views. The reserves chalk grassland, beech woodland and juniper scrub are home to a variety of rare butterflies, birds, and insects, and carpets of scented wildflowers. There are a number of trails through this public reserve. Our mission this week is to clear the paths, we'll be lopping and sawing, slashing and pitch forking in order to conserve the paths.

  • Leader: Mike Thyer
  • Driver: Clare Arnison-Newgass
Friday 25 Aug 2006 – Long-distance residential trip at Ozone Leisure Complex

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Sunday 3 Sep 2006 – Scrub & erosion control at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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We're going to Deddington Castle, home of William the Conqueror's half brother Odo. Little remains of the castle now except for extensive earthwork banks and ditches. The site is managed by Deddington Parish Council and is open and free to the public.

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Sunday 10 Sep 2006 – Fencing at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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Continuing our work constructing post and rail fencing at the Jubilee Reserve at Wootton-by-Woodstock. FYI this is the Wootton near Tackley, NOT the Wootton near Oxford. if you are making your own way there, and unsure of directions, please contact Task Programmer. The work is to prevent cattle trampling into the flood plain and boggy ground on the banks of the rivers which run through the reserve, so best feet forward as we continue the work here to get the fence completed before winter falls.

  • Leader: Emmanuelle Denis
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 12 Sep 2006 – Dinner and drinks at Home

Summer is over, so let's recapture the feeling of a Caribbean holiday with dinner at the Hi-Lo. A dreadlocked chef, curried goat, rum and Red Stripe, and dub music on the largest amps in Cowley Road. What more could you want? Contact Nora if you plan to come.

  • Contact: Nora
Sunday 17 Sep 2006 – English Nature at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Clear an overgrown path and repair steps. Take lots of breaks to admire the hilltop views and scout for red kites. Roast parsnips in the bonfire (if we have one). Your usual OCV Sunday.

  • Leader: Nora Allavoine
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Sunday 24 Sep 2006 – Footpath construction at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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OCV return to this beautiful, BBOWT owned woodland reserve on the border of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. On this task we will be cutting a footpath, and maintaining/improving existing footpaths to ensure continued, managed enjoyment of this ancient woodland site.

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Chris Skepper
Wednesday 27 Sep 2006 – A film at Home

Cinema night! Bond with fellow OCV-ers in a darkened room... We will be seeing 'An Inconvenient Truth' at the Odeon George Street at 8.15 pm. Meet at the cinema at 8. Post-film discussion over a pint for those who want to.

  • Contact: Nora
Sunday 1 Oct 2006 – Fencing at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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Continuing our work constructing post and rail fencing at the Jubilee Reserve at Wootton-by-Woodstock. FYI this is the Wootton near Tackley, NOT the Wootton near Oxford. if you are making your own way there, and unsure of directions, please contact Task Programmer. The work is to prevent cattle trampling into the flood plain and boggy ground on the banks of the rivers which run through the reserve. We will also be replacing a stile.

  • Leader: Renaud Meunier
  • Driver: Chris Skepper
Monday 2 Oct 2006 – at A pub

Tuesday 3 Oct 2006 – meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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All are welcome to join the OCV committee as we meet to discuss and fine tune the delicate inner machinations of the OCV. 8pm Town Hall Jury Room. Followed by a sociable pint at the Head of the River.

  • Contact: Jim
Sunday 8 Oct 2006 – Scrub clearance / footpath at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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We return to the Crecy Hill reserve in Tackley, working to extend the bark-covered path through the reserve,cutting back scrub regrowth, and removing surplus thistle plants.

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Friday 13 Oct 2006 – Beer festival at Oxford Town Hall
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  • Contact: Nora
Sunday 15 Oct 2006 – Coppicing at Brasenose Wood, Oxford
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We're going to Brasenose Wood to undertake the ancient art of coppicing. For centuries this technique has been used as a carbon-neutral supply of fuel and a source of construction material. A well coppiced woodland supports a rich variety of habitats and also extends the longevity of the trees to many times their normal lifespan.

  • Leader: Mike Thyer
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Sunday 22 Oct 2006 – English Nature at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We return to Aston Rowant on what promises to be a pleasant Autumn day, to gaze at red kites overhead, and warm ourselves by a bonfire (also good for roasting potatos and parsnips in -- byo). Oh, and we'll also be doing some scrub-bashing.

  • Leader: Nora Allavoine
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Sunday 29 Oct 2006 – Scrub clearance at Watlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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Our first task at this stunning National Trust reserve in the Chilterns, south of Oxford. The reserve is a SSSI on account of the rare species that exist on the chalk grassland, and we work to assist the National Trust warden managing the scrub thickets and invasive species that threaten to overgrow this rare habitat and the countless plants and butterflies that thrive there. Superb views over the Oxford Plain (weather permitting) under the watchful eyes of circling kites and buzzards.

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Martin Crane
Sunday 5 Nov 2006 – Hedgelaying at Little Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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We return to this Nortmoor Trust managed property at Little Wittenham, home to an iron age fort and the Wittenham Clumps. We continue last years hedgelaying here on a hawthorn hedge round the base of the hill; containing livestock the traditional way and providing a valuable corridor for the wildlife. Perhaps you can previous hedgelaying skills with you, or perhaps you'll take new skills home with you!

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 7 Nov 2006 – meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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All welcome, come along and get involved! 8pm Town Hall Jury Room. Followed by a sociable pint at the Head of the River.

  • Contact: Jim
Sunday 12 Nov 2006 – English Nature reserve at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Various conservation tasks, TBA

  • Leader: Ray Hitchins
  • Driver: Chris Skepper
Saturday 18 Nov 2006 – Fencing at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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We return for this weekender fencing doubleheader, constructing post and rail, and post and wire fencing to contain cattle in from fragile habitats at the popular Jubilee Meadows reserve at Wootton near Woodstock. Many have worked on this ongoing project throughout the summer, so many hands will make light work of completing before the cattle arrive at Xmas

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Chris Skepper
Sunday 19 Nov 2006 – Fencing at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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We return for this weekender fencing doubleheader, aiming to complete the fencing project many of you have worked on since April this year. We will be constructing post and rail, and post and wire fencing to contain cattle in from fragile habitats at the popular Jubilee Meadows reserve at Wootton near Woodstock. All aboard to get this completed for the clients deadline, there is footbridge repair and stile construction to be tackled if we have time!

  • Leader: Emmanuelle Denis
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 26 Nov 2006 – Hedgelaying at Little Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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We return to this Nortmoor Trust managed property at Little Wittenham, home to an iron age fort and the Wittenham Clumps. We continue last years hedgelaying here on a hawthorn hedge round the base of the hill; containing livestock the traditional way and providing a valuable corridor for the wildlife. Perhaps you can bring previous hedgelaying skills with you, or perhaps you'll take new skills home with you!

  • Leader: Jamie Carr
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Saturday 2 Dec 2006 – Coppicing Training Weekend at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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We return to the enchanted Foxholes Woods on the Oxon/Gloucs border for a training weekend led by our countryside skills guru Brian Williamson. We will be learning woodland skills including coppicing, felling, thinning and of course burning - all the essential and traditional skills for effective woodland management with conservation of such treasured woodland habitats, and their inhabitants, in mind.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Chris Skepper
Sunday 3 Dec 2006 – Coppicing Training Weekend at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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We return to the enchanted Foxholes Woods on the Oxon/Gloucs border for a training weekend led by our countryside skills guru Brian Williamson. We will be learning woodland skills including coppicing, felling, thinning and of course burning - all the essential and traditional skills for effective woodland management with conservation of such treasured woodland habitats, and their inhabitants, in mind.

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Clare Arnison-Newgass
Tuesday 5 Dec 2006 – meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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Come join the monthly committee meeting. 8pm Town Hall Jury Room. Followed by a socialble pint at the Head of the River.

  • Contact: Jim
Saturday 9 Dec 2006 – OCV Christmas meal at Ozone Leisure Complex

Feasting and holiday cheer.

  • Contact: Nora
Sunday 10 Dec 2006 – Scrub bash / coppicing at Finemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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Working at this BBOWT reserve, we will be coppicing silver birch to ensure structural suitability for nationally rare black hairstreak butterflies. A big bonfire guaranteed if the work doesn't warm you up!

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Susan Nonweiler
Sunday 17 Dec 2006 – Scrub Management at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Helping the wardens with a range of conservation and estate management tasks on this English Nature reserve

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Tuesday 2 Jan 2007 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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Monthly committee meeting in the Town Hall Jury Room at 8pm, followed by a pint in a nearby pub. All welcome.

  • Contact: Chris
Saturday 6 Jan 2007 – Urban Conservation at Boundary Brook, Oxford
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We return to work with the Oxford Urban Wildlife Group, working to maintain this valuable nature reserve in the built-up outskirts of Oxford. We will be undertaking light woodland tasks ; coppicing, trimming and pruning some of the diverse range of trees and shrubs that thrive here; to protect and manage habitat and provide breathing space for city dwellers. THERE WILL BE NO MINIBUS PICK-UPS for this task, so come along by car, bus, bike or by foot for an hour, half a day or the whole day; and start 2007 how you mean to go on! For directions or further details contact Gary (see contacts page).

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Gary Hillier
Sunday 7 Jan 2007 – Hedge planting at Westwell Manor, nr Burford, Oxfordshire

Today we will be working on Westwell Manors ongoing organic, conservation programme planting a mixed conservation hedge. This will include traditional species chosen to provide a useful habitat for a variety of fauna. Perhaps we will return in 15 years to lay the hedge we have planted!

  • Leader: Peter Gillot
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Sunday 14 Jan 2007 – Scrub clearance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Essential habitat management work at this Natural England reserve.

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Chris Skepper
Sunday 21 Jan 2007 – Scrub clearance at Calvert Jubilee, Calvert, Buckinghamshire
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We visit a BBOWT reserve to clear scrub on an old railway embankment to increase the habitat for the rare Wall Brown butterfly. Calvert began as clay pits for making bricks: one pit on the reserve was landfilled with rubbish long ago, one is a lake for wildfowl and one nearby hosts a sailing club. Another pit is still used for landfill with a daily 'binliner' train bringing London's rubbish to rural Buckinghamshire compressed in green containers. The railway line in the reserve has a bridge, an embankment and a few rotten telegraph poles but no track nor traffic. Normally you need a permit to visit, but to you it's open! Bonfire, baked parsnips, lunchtime tour and check on wooden bridge we built 2 years ago plus nesting rafts 3 years ago. There's a bird hide overlooking the lake, so bring binoculars if you are a twitcher.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 23 Jan 2007 – Curry night at Ozone Leisure Complex

Come along for a curry, at The bombay restaurant in Jericho.

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 28 Jan 2007 – Hedge Rescue Part 1 at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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We return to work for Deddington Parish Council in the village of Clifton. As a safety 'recommendation' the council have been advised that a well established hedge is a safety issue for the adjoining childrens park. Rather than remove it, the council want to lay the hedge to protect the natural habitat. Today we will be preparing the hedge for laying by coppicing out the unwanted material, returning in March to lay the hedge and protect this established habitat.

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Saturday 3 Feb 2007 – Urban Conservation at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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Back to Holywell Cemetery to open up paths by clearing saplings, brambles, ivy etc. There will be no minibus pick-ups for this task, so come along by bus, foot or bike, for an hour, half a day or the whole day - 9.45am to 4pm. Car parking is difficult here. Look for the stone church tower in St. Cross Road near the end of Holywell Street and Jowett Walk, go through the double wooden gates and we'll be back there with a smoky bonfire. This disused cemetery dates from 1848 when cholera had filled older Oxford graveyards. It's small but with marshy land behind and after that the River Cherwell, it's part of a wildlife corridor in central Oxford. At quiet times you can see a fox or muntjac deer. As to notable graves, there is Kenneth Grahame who wrote 'Wind in the Willows', Walter Pater the Victorian art critic and a few more. The work here is lighter than usual, so it's a good first outing for wannabe conservers. OCV has worked here once or twice per year for 25 years - this was a pioneer project in urban conservation and well worth your support. The idea is to respect the graves and those who visit them while encouraging wildlife at the same time. As to how it works in practice, well...come and see.

  • Leader: John Gorrill
  • Driver: John Gorrill
Sunday 4 Feb 2007 – Coppicing at Brasenose Wood, Oxford
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We return to the depths of Brasenose Woods , carrying out coppicing work essential to Oxford City Councils work to manage this beautiful, ancient wood. This will involve selecting ash and other younger trees for felling and thinning; removing the brash by either burning or weaving straight into dead-hedges to protect younger coppice stools from hungry deer.

  • Leader: Mike Thyer
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Sunday 4 Feb 2007 – An Irish music night at A pub

Traditional Irish music in Oxford at The Half Moon in St Clements. I will be there from 9pm. You don't have to tell me if you're coming.

  • Contact: Naomi
Tuesday 6 Feb 2007 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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Monthly committee meeting for discussing the running of OCV. Come along to the Town Hall Jury Room at 8pm and join us for a pint in a nearby pub. All welcome.

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 11 Feb 2007 – Habitat / Cyclepath at Sustrans Cycle Route, Oxfordshire

This stretch of the cycle route between Wantage and Didcot has been proposed as a County Wildlife Site on account of the rare chalk grassland habitat. This habitat supports a diverse range of rare flora, insects and butterflies, so we will be working to clear the invasive shrub species right back and restart the natural succession, as well as contributing to the development of a real alternative to the A34!

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Sunday 18 Feb 2007 – Sheep! at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We return to Aston Rowant reserve where we will be working with Natural England wardens foot trimming one of the flocks of sheep. Dagging is also on offer to those who are really keen!

  • Leader: Merlin Llewelyn-Pratt
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Thursday 22 Feb 2007 – Renaud's Leaving Barbeque at the Turf Tavern at A pub

Come along to the Turf Tavern, Oxford at 8pm to wish Renaud well as he leaves Oxford. There will be barbeque food served from 8pm to 10pm, including burgers with cheese or bacon, chicken burgers or veggie burgers. The Turf has a pretty good selection of draught beer if you needed any more reasons to come along...

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 25 Feb 2007 – Scrub clearance at Watlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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We return to the stunning National Trust reserve, assisting warden Jerry Page on his mission to reduce invasive scrub on the hill by 50%. We will be removing species such as yew, whitebeam and of course hawthorn, from encroaching over this SSSI chalk grassland site, and restarting the natural succession. The bonfire was so big last time the red kites were circling on the thermals!

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 4 Mar 2007 – Hedge Rescue Part 2 at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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We return to work for Deddington Parish Council in the village of Clifton. As a safety 'recommendation' the council have been advised that a well established hedge is a safety issue for the adjoining childrens park. Rather than remove it, the council want to lay the hedge to protect the natural habitat. In February we prepared this hedge for laying; we now take up our billhooks to cut it back and restart a new lease of life

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Tuesday 6 Mar 2007 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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Monthly committee meeting in the Town Hall Jury Room at 8pm, followed by a pint in a nearby pub. All welcome.

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 11 Mar 2007 – Various conservation tasks at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Essential habitat management work for Natural England at this chalk grassland reserve

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Sunday 18 Mar 2007 – Reserve management at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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We return to the tranquil water meadows of Jubilee Reserve, where many of you will be able to admire the serpentine curves of the 2006 OCV fence project! Today we have a variety of maintenance tasks to tackle ; building stiles to provide access across the post & rail fence we built, footbridge repairs, erecting an information sign, and removal of blackthorn that is once again encroaching along the bridleway.

  • Leader: Emmanuelle Denis
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Tuesday 20 Mar 2007 – The Oxford Game at Home

Come to Crane Acres for a fun evening playing The Oxford Game (a bit like Trivial Pursuits but all about Oxford and fortunately multiple choice answers) and swapping snacks and tales of conservation. Contact Emily on treasurer (at) ocv.org.uk for further info.

  • Contact: Emily
Sunday 25 Mar 2007 – Woodland Management at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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We return to the enchanted woodland of Foxholes, a BBOWT managed woodland reserve on the Oxon/Gloucs border. As part of the ongoing coppicing cycle, we will today be removing deer fencing from the perimeter of a young ash copse; now that the trees are big and strong enough to survive the nibblings of hungry deer, we can remove this fencing to let the wildlife back in, and clear the 6 foot deep brambles and other scrub that compete with our trees.

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: John Gorrill
Sunday 1 Apr 2007 – Reserve management at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Before plants really start their new season growth, we continue our work helping with the management of the Tackley/Crecy Hill reserve. We will be completing the dug, bark-chip covered path; cutting back early scrub re-growth; and digging up surplus woolly thistles. As well as improving access through the reserve we will be protecting this precious orchid habitat.

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 3 Apr 2007 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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Monthly committee meeting in the Town Hall Jury Room at 8pm, followed by a pint in a nearby pub. Everyone welcome, come along and see how the group is run.

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 8 Apr 2007 – Anywhere/Everywhere at Home

It's Easter, so enjoy your long weekend off! There is no task this weekend, so pull out an OS map (and a compass), and go walk some of the miles of footpaths that criss-cross our beautiful countryside. Enjoy the trees, the birds, the breeze, a river rushing...Whilst enjoying a well-earned break have a think about what YOU could do for OCV, and OUR environment. YOU could be a volunteer, a leader, van driver, first aider, pond dredger, tea maker, emailer, bramble slasher, scrub basher, firestarter, wall builder, hedge layer, tree feller, wayfarer, land owner, a warden ......if you're someone that enjoys the great outdoors.. well, let's keep the outdoors great!...WHAT COULD YOU DO? - the possibilities are endless! Contact - 'tasks' on the 'contacts' page, and let's push things forward...

Sunday 15 Apr 2007 – Woodland Management at Oakley Wood, Oxfordshire
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This is our first vist to this neglected woodland in the Chilterns AONB which is in need of some OCV lovin' and a long-term management plan. Way out of control, this site has become dominated on the one hand by high oak and a large rookery; on the other hand a severely neglected and choked-up hazel coppice; result is a dark and inhibited woodland.Though late in the season, our priority here is to make a start to encourage biodiversity by selectively cutting a coppice coupe; protecting it from deer-grazing with dead-hedging, and clearing the large piles of brash to provide easy access around the site. There is much to do here, let's see what OCV can do..

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Sunday 22 Apr 2007 – Woodland Management at Oakley Wood, Oxfordshire
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This is our second vist to this neglected woodland in the Chilterns AONB continuing the first phase of a long-term management plan. Way out of control, this site has become dominated on the one hand by high oak and a large rookery; on the other hand a severely neglected and choked-up hazel coppice; result is a dark and inhibited woodland.Though late in the season, our priority here is to make a start to encourage biodiversity by selectively cutting a coppice coupe; protecting it from deer-grazing with dead-hedging, and clearing the large piles of brash to provide easy access around the site. There is much to do here, let's see what OCV can do..

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Sunday 29 Apr 2007 – Post and wire fence repair at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Fenceline work at this SSSI Natural England reserve in the Chilterns AONB. Today we'll be repairing post and wire fences to help keep the sheep in the right place. There maybe opportunities for cutting back overgrowth also.

  • Leader: Mike Thyer
  • Driver: Matt Cardy
Tuesday 1 May 2007 – Annual General Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV Annual General Meeting in the Town Hall Jury Room at 8pm, followed by a pint in a nearby pub. Everyone welcome, you will need to be a member to vote, but you can join on the day. Come along and participate in the organisation of OCV.

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 6 May 2007 – Pond creation / woodland management at Millennium Wood, Kingham, Oxfordshire
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Out in the Cotswolds AONB, working at this Foxholes sister reserve. We are creating a pond here to increase biodiversity and provide an oasis for water-loving species, so we will be digging out the pond, and clearing the aggressive bramble that tries to strangle and smother the life out of all the other flora, and scratch all the fauna. Long sleeves recommended!

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Chris Skepper
Sunday 13 May 2007 – Wherever / Whenever at Home

There is no task this weekend, so pull out an OS map (and a compass), and go walk some of the miles of footpaths that criss-cross our beautiful countryside. Enjoy the trees, the birds, the breeze, a river rushing...Whilst enjoying nature, have a think about what YOU could do for OCV, and OUR environment. YOU could be a volunteer, a leader, van driver, first aider, pond dredger, tea maker, emailer, bramble slasher, scrub basher, firestarter, wall builder, hedge layer, tree feller, wayfarer, land owner, a warden ......if you're someone that enjoys the great outdoors.. well, let's keep the outdoors great!...WHAT COULD YOU DO? - the possibilities are endless! Contact - 'tasks' on the 'contacts' page, and let's push things forward...

Tuesday 15 May 2007 – Walk along the thames (including pubs!) at A pub

As there was no task last weekend I thought we should have a social. The walk will start at the head of the river pub in Oxford at 7pm, we should end up in iffley before it gets too dark! We will also be visiting the Isis which is at the side of the river before the iffley lock. Bring your bike with you. More info will be sent in an email.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 20 May 2007 – Various tasks at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Essential footpath maintenance work at this SSSI Natural England site in the Chilterns AONB

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: Nick Wordsworth
Friday 25 May 2007 – Trail Maintenance Weekend Residential at Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Saturday 26 May 2007 – Trail Maintenance Weekend Residential at Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Sunday 27 May 2007 – Trail Maintenance Weekend Residential at Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Monday 28 May 2007 – Trail Maintenance Weekend Residential at Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Sunday 3 Jun 2007 – Pond creation/ woodland management at Millennium Wood, Kingham, Oxfordshire
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Out in the Cotswolds AONB, working at this Foxholes sister reserve. We are creating a pond here to increase biodiversity and provide an oasis for water-loving species, so we will be digging out the pond, and clearing the aggressive bramble that tries to strangle and smother the life out of all the other flora, and scratch all the fauna. Long sleeves recommended!

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 5 Jun 2007 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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Monthly committee meeting in the Town Hall Jury Room at 8pm, followed by a pint in a nearby pub. Everyone welcome, come along for the meeting or join us for a drink afterwards.

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 10 Jun 2007 – Project Clearway - Footpath at Hanborough Parish, Oxfordshire
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Working alongside the Parish Council's own volunteers to improve access on the important, Public 'Coffin Path' Footpath between the villages of Long Hanborough and Church Hanborough, near Bladon. A short ride from Oxford, we have a day in the sun clearing back the turf that has grown over this 8ft wide tarmac footpath (created to be useable by all), and reduced it to a 1ft wide track (useable by 1 person).

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Nick Wordsworth
Saturday 16 Jun 2007 – Rosie o' gradys at A pub

Irish music at Rosie o' Gradys in Oxford, they have guinness and a selection of irish whiskeys to choose from. We will be meeting at carfax at 8.30pm.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 17 Jun 2007 – Anywhere / Everywhere at Home

There is no task this weekend, so pull out an OS map (and a compass), and go walk some of the miles of footpaths that criss-cross our beautiful countryside. Enjoy the trees, the birds, the breeze, a river rushing...Whilst enjoying nature have a think about what YOU could do for OCV, and OUR environment. YOU could be a volunteer, a leader, van driver, first aider, pond dredger, tea maker, emailer, bramble slasher, scrub basher, firestarter, fund raiser, hellraiser, wall builder, hedge layer, tree feller, wayfarer, land owner, a warden ......if you're someone that enjoys the great outdoors.. well, let's keep the outdoors great!...WHAT COULD YOU DO? - the possibilities are endless! Contact - 'tasks' on the 'contacts' page, and let's push things forward...

Sunday 24 Jun 2007 – Habitat / biodiversity at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Controlling ragwort and conserving juniper at this SSSI Natural England site in the Chilterns AONB

  • Leader: Mike Thyer
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Sunday 1 Jul 2007 – Habitat / Biodiversity at Seacourt Nature Park, Oxford
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Working on this Oxford City Council reserve, we spend the day pulling out toxic ragwort. Once this pest has been eradicated we move on to nearby Burgess Field thinning young trees in a plantation. This allows surviving trees to develop properly with a well-balanced shape and long life-span.

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Mike Thyer
Tuesday 3 Jul 2007 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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Monthly committee meeting at 8pm in the Jury Room in the Town Hall on St. Aldates. A chance to discuss the day-to -day running of OCV. Everyone is welcome, though we can't guarantee the commitee won't try to rope you in to help with something! Afterwards we'll go for a drink at the Head of the River.

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 8 Jul 2007 – Footpath / Construction at Boundary Brook, Oxford
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Today we will be erecting gates at the Boundary Brook reserve for Oxford Urban Wildlife Group; replacing the rusty old relics that provide easy access through the boundaries and footpaths of the reserve. This is also a chance to observe the progress of hedgelaying and planting projects OCV have done here in the past. For this technical construction challenge we need brains as well as brawn - so if you have either, we need you there!

  • Leader: Renaud Meunier
  • Driver: Nick Wordsworth
Sunday 15 Jul 2007 – Habitat / Biodiversity at Palmer's Bank, nr Fawler, Oxfordshire
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We are working with Plantlife to conserve Cotswold Pennycress - one of Britain's rarest plants. As a result of our work last year a five-fold increase in Pennycress has been seen at the site; the highest count in a decade! We return to continue this valuable work removing the coarse grass that smothers the Pennycress. A light day's fun in the sun working til 3pm, so a refreshing pint in a nearby hostelry on the way back to the city may well be in order if the is job well done!

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Tuesday 17 Jul 2007 – Punting on the river. at Cherwell Boat House
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An evening of food and messing around on boats. Meeting at Cherwell boat house at 7pm. Bring some food and your waterproofs!

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 22 Jul 2007 – Fencing at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Working for Natural England in the Chilterns AONB

  • Leader: Ray Hitchins
  • Driver: Chris Skepper
Sunday 29 Jul 2007 – Fencing at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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Working for Deddington Parish Council to improve a much-used footpath that runs between the cemetery and the Windmill Centre. We will be removing a dilapidated wire fence and replacing it with 2 short stretches of post and rail fencing to mark a clear, durable, wildlife-friendly boundary around, and access to, a copse that was planted by the Forestry Commission. We hope to get this track upgraded to link into the existing Public Footpath network around Deddington; putting OCV's work 'on the map'..? We will also be conducting a tree survey in the copse area; to thin the plantation and waymark a footpath through it... brains and brawn required for this task, so if you have either; we need YOU there

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Sunday 5 Aug 2007 – Anything / Everything at Our Region

THIS WEEKS TASK IS CANCELLED DUE TO SEVERE FLOODING AT WOOTTON WATER MEADOWS. So pull out an OS map (and a compass), and go walk some of the miles of footpaths that criss-cross our beautiful countryside. Enjoy the trees, the birds, the breeze, a river rushing...Whilst enjoying English nature have a think about what YOU could do for OCV, and OUR environment. YOU could be a volunteer, a leader, van driver, first aider, pond dredger, tea maker, emailer, bramble slasher, scrub basher, firestarter, wall builder, hedge layer, tree feller, wayfarer, land owner, a warden ......if you're someone that enjoys the great outdoors.. well, let's keep the outdoors great!...WHAT COULD YOU DO? - the possibilities are endless! Contact - 'tasks' on the 'contacts' page, and let's push things forward...

Tuesday 7 Aug 2007 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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Monthly committee meeting at 8pm in the Jury Room in the Town Hall on St. Aldates. A chance to discuss the day-to -day running of OCV. Everyone is welcome, particularly if you're a volunteer that could help out as a leader or driver, or a leader or driver that could help with the running of OCV. Afterwards we'll go for a drink at the Head of the River.

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 12 Aug 2007 – Various at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Working for Natural England in the Chilterns AONB, step building and clearing footpaths

  • Leader: Jamie Carr
  • Driver: Nick Wordsworth
Friday 17 Aug 2007 – Tapas and Sangria! at Ozone Leisure Complex

The Kazbar at the St Clements end of Cowley road. We'll be meeting at this ''chilled out'' bar at 7.45pm. Moroccan/Spanish food is served here and it's very tasty. Their sangria is very tasty too!

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 19 Aug 2007 – Woodland Management at Britwell Hill, nr Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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Britwell Hill is a truly beautiful spot in the Chilterns AONB, near Watlington, with stunning views over the Oxford Plain and footpaths that run through SSSI sites rich with downland flora. We are working for an environmentally-friendly LEAF farmer who has planted 10,000 hedgerow trees with biodegradable rabbit/deer guards that are not degrading! Our job here is to remove the guards so that the hedges fill out at the bottom, making better shelter for birds and other wildlife.

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Friday 24 Aug 2007 – Dry-stone Walling Weekend Residential at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Minibus transport from Oxford city centre out for our long weekend working for Durlston Country Park in Dorset. THIS RESIDENTIAL IS SOLD OUT. SORRY!

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Saturday 25 Aug 2007 – Dry-stone Walling Weekend Residential at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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Today we will be working for Durlston Country Park, learning the traditional craft of dry-stone walling. After a hard-day's work, a night out in lively Swanage could well be in order; we may be lucky enough to catch local heroes DNA on tour!THIS RESIDENTIAL IS SOLD OUT. SORRY!

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 26 Aug 2007 – Dry-stone Walling Weekend Residential at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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A day off from working; Swanage is an ideal base for country pursuits. Swanage has links to the South West Coast Path and other cliff-top walks, a steam railway, a beach, boat trips, a pier etc. We can do our own things or organise a group outing, so let us know what you would like to do. THIS RESIDENTIAL IS SOLD OUT. SORRY!

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Monday 27 Aug 2007 – Dry-stone Walling Weekend Residential at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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we spend this half-day finishing our work rebuilding dry-stone walls. We will leave the basecamp in time to be back in Oxford around 6pm, so you can go back to work or study after this weekend having seen new faces, new places, and knowing you've helped to keep the Great in Britain! THIS RESIDENTIAL IS SOLD OUT. SORRY!

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 2 Sep 2007 – Woodland footpaths at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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OCV return to this beautiful, BBOWT owned woodland reserve on the border of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. On this task we will be clearing, maintaining and improving the network of footpaths and nature trails that enable managed enjoyment of this ancient woodland site.

  • Leader: Jim Richardson
  • Driver: Chris Skepper
Tuesday 4 Sep 2007 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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Monthly committee meeting at 8pm in the Jury Room in the Town Hall on St. Aldates. A chance to discuss the day-to -day running of OCV. Everyone is welcome to come along. Afterwards we'll go for a drink at the Head of the River.

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 9 Sep 2007 – Foot trimming at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We're going Aston Rowant to trim the sheep's feet. These sheep help keep the rare chalk grassland from becoming overgrown by eating the young scrub growth. To keep the sheep mobile, they need their feet trimmed a couple of times a year. Wear old clothes as the work can be muddy and smelly.

  • Leader: Mike Thyer
  • Driver: Chris Skepper
Sunday 16 Sep 2007 – Coppicing and fencing at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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Returning to work with our friends at Deddington Parish Council, today we will finish the post and rail fencing we started in July, but the main job is to thin the copse area. In one compartment we remove young scrub growth and whippy tree saplings to prevent overcrowding and competition to the few healthy young oaks. Another compartment has been densely planted, and the young trees have grown tall and thin competing for light;completely shading the woodland floor. Thinning this plantation and some low,scrubby species should encourage biodiversity by allowing dappled sunlight on to the woodland floor. We'll be burning brash as we go, and stacking larger logs to create habitat for invertebrates and fungi.

  • Leader: Tim White
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 18 Sep 2007 – Bombay curry house in Jericho at Ozone Leisure Complex

A night of hot food awaits us (as requested)! Shouldn't be too expensive as you can take your own booze. We will be meeting at the restaurant at 7.30pm. I forgot to mention in the email that its past the old radcliffe hospital on Walton street.

  • Contact: Naomi
Saturday 22 Sep 2007 – Camping and BBQ at Kingham at Millennium Wood, Kingham, Oxfordshire
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Celebrate 30 years of OCV by camping over at Kingham before a day's hedgelaying. E-mail Chris if you'd like to come, address on the contacts page.

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 23 Sep 2007 – Hedgelaying at Millennium Wood, Kingham, Oxfordshire
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Returning to this Foxholes sister reserve we will be laying a short stretch of hedge. A well-layed hedge regrows and thickens to provide a natural boundary for the land-owner, and also a home, shelter and corridor for all sorts of wildlife. Perhaps you can bring hedgelaying skills with you; perhaps you will leave with a new skill today! We are thinking of camping out here the night before an early start and bonfire breakfast; let us know if you're up for it? (No Sunday morning pick-up this week, since the minibus will already be there).

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 30 Sep 2007 – 30th Anniversary Task! at Hook Norton Cutting, North Oxfordshire
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We return to work at the hallowed spot where OCV did their first day's work way back back in 1977! Today we will be assisting BBOWT conserve the limestone grassland habitat with essential scrub clearance work so a big OCV bonfire guaranteed, so we hope to see you all out in force; old, young, new faces, veterans...come celebrate the last 30 years, and continue the next 30 years of vital work we do to keep the Great in our part of Britain!

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Nick Wordsworth
Tuesday 2 Oct 2007 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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We'll be in the Jury Room in the Town Hall on St. Aldates from 8pm, planning the next month's OCV business. Everyone is very welcome to come along, you don't have to be a leader or a committee member. Afterwards we'll go for a drink at the Head of the River.

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 7 Oct 2007 – Scrub bashing on Bald hill. at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Today we will be mostly cutting down invasive plant species on Bald hill (to quote Jesse). It will most probably be hawthorn and brambles. We will be having a bonfire so that we can burn the unwanted material. If I can get my act together I might even make something sweet for you to munch on at break time.

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Sunday 14 Oct 2007 – Fen raking at Lye Valley, Oxford
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We'll be working for Oxford City Council on this rare wetland site near Headington. The calcareous fen must be kept low in nutrients to restrict the growth of grasses and promote the survival of wild plants. The Countryside Rangers will cut the grass, sedge and reed with strimmers or mowers. Our job is to rake up the cuttings and dump them away from the fen to prevent the compost enriching the soil. Waders will be available.

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Friday 19 Oct 2007 – 30th anniversary celebrations! at Ozone Leisure Complex

Come and celebrate 30 years of OCV! Volunteers of past and present, we need YOU to recognise the good work you have done over the years. So join us in eating and merriment at the Lake street community centre at 7.30pm. Hope to see you there.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 21 Oct 2007 – Scrub clearance at Finemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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Working at this BBOWT reserve, we will be coppicing silver birch to ensure structural suitability for nationally rare black hairstreak butterflies. A big bonfire guaranteed if the work doesn't warm you up!

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Sunday 28 Oct 2007 – River clearance at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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At Jubilee Reserve, many trees and branches were brought down into the river in last winters' storms; creating natural dams which have contributed to unusual levels and length of flooding this year. In fact, this task should have happened in August but was cancelled due to the severe flooding! We will be assisting a contractor pollarding the old, creaking willows that overhang and threaten to come down into the river this winter. We will take waders along for those keen enough to brave the cold water and clear more debris from the river!

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 4 Nov 2007 – Scrub clearance at Watlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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We return to work at this stunning National Trust reserve in the Chilterns, south of Oxford. The reserve is a SSSI on account of the rare species that exist on the chalk grassland, and we work to assist the National Trust warden managing the scrub thickets and invasive species that threaten to overgrow this rare habitat and the countless plants and butterflies that thrive there. Big bonfire guaranteed; superb views over the Oxford Plain (weather permitting) under the watchful eyes of circling kites and buzzards

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Renaud Meunier
Tuesday 6 Nov 2007 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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We'll be in the Jury Room in the Town Hall on St. Aldates from 8pm, discussing the running of OCV. This is your chance to get involved, so come along, you don't have to be a leader or a committee member. Afterwards we'll go for a drink at the Chequers just off the high street.

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 11 Nov 2007 – Hedgelaying at Britwell Hill, nr Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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Working at this beautiful spot in the Chilterns AONB, for a LEAF farmer endeavouring to run her farm in a way that supports, protects and encourages wildlife. Re-laying a section of mature hedge enables the farmer to manage a natural boundary in a way which sustains the hedgerow habitat used as a home, shelter, larder and corridor by all sorts of wildlife. A number of the group's more experienced hedgelayers will be coming along on this task to show us the ropes, so if you don't have much experience of hedgelaying now is the time to get a bit of informal training in this traditional skill. Hope to see you there!

  • Leader: Thalia Carr
  • Driver: Nick Wordsworth
Sunday 18 Nov 2007 – Coppicing at Oakley Wood, Oxfordshire
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Returning to work at this site in the Chilterns AONB developing a long-term management plan for a neglected, choked-up hazel coppice. We aim to encourage biodiversity by selectively cutting a coppice coupe; protecting it from deer-grazing with dead-hedging, and burning the large piles of brash to clear the rides (a valuable habitat in themselves) to provide easy access around the site. We will also be harvesting stakes for forthcoming hedgelaying tasks.There is much to do here, let's see what OCV can do..

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Tuesday 20 Nov 2007 – Italian scran at Ozone Leisure Complex

I hope you like pasta and pizza because this month we will be dining at Marios Italian restaurant which is at the end of the Cowley road in Oxford. We will be meeting at 7.30pm at the restaurant. Let me know by email or phone if you want to come along.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 25 Nov 2007 – Habitat management at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Essential scrub clearance to preserve Natural England, more details soon!

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 2 Dec 2007 – Hedgelaying at Little Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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We return to this Nortmoor Trust managed property at Little Wittenham, home to an iron age fort and the Wittenham Clumps. We continue last years hedgelaying here on a hawthorn hedge round the base of the hill; containing livestock the traditional way and providing a valuable corridor for the wildlife. Perhaps you can bring previous hedgelaying skills with you, or perhaps you'll take new skills home with you!

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Tuesday 4 Dec 2007 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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We'll be in the Jury Room in the Town Hall on St. Aldates from 8pm, discussing the next month's work. This is your chance to get involved, so come along, you don't have to be a leader or a committee member. Afterwards we'll go for a drink at the Chequers just off the high street.

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 9 Dec 2007 – Habitat / scrub clearance at Stansfeld Park, Oxford
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This site in Oxford city centre is run by Birmingham City Council as an area for educational environmental studies. Much of the site is mature woodland; in some areas we will be burning brash and making log habitat piles from debris left by previous work parties. The main work purpose of today's work is to extend and protect some open grassy meadow areas by cutting back encroaching hawthorn scrub

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Tuesday 11 Dec 2007 – Thai Orchid restaurant, St Clements, Oxford at A pub

We're breaking the mould this year and trying to stay away from overdone turkey and mince pies. Join the revolution! We will be meeting at the restaurant at 7.30pm. Please let Naomi know by Monday evening if you would like to join us in the fight against the turkey.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 16 Dec 2007 – Habitat management at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Essential scrub clearance and a big bonfire! We will be working for Natural England at this National Nature Reserve to conserve the chalk-grassland SSSI south of Oxford

  • Leader: Jim Richardson
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 16 Dec 2007 – The Half Moon music session at A pub

A night of traditional folk music and guinness at the Half moon on St Clements. I've not been to any better music sessions since i walked into this pub on a Sunday evening, so it is worth making the effort. If your interested then contact Naomi.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 6 Jan 2008 – Sheep! at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We will be working for Natural England at this National Nature Reserve and SSSI in the Chilterns. We will be working at Hill Farm helping to maintain their flock of over 300 sheep in good condition by cutting their nails and looking for the signs of any other problems. If the weather is bad we will do scrub clearance instead.

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Nick Wordsworth
Tuesday 8 Jan 2008 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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Join us in the Jury Room of the Town Hall on St. Aldates for January's Committee Meeting at 8pm. We'll be discussing the day-to-day running of OCV. Afterwards we'll be in The Chequers nearby for a pint, so come along then if you prefer.

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 13 Jan 2008 – Woodland management at Whitecross Green Wood, Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire
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We will be working at one of BBOWT's woodland reserves, creating a scallop along one of the wide rides, by cutting back and burning encroaching scrub species. These sheltered sunny corridors through the woods are favoured by plants and insects, especially butterflies

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Saturday 19 Jan 2008 – Coppicing Training Weekend at Oakley Wood, Oxfordshire
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We return to this privately-owned woodland in the Chilterns AONB, to complete our coppicing project. By coppicing the old hazel here we aim to encourage biodiversity by letting more sunlight into the forest floor, and bring the hazel back into a cycle that can be harvested for usable poles.We will protect the cut stools from deer-grazing with dead-hedging, and harvest stakes to use for hedgelaying tasks later in the season. Our trainer Brian Williamson travels up from Devon to instruct on centuries-old coppicing techniques and use of woodland tools, so this is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Kate Bone
Sunday 20 Jan 2008 – Coppicing Training Weekend at Oakley Wood, Oxfordshire
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We return to this privately-owned woodland in the Chilterns AONB, to complete our coppicing project. By coppicing the old hazel here we aim to encourage biodiversity by letting more sunlight into the forest floor, and bring the hazel back into a cycle that can be harvested for usable poles.We will protect the cut stool from deer-grazing with dead-hedging, and harvest stakes to use for hedgelaying tasks later in the season. Our trainer Brian Williamson travels up from Devon to instruct on centuries-old coppicing techniques and use of woodland tools, so this is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Friday 25 Jan 2008 – The Turf Tavern, Oxford at A pub

Join me for a drink at one of Oxfords prettiest pubs and also one of the most difficult to find, especially if you've already had a few. Meeting time will be at 8pm at the pub. If your interested then get in touch. An email has now been sent out.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 27 Jan 2008 – Reserve maintenance at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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This disused cemetery dates from 1848 when cholera had filled older Oxford graveyards. Part of a wildlife corridor in central Oxford, at quiet times you can see a fox or muntjac deer. As to notable graves, there is Kenneth Grahame who wrote 'Wind in the Willows', Walter Pater the Victorian art critic and a few more. OCV has worked here once or twice per year for 25 years - this was a pioneer project in urban conservation and well worth your support. The idea is to respect the graves and those who visit them while encouraging wildlife at the same time. We will be clearing overgrowth to enable access around this tranquil spot, with a warming, smoky bonfire..

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Sunday 3 Feb 2008 – Scrub clearance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We will be working for Natural England at this National Nature Reserve and SSSI in the Chilterns. Clearing an area of large scrub on Beacon Hill to encourage regrowth, therefore creating a varied age structure of plants which provides a valuable habitat for various invertebrates and nesting birds

  • Leader: Craig Waugh
  • Driver: Liz Bath
Tuesday 5 Feb 2008 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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Every month the committee gets together to talk about anything and everything to do with day-to-day running of OCV. We meet at 8pm in the Jury Room of the Town Hall on St Aldates. If you want to come along and maybe get involved, then please do. Afterwards, we'll go for a drink or twelve at the St Aldates Tavern across the road.

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 10 Feb 2008 – Reserve maintenance at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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At Jubilee Reserve, a pollarding programme has been implemented to manage the old, creaking willows that overhang the river and threaten to come down and block it over winter. This problem led to severe flooding of the meadows for many months last year.A contractor has been in with a chainsaw to fell the dangerous tree limbs; our job today is to follow-up and burn the large piles of debris on a couple of bonfires

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 17 Feb 2008 – Coppicing at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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We return to the enchanted Foxholes Woods on the Oxon/Gloucs to practice the ancient woodland technique of coppicing - used for centuries as a way of producing fuel and materials for building. We will be felling and burning ash which will thin and open up this area of the forest (which benefits biodiversity), and harvesting stakes to use at hedgelaying tasks later in the season.

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Tuesday 19 Feb 2008 – Bowling at Ozone Leisure Complex

Join me for a night of Ten Pin Bowling at the Ozone Leisure center in Littlemore, Oxford. The time has changed to 8.30pm. Unfortunately I now have 8 people. So now there is no room for anyone else. Sorry!

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 24 Feb 2008 – Hedgelaying at Little Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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We return to this Northmoor Trust managed property at Little Wittenham, home to an iron age fort and the Wittenham Clumps. We continue last years hedgelaying here on a hawthorn hedge round the base of the hill; containing livestock the traditional way and providing a valuable corridor for the wildlife. Perhaps you can bring previous hedgelaying skills with you, or perhaps you'll take new skills home with you!

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Nick Wordsworth
Sunday 2 Mar 2008 – Scrub clearance at Watlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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We return to the stunning National Trust reserve, assisting warden Jerry Page on his mission to reduce invasive scrub on the hill by 50%. We will be removing species such as yew, whitebeam and of course hawthorn, from encroaching over this SSSI chalk grassland site, and restarting the natural succession. A great spot to observe red kites - I once counted 24 circling on one thermal!..

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Tuesday 4 Mar 2008 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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The committee will be meeting in the Jury Room in the Town Hall at 8pm, to talk about the issues of the moment. All volunteers are welcome to attend, particularly if they'd like to get involved in the running of OCV or just see what goes on. Once the business is done we'll be in The Chequers pub for a sociable pint or two, so join us there if you want.

  • Contact: Chris
Sunday 9 Mar 2008 – Scrub clearance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We will be working for Natural England at this National Nature Reserve, removing scrub to maintain the chalk grassland SSSI

  • Leader: Craig Waugh
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Sunday 16 Mar 2008 – Scub clearance at Chinnor Hill, South Oxfordshire
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Chinnor Hill is a SSSI reserve on the Chiltern escarpment, with woodland, scrub and chalk grassland. It has great views over the vale of Aylesbury with Red Kites and buzzards flying above. The task will be to help BBOWT clear an area of scrub from an old chalk pit and from the surrounding chalk grassland to prevent losing the valuable chalk grassland flowers.

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Thursday 20 Mar 2008 – Greyhound racing at Oxford Greyhound Stadium

As requested by Jo. This month we will be heading down to the Oxford Greyhound Stadium for a spot of dog racing. An email has now been sent out. If you would like to come along please email socials on the contacts page.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 23 Mar 2008 – Scrub clearance at Grim's Ditch, Blewbury, South Oxfordshire
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Grims Ditch is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, to be found near the Ridgeway in the rolling, chalk downs of Blewbury. Not all of the earthwork survives above ground, but the Ditch appears to have been a boundary between the various tribes that inhabited the Oxfordshire Plain and Chilterns back in the Iron Age! Today we will be helping English Heritage and Natural England preserve this interesting site by retaining it as permanent grassland.

  • Leader: Andy Mo
  • Driver: Michael Green
Sunday 30 Mar 2008 – Hedgerow at Britwell Hill, nr Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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Working at this beautiful spot in the Chilterns AONB, for a LEAF farmer endeavouring to run her farm in a way that supports, protects and encourages wildlife. Last time we laid a section of hedge; hedgelaying enables the farmer to manage a natural boundary in a way which sustains the habitat used as a home, shelter, larder and corridor by all sorts of wildlife. This time we will be finishing off the section of laid hedge with binders, and assisting with other tasks such as removing dead elm and other unwanted species

  • Leader: Ray Hitchins
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Tuesday 1 Apr 2008 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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This month's committee meeting will be taking place in the Jury Room of the Town Hall at 8pm. Everyone's welcome, whether you want to participate or just see how things work. You can also join us in The Chequers pub afterwards for a drink or two.

  • Contact: Andy
Sunday 6 Apr 2008 – Footpath at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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We return to work at Foxholes, a truly magical ancient woodland managed by BBOWT. Today we will be maintaining access around the woods by improving stretches of the Oxfordshire Way National Trail that are overgrown or susceptible to flooding. Hopefully an early chance to see the carpet of bluebells that were already pushing through the leaf litter when we last visited in January

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 13 Apr 2008 – Reserve maintenance at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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This disused cemetery dates from 1848 when cholera had filled older Oxford graveyards. Part of a wildlife corridor in central Oxford, at quiet times you can see a fox or muntjac deer. As to notable graves, there is Kenneth Grahame who wrote 'Wind in the Willows', Walter Pater the Victorian art critic and a few more. OCV has worked here once or twice per year for 25 years - this was a pioneer project in urban conservation and well worth your support. The idea is to respect the graves and those who visit them while encouraging wildlife at the same time. We will be clearing overgrowth to enable access around this tranquil spot, with a warming, smoky bonfire..

  • Leader: Andy Mo
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 20 Apr 2008 – Reserve maintenance - Fencing at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We will be clearing a fenceline and perhaps making a start on a stretch of fencing at this National Nature Reserve. The wardens use sheep to graze the scrub to preserve the rare chalk grassland SSSI, so they'll be grateful of our brains and brawn to help get the job done on land difficult to access with machinery

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Nick Wordsworth
Tuesday 22 Apr 2008 – Grub (and maybe pub) at Mirch Masala Indian Restaurant

Hope you like spicy food because it's curry time folks. Emails have now been sent out. Please let me know before hand if you would like to come along.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 27 Apr 2008 – Fencing at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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Over the winter we have worked clearing and burning up after a pollarding programme; helping with the management of the valuable wildlife habitat next to the River Dorn in this Local Nature Reserve. Wetland birds such as the Water Rail are thriving here, so the warden's aim today is to try and discourage access (by dogs at least) from this most precious part of the reserve. We'll be putting in a gate, 2 short stretches of fence and a stile

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Friday 2 May 2008 – Trail Maintenance Weekend Residential at Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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Minibus transport from Oxford city centre out for our long weekend working for the National Trust in the Brecon Beacons National Park. ***ONE PLACE AVAILABLE DUE TO A CANCELLATION!! PLS EMAIL 'tasks@ocv.org.uk' ASAP IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE PART IN THIS PROJECT***

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Liz Bath
Saturday 3 May 2008 – Trail Maintenance Weekend Residential at Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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Today we will be working for the National Trust contributing to essential trail maintenance and upland erosion control on the glaciated slopes of Pen Y Fan (at 886m the highest mountain in Brecon Beacons National Park).Damage is done to this majestic peak from water running down, and hikers walking up and down the Beacons Way National Trail; so we will be abating these forces of erosion by building revetment walls, stone pitching drains, and seeding and landscaping the thin soil. ***ONE PLACE AVAILABLE DUE TO A CANCELLATION!! PLS EMAIL 'tasks@ocv.org.uk' ASAP IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE PART IN THIS PROJECT***

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 4 May 2008 – Trail Maintenance Weekend Residential at Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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There is no OCV task in Oxfordshire this weekend as we are away in the Brecon Beacons working for the National Trust on essential trail maintenance and upland erosion control ***ONE PLACE AVAILABLE DUE TO A CANCELLATION!! PLS EMAIL 'tasks@ocv.org.uk' ASAP IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE PART IN THIS PROJECT***

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Liz Bath
Monday 5 May 2008 – Trail Maintenance Weekend Residential at Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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A half-day off from working; the Brecon Beacons National Park is an ideal base for country pursuits, so let us know what you would like to do. We will leave the basecamp in time to be back in Oxford around 6pm, so you can go back to work or study after this weekend having seen new faces, new places, and knowing you've helped to keep the Great in Britain! ***ONE PLACE AVAILABLE DUE TO A CANCELLATION!! PLS EMAIL 'tasks@ocv.org.uk' ASAP IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE PART IN THIS PROJECT***

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 11 May 2008 – Footpath at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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Today we travel to the English Heritage site of Deddington Castle; the remains of a Norman motte & bailey stronghold dating back to the 13th Century. We will be repairing and improving stretches of the footpaths at the site; so walkers can enjoy the wildlife (such as badgers) that now inhabits this wooded area, without damaging the historical features through erosion

  • Leader: Andy Mo
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Tuesday 13 May 2008 – Annual General Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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This year's AGM will be taking place at 8pm in the Jury Room in the Town Hall. We'll be reviewing OCV's activities in the last year and giving members the opportunity to vote on how the organisation is run. Don't worry if you're not a member, you can join on the night and wield your voting powers straight away. You can also join us for a drink or two afterwards at the Head of the River.

  • Contact: Andy
Saturday 17 May 2008 – Taste real ale in a pub or two. at The Bear Inn

Beer tasting in some of the ye olde taverns of Oxford. Starting in the Bear Inn at around 7.30pm. Come have a go at tasting a "proper" drink that will put hairs on your chest! We will most probably be visiting some of the other old pubs of Oxford later on in the evening. If your interested please email socials on the contacts page or let Naomi know your coming. Hope to see you there!

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 18 May 2008 – Fencing at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We will be continuing our work erecting post & wire stock fencing at this National Nature Reserve. The wardens use sheep to graze the scrub to preserve the rare chalk grassland SSSI, so they'll be grateful of our brains and brawn to help get the job done on land difficult to access with machinery

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Kate Bone
Sunday 25 May 2008 – Habitat at Sustrans Cycle Route, Oxfordshire

Recommended as a County Wildlife Site, parts of the cycleway run through exposed, chalky banks that are ideal habitat for many species of 'hymenoptera' (look it up - I did!). We will be assisting in the Sustrans nature conservation plan by preserving this precious habitat by scraping off and removing the vegetation as it starts to colonise

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Liz Bath
Saturday 31 May 2008 – Fencing Training Weekend at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Our specialist trainer (and ex-OCV volunteer) Brian Williamson travels to instruct on the planning, materials, tools and techniques used in post & wire fencing. This type of barrier is used at many nature reserves to contain livestock. ***LIMITED PLACES LEFT ON THIS FREE TRAINING DAY*** so please email 'tasks@ocv.org.uk' if you want to come along and take advantage of this great opportunity to learn or improve a useful skill

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 1 Jun 2008 – Fencing Training Weekend at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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***FREE TRAINING DAY*** - post & wire fencing at this chalk grassland County Wildlife Site in the Cherwell Valley.Our specialist trainer (and ex-OCV volunteer) Brian Williamson has travelled to stay for the weekend and instruct on the materials, techniques and tools used in fencing, so this is an excellent opportunity to learn or improve valuable fencing skills for *FREE* - and see the wildflowers and insects that we are helping to conserve

  • Leader: Emmanuelle Denis
  • Driver: Nick Wordsworth
Tuesday 3 Jun 2008 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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As usual the committee meeting will be in the jury room of the Town Hall at 8pm. Everyone is welcome to come along, whether you want to contribute something or just see how a charity is organised. You can also meet us in the pub afterwards for a drink or two. We should be in the Head of the River at 9pm.

  • Contact: Andy
Sunday 8 Jun 2008 – Footpath at Chinnor Hill, South Oxfordshire
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Chinnor Hill is a BBOWT reserve in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with stunning views and red kites circling above keeping an eye on proceedings. Today we will be improving access to nature on the reserve by repairing some steps and putting in some new ones, so a great chance to learn a new skill

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Sunday 15 Jun 2008 – Livestock at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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The wardens at this National Nature Reserve use sheep to graze the scrub to preserve the rare chalk grassland SSSI. Today we'll be helping with husbandry of their flock - clipping hooves and dagging!

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Michael Green
Tuesday 17 Jun 2008 – A jolly punt down the river. at Cherwell Boat House
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OCV'S annual punting trip is happening this month. So lets make a picnic and do it Oxford style. Starting at 7.30pm at the Cherwell boathouse. If you are interested in this social then you can email me @ socials on the contacts page. Tally ho old chaps!

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 22 Jun 2008 – Habitat at Cutteslowe Park, Oxford
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A few years ago the local community and Cutteslowe primary school planted 900 young trees (oak, ash, rowan, holly, etc) in one corner of the area. When established this will become one of a 'necklace' of woodlands which Forest-of-Oxford intends to plant all around Oxford's ring road. Unfortunately the young trees are now starting to be overgrown by brambles. The task is to cut back, and then uproot the brambles, before they totally invade the planted area. Local community volunteers will also join OCV for the day.

  • Leader: Tim Evans
  • Driver: Kate Bone
Sunday 29 Jun 2008 – Fencing at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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We continue the major post & wire fencing project started on our recent training weekend. Livestock grazing is an essential part of the management plan of this chalk grassland reserve - and our fence is an essential part of managing the livestock! We'll be digging in posts, making struts, and straining wire netting - to create a durable, stock-proof barrier. This is a great opportunity to learn or improve a valuable, practical countryside skill

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Tuesday 1 Jul 2008 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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The meeting will be taking place in the Jury Room of the Town Hall at 8pm. Everyone is welcome to join us, whether you want to add something to the discussion or just see how things are run. You can also meet us in the pub afterwards for a drink. We should be in The Head of the River at about 9pm.

  • Contact: Andy
Thursday 3 Jul 2008 – Trail Maintenance Weekend Residential at Exmoor National Park, Devon
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  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Liz Bath
Friday 4 Jul 2008 – Trail Maintenance Weekend Residential at Exmoor National Park, Devon
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  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Saturday 5 Jul 2008 – Trail Maintenance Weekend Residential at Exmoor National Park, Devon
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  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Liz Bath
Sunday 6 Jul 2008 – Trail Maintenance Weekend Residential at Exmoor National Park, Devon
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  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 13 Jul 2008 – Habitat at Seacourt Nature Park, Oxford
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We'll be working for Oxford City Council to pull ragwort from the beautiful meadow at this site, and to prevent scrub from the surrounding wooded areas from encroaching on this habitat. We are likely to see a diversity of wild flora and butterflies.

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 20 Jul 2008 – Fencing at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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We continue the major post & wire fencing project started on our recent training weekend. Livestock grazing is an essential part of the management plan of this chalk grassland reserve - and our fence is an essential part of managing the livestock! We'll be digging in posts, making struts, and straining wire netting - to create a durable, stock-proof barrier. This is a great opportunity to learn or improve a valuable, practical countryside skill

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Tuesday 22 Jul 2008 – Outdoor theatre at Trinity College

*Date has changed!*Come and see Shakespeare's comedy 'As you like it' in Trinity college gardens. Performed by the Oxford Theatre Guild. Starts at 7.30pm. We may even fit in a pub visit after the play. I hope you can make it!

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 27 Jul 2008 – Fencing at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We will be helping the Natural England wardens maintain post & wire fencing that contains their herd of sheep. Grazing is an essential part of the management plan to preserve the important chalk grassland SSSI at this popular National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns AONB

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 3 Aug 2008 – Habitat at Iffley Island, Oxford
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Working for Oxford Preservation Trust to conserve this spit of land next to the Thames which is a SSSI habitat for the fascinating Snakes-Head Fritillary. We will be cutting back the grasses and sedges, and removing the cuttings so the soil is not enriched.We will also be replacing a delapidated fence which should deter dog-walkers!

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Kate Bone
Sunday 10 Aug 2008 – Fencing at Wells Farm, Little Milton, Oxfordshire
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Wells Farm is a BBOWT working farm in the Chilterns AONB, managed by BBOWT to grow wildlife value as well as profitable crops! A flock of sheep grazes the meadows to help enhance wildflower and insect diversity, so the post & wire fence we will build over 2 sunny tasks in August will help in this plan. Bring suncream and hat cos it's gonna be a hot one!

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Nick Wordsworth
Sunday 17 Aug 2008 – Livestock at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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The wardens at this National Nature Reserve use sheep to graze the scrub to preserve the rare chalk grassland SSSI. Today we'll be helping with husbandry of their flock - clipping hooves and dagging!

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Tuesday 19 Aug 2008 – Curry at Aziz Restaurant

Curry at the Aziz restaurant on Cowley road. The food in my opinion is always nice here. Lots of choice too. We will be meeting at the restaurant at 7.45pm. Table will be booked for 8pm.

  • Contact: Naomi
Friday 22 Aug 2008 – Drystone Walling Weekend Residential at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Saturday 23 Aug 2008 – Drystone Walling Weekend Residential at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Sunday 24 Aug 2008 – Drystone Walling Weekend Residential at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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  • Leader: Jo Gay
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Monday 25 Aug 2008 – Drystone Walling Weekend Residential at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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  • Leader: Jo Gay
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Sunday 31 Aug 2008 – Fencing at Wells Farm, Little Milton, Oxfordshire
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Wells Farm is a BBOWT working farm in the Chilterns AONB, managed by BBOWT to grow wildlife value as well as profitable crops! A flock of sheep grazes the meadows to help enhance wildflower and insect diversity, so the post & wire fence we will build over 2 sunny tasks in August will help in this plan. Bring suncream and hat cos it's gonna be a hot one!

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Nick Wordsworth
Tuesday 2 Sep 2008 – Monthly Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, afterwards we'll be in The Chequers pub off the High Street from about 9pm.

  • Contact: Miranda
Sunday 7 Sep 2008 – Footpath at Stansfeld Park, Oxford
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After a successful visit last December OCV return to the delightful grounds of Stansfeld Outdoor Education Centre in Headington Quarry. The paths are much used by schoolchildren on educational visits and some areas have become extremely muddy. The main task will be creating new footpaths to divert around some muddy hollows and to fence the muddy areas off to allow a return to wetland habitat. We will also be building some steps on a path and laying bark chippings in muddy puddles on the paths.

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Sunday 14 Sep 2008 – Scrub clearance at Swyncombe Estate, South Oxfordshire
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Removing succession scrub to increase and preserve this chalk grassland SSSI that is absolutely bursting with 'indicator species' like kidney vetch and pyramidal orchids in spring. Stunning views back over the chalk downs and Oxfordshire Plain from this steep bank, and guaranteed red kite patrols above

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Kate Bone
Saturday 20 Sep 2008 – Beer and Lager tasting at Cotswold Brewery

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 21 Sep 2008 – Urban Conservation at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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This disused cemetery dates from 1848 when cholera had filled older Oxford graveyards. Part of a wildlife corridor in central Oxford, at quiet times you can see a fox or muntjac deer. As to notable graves, there is Kenneth Grahame who wrote 'Wind in the Willows', Walter Pater the Victorian art critic and a few more. OCV has worked here once or twice per year for 25 years - this was a pioneer project in urban conservation and well worth your support. The idea is to respect the graves and those who visit them while encouraging wildlife at the same time. We will be clearing overgrowth to enable access around this tranquil spot, with a warming, smoky bonfire..

  • Leader: Jerome Michalczyk
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 28 Sep 2008 – Fencing at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular monthly outing to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns AONB working with Natural England wardens.

  • Leader: Nathalie Marten
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 5 Oct 2008 – Habitat at Iffley Island, Oxford
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We return to this Oxford Preservation Trust site on the banks of the River Isis in Oxford, which is a SSSI habitat for the fascinating Snakes-head Fritillary. We'll finish the vegetation cutting and clearance we started in the summer, and may also pollard willows where possible and remove a dilapidated fence.

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Tuesday 7 Oct 2008 – Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, afterwards we'll be in The Chequers pub off the High Street from about 9pm.

  • Contact: Miranda
Saturday 11 Oct 2008 – Coppicing & Camping Weekend Residential at Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
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We leave Oxford early (about 8.30am TBC) for the short trip to the famous Westonbirt Arboretum in neighbouring Gloucestershire. We will be taking part in a large-scale coppice restoration project, being run by our trainer/ex-OCVer Brian Williamson. So this is a great opportunity for you to learn or improve the techniques, tools, and practical skills involved with this traditional method of woodland management. Primitive camping on site and cooking round the campfire. ****LIMITED PLACES**** Please email tasks@ocv.org.uk for more info

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 12 Oct 2008 – Coppicing and Camping Weekend Residential at Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
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After a cup of tea and sausage sandwich made on the early-morning embers of the campfire, we continue another day coppicing - enjoying the autumn colours at this famous woodland. We will be taking part in a large-scale coppice restoration project, being run by our trainer/ex-OCVer Brian Williamson . This is a great opportunity for you to learn or improve the techniques, tools, and practical skills involved with this traditional method of woodland management. We pack up camp for the short trip back to Oxford to drop you off around 6pm****LIMITED PLACES**** Please email tasks@ocv.org.uk for more info

  • Leader: Jim Richardson
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Thursday 16 Oct 2008 – Oxford Beer Festival at Oxford Town Hall
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Who's up for more beer then?! A three day event at the town hall where you can sample some of the weird and wonderful beers, perrys and ciders that this country (and a few others) have to offer. Beer tastings are purchased by a token system. Meeting at 8pm at the town hall entrance. Please email socials@ocv on the contacts page if you are interested.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 19 Oct 2008 – Fencing at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular monthly outing to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns AONB working with Natural England wardens.

  • Leader: Craig Waugh
  • Driver: Kate Bone
Sunday 26 Oct 2008 – Reserve Maintenance at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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We return to the secluded water meadow Local Nature Reserve which depends on OCV for it's ongoing management! This time we'll be preparing for the ravages of winter repairing a small footbridge, stone-pitching gateways, and burning some of the fallen or pollarded willow that block the rivers and cause flooding after heavy rain

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Sunday 2 Nov 2008 – Scrub Clearance at Watlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Tuesday 4 Nov 2008 – Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, afterwards we'll be in The Chequers pub off the High Street from about 9pm.

  • Contact: Miranda
Saturday 8 Nov 2008 – Brash, Burning and Bonfires at Stansfeld Park, Oxford
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This is a one-off task/social especially for MEMBERS, LEADERS and DRIVERS only to say THANK YOU for all your hard work in OCV this year. There will be NO PICK-UPS for this task - we will be meeting at Stansfeld Outdoor Education Centre in Headington at 1pm. The Centre can be easily reached by bus from both the town centre and Cowley Road, so if you can make it to one of the usual pick-up points, you can make it to Stansfeld! For full details of how to get there, see the website: http://www.stansfeld.bham.org.uk/contacts_&_map.htm. Work will start at 1pm and we will be spending the afternoon collecting, cutting up and burning the many branches left around the site after some heavy pruning. As it gets dark, the task will turn into a social and we will light the bonfire and spend the evening eating and drinking. There may also be sparklers. If you want to come on this task/social, please contact Miranda using the Chair email address (see contacts page). You will need to be a current member, or to have led or driven for a task this year. You will also be asked to make a small contribution towards food.

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Chris Skepper
Sunday 9 Nov 2008 – Scrub Clearance at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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We return to work at this County Wildlife Site in the Cherwell Valley, where you will have a chance to admire the 300 metres of post and wire fencing erected on our training tasks throughout the summer. where we'll be tackling the hawthorn scrub that encroaches on the rare limestone grassland habitat

  • Leader: Craig Waugh
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 16 Nov 2008 – Urban Conservation at SS Mary and John Churchyard, Oxford

This Cowley Road churchyard has been transformed over the last 8 years into an urban green space managed for wildlife. Efforts are being made to increase the variety of plants and habitats by managing different areas with different cutting regimes. Lighter work than usual - we will be helping the wardens by removing invasive species (brambles, docks etc), hedge pruning and plugging, and weeding and replenishing the woodchip paths.

  • Leader: Nathalie Marten
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 23 Nov 2008 – Woodland Management at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular monthly outing to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns AONB working with Natural England wardens. We will be opening up a selected area of woodland by removing ash, to maintain diversity and improve conditions for dormice.

  • Leader: Tim Evans
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Saturday 29 Nov 2008 – Coppicing Training Weekend at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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***MEMBERS ONLY TRAINING DAY - FULL*** We return to this ancient BBOWT-managed woodland in the Cotswolds AONB, famed for it's spring bluebells, birds, bats, fungi, trees ....and OCVs! Our trainer Brian Williamson travels from Westonbirt to instruct on centuries-old coppicing techniques.

  • Leader: Gary Hillier
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Sunday 30 Nov 2008 – Coppicing Training Weekend at Foxholes, West Oxfordshire
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***FREE TRAINING TASK*** We return to this ancient BBOWT-managed woodland in the Cotswolds AONB, famed for it's spring bluebells, birds, bats, fungi, trees ....and OCVs! Our trainer Brian Williamson travels from Westonbirt to instruct on the centuries-old practice of coppicing - so this is an excellent opportunity to learn or improve the skillls, tools and techniques of traditional, sustainable woodland management .

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 2 Dec 2008 – Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, afterwards we'll be in The Chequers pub off the High Street from about 9pm.

  • Contact: Tim
Sunday 7 Dec 2008 – Hedgelaying and Scrub Clearance at Stansfeld Park, Oxford
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A chance to return to the beautiful grounds of Stansfeld Outdoor Education Centre in Headington Quarry. Last December OCV had a successful day clearing scrub that was encroaching on the species rich limestone grassland. This task will continue this valuable work by the laying of hedges adjacent to the meadow to create valuable hedgerow habitat whilst reducing shading of the meadow plants and encouraging diversity. If time allows then some further areas of scrub could be cleared to enlarge the meadows, and create new log piles, with a bonfire to burn the brash.

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 14 Dec 2008 – Scrub Clearance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular monthly outing to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns AONB working with Natural England wardens.

  • Leader: Nathalie Marten
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Friday 19 Dec 2008 – OCV Christmas Party at

Well it's getting close. That time of over-eating and dire T.V. Yes, its nearly Christmas. The OCV gathering will be taking place at Wolfson college which is in North Oxford. More details nearer to the time.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 21 Dec 2008 – Woodland Management at Finemere Wood, Buckinghamshire
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For the final task of 2008, we travel out to this area of ancient woodland - once part of the Royal Forest of Bernwood, managed by BBOWT to preserve a variety of woodland habitats. By felling selected trees we preserve the wide rides and corridors favoured by many butterflies and birds. As we are warmed by a crackling fire, we can think back over tasks past, and look forward to tasks future!

  • Leader: Tim Howard
  • Driver: Nick Wordsworth
Sunday 28 Dec 2008 – No task this Sunday at Home

Take it easy and sleep off the excesses of the Christmas holiday. Or maybe head out into the Oxfordshire countryside, take a look at some of our grassland, fences, footpaths and hedges and think about what you can do to help us help wildlife and the local environment in 2009?

Sunday 4 Jan 2009 – Scrub Clearance at Grim's Ditch, Blewbury, South Oxfordshire
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Grim's Ditch is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, to be found near the Ridgeway in the rolling, chalk downs of Blewbury. Not all of the earthwork survives above ground, but the ditch is thought to have been a boundary between the various tribes that inhabited the Oxfordshire Plain and Chilterns back in the Iron Age. Today we will be helping English Heritage and Natural England preserve this interesting site by retaining it as permanent grassland.

  • Leader: Caroline Ruse
  • Driver: Graham Gillions
Tuesday 6 Jan 2009 – Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, afterwards we'll be in The Chequers pub off the High Street from about 9pm.

  • Contact: Tim
Sunday 11 Jan 2009 – Mini-task and Pub Dinner at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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We've been working at Jubliee Meadows for many years, maintaining the water meadows by repairing bridges and unblocking streams, helping to pollard the willows, and looking after the grassland by constructing fences, gates and stiles to allow cattle to graze. Today the villagers are generously thanking us with a pub dinner open to everyone who's worked on the site in the past. We'll work in the morning, doing reserve maintenance and then go for dinner. If you'd like to come please e-mail Miranda via the contacts page. ** By arrangement only this week , please e-mail before coming to the pickup point **

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Michael Green
Sunday 18 Jan 2009 – Scrub Clearance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our monthly outing to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. We'll be working with Natural England's wardens to help maintain the grassland by clearing some of the invasive scrub. If it's a clear Winter's day the views from this site can be fantastic, the red kites are always present overhead and there will probably be a fine bonfire.

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Tim Howard
Friday 23 Jan 2009 – Jericho pub tour ; 7.30pm at Bookbinders pub, Jericho
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We'll start the evening by getting something to eat at the Bookbinders. Good food at reasonable prices so you won't waste any money. We shall then commence the pub "tour" of Jericho. Visiting ale houses galore. You don't have to go on the tour after the food if you don't want to. Also feel free to join the tour for a drink at any point.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 25 Jan 2009 – Urban Conservation at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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The Trap Grounds is an ancient 6-acre site by the canal in North Oxford, consisting of pond, reed beds and scrubby woodland. Recently restored, the area is home to an astonishing array of wildlife. The city council have recently done some woodland maintenance in the area and an area has been cleared of brambles last year by local volunteers. We'll be working with the Friends of the Trap Grounds to clear some more bramble, build habitat piles from the felled trees and drag large items of fly-tipped rubbish to the road for removal.

  • Leader: Nathalie Marten
  • Driver: Michael Green
Sunday 1 Feb 2009 – Scrub clearance at Pilch Fields, North Buckinghamshire
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We're returning to these fields overlooking Buckingham. This BBOWT site has a long hedge which the OCV managed through hedgelaying for many years. The site is mainly known for the wild flowers which grow on the main field, and today we'll be maintaining the fields for wildflowers with some scrub clearance.

  • Leader: Nathalie Marten
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Tuesday 3 Feb 2009 – Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, afterwards we'll be in The Chequers pub off the High Street from about 9pm.

  • Contact: Nathalie
Sunday 8 Feb 2009 – Urban Conservation at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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This cemetery in the centre of Oxford was a pioneering site for urban nature conservation when it was first established. Parts of the cemetery are left to scrub over and then periodically cleared, leaving plenty of habitat for wildlife but allowing access to the public. Today we'll be peeling ivy from the gravestones and clearing bramble and small trees. If you come early in the day you might see deer here. Later in the day you'll see the smoke from our bonfire drifting across the churchyard.

  • Leader: Caroline Ruse
  • Driver: Tim Howard
Sunday 15 Feb 2009 – Sheep at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns has several flocks of sheep to graze the hillside to maintain the chalk grassland habitat. Today we'll be working with the wardens from Natural England to trim the sheep's feet, so they are maintained in good health for their valuable work. It's great fun, but expect to end up a bit smelly!

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 22 Feb 2009 – Hedgerow Maintenance at Seacourt Nature Park, Oxford
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We normally work at Seacourt Nature Park in the summer, tackling the ragwort and some small scrub. Today though, we'll be maintaining a recently-laid hedge by laying some of the regrowth to thicken it up and fill in the gaps. The resulting hedge will hopefully make a much better habitat than if it had just been trimmed. We'll also be filling-in some of the gaps with some new planting.

  • Leader: Tim Evans
  • Driver: Graham Gillions
Tuesday 24 Feb 2009 – Ice Skating! at Oxford Ice Rink
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Its time to make a fool of yourself on the ice. Hoorah! Maybe there's an OCVer out there who can teach me how to stop on the ice. This months social is being held at the Oxford ice rink which is in Oxpens (near the Westgate center). A pub trip will follow at the end of the skating session. Email has been sent out. Join our mailing list to find out more.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 1 Mar 2009 – Scrub Clearance at Ardley Quarry, Fritwell, Oxfordshire
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Medieval earthworks combine with limestone grassland, woodland and a pool to make this former quarry and railway cutting a very interesting site. We'll be helping wardens from BBOWT maintain this SSSI site through scrub clearance.

  • Leader: Nathalie Marten
  • Driver: Michael Green
Tuesday 3 Mar 2009 – Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in St Aldates Tavern opposite the Town Hall from about 9pm.

  • Contact: Nathalie
Sunday 8 Mar 2009 – Scrub clearance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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On one of the grassy slopes of this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns we'll be admiring the view and maintaining the grassland through scrub clearance. We'll be working alongside wardens from Natural England and a flock of their sheep as dozens of red kites circle overhead.

  • Leader: Caroline Ruse
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 15 Mar 2009 – Wetland Restoration at Louie Memorial Fields, North Hinksey, Oxford
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After an ecologist's report and advice from OCV's pond expert, a programme of work has been planned to improve the management of this woodland and wetland site in West Oxford. Working for the local parish council we'll be helping to restore a wetland by removing some of the willows, which block out the light and air. We'll also clear some garden plants in the same area and remove dead branches blocking a stream. The recovered wood will be used to build habitat piles in the copse with some of the brash being burnt on a bonfire.

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 22 Mar 2009 – Urban Conservation at Simon's Land, Sandford on Thames, Oxford
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This small, former mooring site for narrow boats has been neglected in recent years, muddy and piled up with rubble and fly-tipped rubbish. We'll be clearing some of the garden plants and trees and dragging the bulky rubbish to the road and looking to improve the drainage into the river. The eventual aim is to create a wildlife garden, allowing public access to the river whilst leaving interesting habitat on this urban-fringe land.

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Thursday 26 Mar 2009 – Indian at Bombay Restaurant

Its Indian time. A cheap and cheerful Indian restaurant in Jericho. Cheap because you can bring your own alcohol. Hope you can make it. Email will be sent out soon.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 29 Mar 2009 – Scrub Clearance at Watlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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Working with the National Trust warden and the local volunteers we'll be helping to clear invasive scrub on this beautiful grassland site in the Chilterns AONB. On clear days the views are impressive and the site is a varied and interesting place for a walk if you fancy a break from the work. After March nesting birds mean scrub bashing is very restricted until Autumn, so come and enjoy the one of the last chances for controlled destruction this winter. A roaring bonfire is guaranteed.

  • Leader: Emmanuelle Denis
  • Driver: Jim Richardson
Saturday 4 Apr 2009 – First Aid Training at British Red Cross, Abingdon

This is a general 1-day First Aid course run by the British Red Cross to gain a certificate which is valid for 3 years. It covers major injuries and medical conditions, responding to the needs of the unconscious casualty and performing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. We particularly encourage all leaders and drivers to have up-to-date First Aid training, and as many as possible other volunteers. OCV will pay the course fee, but places are limited, so leaders and drivers will have first priority, followed by paid-up members and then everyone else. For more information, or to reserve your place, please e-mail tasks@ocv.org.uk.

  • Leader: Nathalie Marten
  • Driver: Graham Gillions
Sunday 5 Apr 2009 – Habitat creation at Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire
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You might think conservation volunteers would be out of place in neatly maintained gardens, and you might be right. But rest-assured that we're not mowing the grass or polishing the statues today! The National Trust are building a new visitor centre on a messy and disused farm site and surrounding it with new hedges, fences, ponds and scrub as part of a huge programme of habitat creation. Working with one of the NT wardens, today we'll be spreading mulch round a recently-planted hedge, building habitat piles from the scattered dead wood, and admiring the hedgelaying that's been completed recently. A chance to see a Corinthian Arch and be part of the early stages of an interesting new project.

  • Leader: Lydia Clarke
  • Driver: Tim Howard
Tuesday 7 Apr 2009 – Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in St Aldates Tavern opposite the Town Hall from about 9pm.

  • Contact: Nathalie
Friday 10 Apr 2009 – Brecon Beacons Residential 2009 at Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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We're traveling up from Oxford to the excellent National Trust base camp in the Brecon Beacons National Park for our residential. It's comfortable and well-equipped for a stay in the hills. We'll be leaving in the early evening and having a meal at the base camp when we arrive. If you're interested in coming please e-mail tasks@ocv.org.uk **NOW FULLY BOOKED**

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Michael Green
Saturday 11 Apr 2009 – Brecon Beacons Residential 2009 at Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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Today we will be working for the National Trust contributing to essential trail maintenance and upland erosion control on the glaciated slopes of mountains such as Pen Y Fan. Damage is done to this majestic peak from water running down, and hikers walking up and down the Beacons Way National Trail; so we will be abating these forces of erosion by building revetment walls, stone pitching drains, and seeding and landscaping the thin soil. If you're interested in coming please e-mail tasks@ocv.org.uk. **NOW FULLY BOOKED**

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 12 Apr 2009 – Brecon Beacons Residential 2009 at Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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Another day working for the National Trust contributing to essential trail maintenance and upland erosion control on the glaciated slopes of mountains such as Pen Y Fan or other areas of the National Trust's property in the Brecon Beacons Natural Park. If you're interested in coming please e-mail tasks@ocv.org.uk. **NOW FULLY BOOKED**

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Michael Green
Monday 13 Apr 2009 – Brecon Beacons Residential 2009 at Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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No work today, we'll either go for a hike in the mountains or the valleys with their waterfalls, or visit the caves nearby, or anything else you fancy. We'll head back to Oxford in the early evening. If you're interested in coming please e-mail tasks@ocv.org.uk. **NOW FULLY BOOKED**

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 19 Apr 2009 – Fencing at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular visit to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns and the first fencing project of 2009. Under the expert supervision of one of Natural England's wardens we'll be helping to provide the fences needed to control the sheep and goats that are used to keep the valuable chalk grassland from scrubbing over. A chance to admire views of Oxfordshire from the grassy hillsides.

  • Leader: Nathalie Marten
  • Driver: Graham Gillions
Sunday 26 Apr 2009 – Path drainage and boardwalk construction at Matthew Arnold Field, Oxford
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This site is owned by the Oxford Preservation Trust and the woodland has been managed for wildlife for many years with help from BBOWT. Today we'll be working for OPT, unblocking drainage to stop the paths becoming waterlogged, building a section of boardwalk and repairing the bank of a pond. An interesting construction project in a nice area of woodland.

  • Leader: Tim Evans
  • Driver: Tim Howard
Friday 1 May 2009 – OCV BBQ and van clean at Radley near Abingdon.

A BBQ and games galore! A celebration of Van Officer Jim's birthday and the start of summer. Also a clean up of the minibus exterior. For those who don't mind getting possibly a bit wet. I need a driver to take us to the stables in Radley where the BBQ is being held and possibly back if they are willing to stay sober. Email has been sent to all of you on the mailing list. My contact email address is on the contacts page if you are interested in this OCV social.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 3 May 2009 – Path revetment at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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Last year we laid revetment boards along a stretch of the Deddington Castle footpath. The aim was to create a path that didn't become horribly muddy when the ground was wet. After the success of this first section, we've been asked back to work on the next troublesome section. Digging, sawing and post-bashing will be required to complete this project.

  • Leader: Caroline Ruse
  • Driver: Paul Clarke
Tuesday 5 May 2009 – Annual General Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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This year's AGM will be taking place at 8pm in the Panel Room in the Oxford Town Hall. We'll be reviewing OCV's activities in the last year and giving members the opportunity to vote on how the organisation is run. We will also elect the new committee for 2009/10. Please send all nominations for committee positions to secretary@ocv.org.uk by Tuesday 28 April 2009. Everyone is welcome to attend. Don't worry if you're not a member, you can join on the night and wield your voting powers straight away. Alternatively, we will go to St Aldate's Tavern for a pint or two after the AGM, so please feel free to come along and join us.

  • Contact: Nathalie
Sunday 10 May 2009 – Fencing at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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A return to this local nature reserve and county wildlife site at the edge of the railway line and canal. Over four days last summer and after guidance and training we created a very impressive length of post and wire fence complete with lift-out gate, a box strut and with one of the straining posts sunk into near-solid rock! Now we're going back to start the next section while the livestock are out of the way over the summer.

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Sunday 17 May 2009 – Sheep at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our monthly visit to this Natural England site in the Chilterns. We'll be helping the wardens care for their flock of sheep by trimming their feet to prevent them going lame. Think of it like having your toenails trimmed. The sheep do a vital job maintaining the grassland by munching their way through any scrub that tries to establish itself. Expect to get a bit of muddy and smelly as you wrestle the sheep into submission.

  • Leader: Aga Rzad
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 24 May 2009 – Reserve maintenance at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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A return to the beautiful water meadows and the banks of the Dorn and the Glyme. A number of willows were pollarded over the winter and we'll be burning the bulk of the brash while leaving habitat piles where appropriate. We'll also be helping out with whatever other general tasks are needed to keep this interesting and well-visited nature reserve in good condition.

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Tuesday 26 May 2009 – Pub at The Head Of The River

This months social is a simple one. An evening of enjoying each others company at the Head Of The River (hopefully the weather will have cleared up a bit by then). No need to tell me your coming along, just turn up from about 8pm and stay for as long as you see fit. Everyone is welcome.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 31 May 2009 – Fencing at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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We return to the Crecy Hill County Wildlife Site in Tackley to complete the fence we started earlier this month. The reserve is a narrow strip along a railway line, but very rich in wildflowers. We're using the post and wire fence skills that OCV members learnt last summer, but there'll be plenty of opportunities for new fencers to help out and learn something themselves.

  • Leader: Nathalie Marten
  • Driver: Graham Gillions
Tuesday 2 Jun 2009 – Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we will be drinking a pint or two in the Three Goats Head on St Michael's Street from about 9pm.

  • Contact: Nathalie
Sunday 7 Jun 2009 – Walkway construction at Lye Valley, Oxford
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We often go to the Lye Valley site to rake the fens. But today we'll be doing another job for Oxford City Council who manage the site. We'll be constructing a length of raised walkway assist with public access to the site. It should be an interesting project, with plenty of sawing and bashing and potentially digging required, but hopefully something good to show for it at the end of the day.

  • Leader: Lydia Clarke
  • Driver: Paul Clarke
Sunday 14 Jun 2009 – Tree tube removal and ride widening at Piddington Wood, Buckinghamshire
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Our first visit to this valuable wood. Thousands of new trees have been planted to protect and enlarge the existing ancient woodland. But the trees have become too big for the tubes that originally protected them, and they are now being choked and severely damaged by them. Our job is to remove as many of them as possible and leave them where they can be collected by a contractor. We'll also be widening the path through the wood and preventing it being covered with overhanging vegetation. The piles of cut scrub will provide habitat for some of the rare butterflies on the site. (Note to leaders: As a matter of policy the client asks that the task leader be a qualified first-aider.)

  • Leader: Michelle Reid
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Sunday 21 Jun 2009 – Sheep at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Working with Natural England's warden, we'll be trimming sheep feet again. A chance to help look after the sheep that graze this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. Expect to get a bit muddy and smelly, and don't be surprised if the sheep are a bit bigger at this time of year after munching their way through all that lovely spring scrub!

  • Leader: Nathalie Marten
  • Driver: Tim Howard
Tuesday 23 Jun 2009 – Punting at Cherwell Boat House
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OCV's annual punting trip has come around again. It only seems like five minutes since the last one! A picnic and messing about in boats is the order of the evening. Starting from the Cherwell Boathouse at 7.30pm.

  • Contact: Naomi
Saturday 27 Jun 2009 – Pond Ecology Training Day at Lye Valley, Oxford
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  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Paul Clarke
Sunday 28 Jun 2009 – Pond work at Lye Valley, Oxford
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After our training and advice from a pond ecology expert yesterday we'll be working to improve the habitat at this Oxford City Council site, but today we'll be knuckling down to the hard, but very important, work. Expect some digging and bring wellies if you have them!

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 5 Jul 2009 – Reserve maintenance at Stansfeld Park, Oxford
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We've recently done fencing, hedge-laying and coppicing on this small but varied woodland site in Headington, Oxford. Today we're returning to build some small pontoons to give access to a pond, as well as clearing scrub from the edge of a small meadow. Since this is an education centre for schoolchildren from Birmingham, there is no public access, so if you're curious to have a look round you'll have to come on an OCV task here!

  • Leader: Tim Evans
  • Driver: Tim Howard
Tuesday 7 Jul 2009 – Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.

  • Contact: Nathalie
Sunday 12 Jul 2009 – Reserve maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This week we're at one of our most regular sites in the Chilterns. It's a National Nature Reserve with spectacular views over Oxfordshire from the chalk grassland slopes and we'll be working with one of the Natural England wardens. We're not sure what the work is yet, but it might be fencing or looking after the flock of sheep.

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Paul Clarke
Sunday 19 Jul 2009 – Grassland maintenance and bat box hanging at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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This is a lovely nature reserve in North Oxford with woodland, grassland and ponds. We helped out in Winter with some rubbish clearing and scrub bashing. Now we're going back to help clear some invasive Golden Rod, bramble and hawthorn, clear some paths, and to hang some bat boxes in the trees.

  • Leader: Caroline Ruse
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 26 Jul 2009 – Reserve maintenance at Boarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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This is a new site for us. It's an area of National Trust woodland around a traditional duck decoy. There used to be hundreds of duck decoys in England but this is one of the few remaining. Come along and find out all about it, free admission for us of course! We've got a very varied list of tasks, including path repair, scrub bashing, repainting a hide and repairing some fences and bridges.

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Tuesday 28 Jul 2009 – Rounders and Frisbee etc. at Port Meadow, Oxford
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An evening of gaming and fun on Port meadow. Maybe followed by a trip to the Perch. Meeting at 7pm. At the WALTON WELL ROAD entrance.

  • Contact: Naomi
Saturday 1 Aug 2009 – Pond Training Day at Tackley Heath, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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This is the second day of pond training from pond expert Rod d'Ayala. The first was in Oxford in June, this is a different sort of site, but equally interesting. We'll be finding out about pondlife, and learning pond conservation and management techniques. Expect to do a bit of fishing around, to learn a lot and, above all, remember bring your wellies! **Booking will be required for this day.**

  • Leader: Michelle Reid
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 2 Aug 2009 – Pond Conservation at Tackley Heath, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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Armed with what we learnt from yesterday's training day, we'll be carrying out recommendations for maintaining and conserving the area around this interesting pond. Expect some hard work, possibly including a bit of digging. Wellies may well be useful!

  • Leader: Tim Evans
  • Driver: Tim Howard
Tuesday 4 Aug 2009 – Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.

  • Contact: Nathalie
Sunday 9 Aug 2009 – Fen raking at Lye Valley, Oxford
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Working with Oxford City Council's wardens we will be raking the fen, soon after it's been mowed. This is a traditional management practice and helps to maintain the botanical richness of the fen and maintain the habitat for birds. It should be nice summer work, especially if the weather is good.

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Matt Cardy
Sunday 16 Aug 2009 – Reserve maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This week we're at one of our most regular sites in the Chilterns. It's a National Nature Reserve with spectacular views over Oxfordshire from the chalk grassland slopes and we'll be working with one of the Natural England wardens. We're not sure what the work is yet, but it might be fencing or looking after the flock of sheep.

  • Leader: Lydia Clarke
  • Driver: Paul Clarke
Saturday 22 Aug 2009 – Ragwort Pulling at Seacourt Nature Park, Oxford
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The first of a meadow maintenance double-bill this weekend. Today we'll be pulling ragwort from this site in West Oxford. This means the City Council can fulfill its obligations to its neighbours without damaging mowing. We'll also remove some self-seeded saplings to stop the valuable grassland being invaded by scrub. It's also a chance to look at how the recently-laid hedge on this site is doing in Summer.

  • Leader: Caroline Ruse
  • Driver: Paul Clarke
Sunday 23 Aug 2009 – Sedge grass cutting at Iffley Island, Oxford
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Another area of meadow today. With our slashers and sickles sharpened we'll be heading down to the Thames near Iffley to attack the sedgy grass on this Oxford Preservation Trust site. The "island" is between the river and some narrow boat moorings and owes its status as a SSSI to the presence of rare wildflowers. We cut the grass twice last year to try to bring it back into the cycle of annual grass cutting that a site like this needs.

  • Leader: Michelle Reid
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Tuesday 25 Aug 2009 – Sushi at Yo Sushi, Oxford

This months social is sushi at Yo Sushi in Oxford. I thought I'd go for something a little different this time. So its all Japanese. We will be meeting at the restaurant at 7.30pm. You don't have to eat raw fish if you don't want to! email socials@ocv.org.uk for more info

  • Contact: Naomi
Friday 28 Aug 2009 – Swanage Residential at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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We return to Swanage in Dorset and the lovely Durlston Country Park high up on the cliffs. We'll be drystone walling as in previous years and possibly doing some meadow maintenance as well this time. We go out on the Friday evening and come back on Bank Holiday Monday evening, giving us two days working and one for a walk or games on the beach. **Booking required, more details sent to OCV members nearer the time.**

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Saturday 29 Aug 2009 – Swanage Residential at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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We return to Swanage in Dorset and the lovely Durlston Country Park high up on the cliffs. We'll be drystone walling as in previous years and possibly doing some meadow maintenance as well this time. We go out on the Friday evening and come back on Bank Holiday Monday evening, giving us two days working and one for a walk or games on the beach. **Booking required, more details sent to OCV members nearer the time.**

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Paul Clarke
Sunday 30 Aug 2009 – Swanage Residential at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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We return to Swanage in Dorset and the lovely Durlston Country Park high up on the cliffs. We'll be drystone walling as in previous years and possibly doing some meadow maintenance as well this time. We go out on the Friday evening and come back on Bank Holiday Monday evening, giving us two days working and one for a walk or games on the beach. **Booking required, more details sent to OCV members nearer the time.**

  • Leader: Miranda Rix
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Monday 31 Aug 2009 – Swanage Residential at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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We return to Swanage in Dorset and the lovely Durlston Country Park high up on the cliffs. We'll be drystone walling as in previous years and possibly doing some meadow maintenance as well this time. We go out on the Friday evening and come back on Bank Holiday Monday evening, giving us two days working and one for a walk or games on the beach. **Booking required, more details sent to OCV members nearer the time.**

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Paul Clarke
Sunday 6 Sep 2009 – Fencing at Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire
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Last time we went to Stowe we had an insider's tour of the landscape gardens conducted by those responsible for maintaining them. This time working for the National Trust near the site of their new visitor centre at Stowe we'll be helping with some fencing. The work will be part of a programme of habitat creation around this part of the site. A chance to take part in the early stages of a very worthwhile project.

  • Leader: Jim Richardson
  • Driver: Tim Howard
Tuesday 8 Sep 2009 – Committee Meeting - Clerks Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.

  • Contact: Nathalie
Sunday 13 Sep 2009 – Bramble-bashing and hedge-planting at Moor Lane, West Hagbourne
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This week we're tidying up this overgrown lane in the village of West Hagbourne, near Didcot. The aim is to improve the wildlife value of the area by clearing some of the overgrown scrub, whilst leaving the valuable ditches and plenty of dead wood for invertebrates. We'll also be planting some new hedge plants to fill in the gaps. So it should be a varied day's work with something for everyone.

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Sunday 20 Sep 2009 – Reserve maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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This week we're at one of our most regular sites in the Chilterns. It's a National Nature Reserve with spectacular views over Oxfordshire from the chalk grassland slopes and we'll be working with one of the Natural England wardens. We're not sure what the work is yet, but it might be fencing or looking after the flock of sheep.

  • Leader: Nathalie Marten
  • Driver: Tim Howard
Sunday 27 Sep 2009 – Reserve maintenance at Louie Memorial Fields, North Hinksey, Oxford
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Earlier this year we did a fair amount of scrub clearing on this woodland and fen site overlooking west Oxford. Now we're returning to remove some more of the encroaching willows to further protect the fenland. We've also got a stream to unblock and some gate and fence alterations, so there should be plenty of valuable work for everyone to do. There will be probably be a good bonfire too.

  • Leader: Craig Waugh
  • Driver: Kate Bone
Saturday 3 Oct 2009 -
Sunday 4 Oct 2009 – Hedgelaying and Scrub-bashing Camping Residential at Chalkhills, Whitchurch on Thames, South Oxfordshire
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Working on this privately-owned nature reserve in South Oxfordshire we'll be helping to restore chalk grassland through scrub-clearance, laying a length of hedge, felling some trees and learning to build a scrub fence. Chalkhills reserve is on a hillside with splendid views and is home to wildlife including badger sets, valuable grassland wild flowers and the rare Chalkhill Blue butterfly. Since it's a little further away than normal we'll be doing two days with camping overnight. Come along with your sleeping bag and when Saturday's work is done and it starts to get dark we'll pitch up tents and gather round the campfire. ** This resi is now full, no more bookings please! **

  • Leader: Tim Evans
  • Driver: Inigo Surguy
Tuesday 6 Oct 2009 – Committee Meeting - Judges Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV's committee meets once a month to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in the Royal Blenheim (a pub on one side of the Westgate Centre) from about 9pm.

  • Contact: Nathalie
Sunday 11 Oct 2009 – Reserve maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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Our regular monthly visit to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. It's a fantastic site with chalk grassland, woodland and great views over Oxfordshire. There are always huge numbers of red kites circling overhead keeping an eye on us. We'll be working with one of the experienced wardens from Natural England. At this time of year we could be helping to maintain the chalk grassland through scrub clearance, fencing, coppicing or looking after one of the flocks of sheep. As usual, the exact type of work planned will be announced on the mailing list near the time. ** Update: We're sheep foot-trimming this week. **

  • Leader: Elizabeth Morrow
  • Driver: Jo Gay
Friday 16 Oct 2009 – Oxford Beer Festival at Oxford Town Hall
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  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 18 Oct 2009 – Fen-raking and Willow stubbing at Lye Valley, Oxford
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  • Leader: Michelle Reid
  • Driver: Bob Dunn
Sunday 25 Oct 2009 – Hedge laying at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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A day's hedge laying in Deddington. It's a mature hedge and with quite a few gaps, but hopefully we should be to bring it back into line and create a dense barrier that will provide a much better habitat, corridor and food source for wildlife. There's woodland nearby in need of coppicing, so that will hopefully provide some of the stakes and binders used in the hedge laying.

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Inigo Surguy
Sunday 1 Nov 2009 – Scrub bashing and hedge restoration at Folly Hill Wood, Faringdon, West Oxfordshire
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Our first visit to the site of this iconic monument, just West of Oxford. The main job will be clearing scrub from around the monument site, we may do some coppicing there as well. The Scots Pine that dominate the site have been recently thinned out, so it's a good time to help any native species struggle against the bramble and improve the diversity and public access. On the path leading to the Folly we will try to restore a hedge by laying some of the trees and filling in the gaps with new hedge plants.

  • Leader: Chris Skepper
  • Driver: Paul Clarke
Tuesday 3 Nov 2009 – Committee Meeting - St Aldate's Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.

  • Contact: Nathalie
Sunday 8 Nov 2009 – Reserve maintenance - coppicing at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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We're back to Natural England's Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve, our most regular site. We will be helping to maintain the important woodland through coppicing.

  • Leader: Caroline Ruse
  • Driver: Jerome Michalczyk
Saturday 14 Nov 2009 – Scrub clearance at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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We were last at the Trap Grounds at the end of July, helping to create a new path through the woodland, fell some sycamores, hang bat boxes and uproot some golden rod in the corner of the meadow. Local people fought an epic legal battle to save this woodland, wetland and meadow site from development and secure it as a Town Green. The site is now being actively managed for wildlife after a long period of neglect and use as a rubbish dump. It's already looking great, but there's a huge amount still to do. This time we'll be attacking more bramble and scrub to open up areas of woodland and enlarge the meadow, possibly making new paths, building habitat piles and with a warming bonfire to gather round at lunchtime.

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Matt Cardy
Sunday 15 Nov 2009 – Hedge laying at Stansfeld Park, Oxford
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  • Leader: Tim Evans
  • Driver: Paul Clarke
Tuesday 17 Nov 2009 – Russian food. at Arbat, Cowley Road

Something different this time. You might love it, you'll never know until you give it a go! Russian cuisine is on the menu for this months social. Everyone is welcome to come along just let me know first. We will be meeting at 7.30pm at the restaurant.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 22 Nov 2009 – Reed cutting and scrub bashing at Parsonage Moor, Oxfordshire
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Parsonage Moor is a lowland wilderness containing alkaline fen, marsh and swamp habitats. This week we're working there with BBOWT to cut reed and scrub. Reed cutting has been found to make the site wetter and wetland habitat is of particular importance for nature conservation. Come along and join in the organised destruction in a good cause. Probably worth having wellies with you for this one!

  • Leader: Nathalie Marten
  • Driver: Tim Howard
Sunday 29 Nov 2009 – Urban conservation at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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We're in central Oxford this week, at Holywell Cemetery. Last time we were here it was covered in snow. This site is managed both for public access to the cemetery and for wildlife. Rather than cut the grass neatly, different areas are allowed to scrub over and then cleared in rotation so there is always plenty of ground cover for wildlife, but access is maintained. We'll be clearing an area, carefully removing ivy from the gravestones and burning the scrub. So there's likely to be a good bonfire. This is an ideal task for anyone coming along for the first time, because it's easy to get to and you can just come for part of the day if you prefer.

  • Leader: Aga Rzad
  • Driver: Paul Clarke
Tuesday 1 Dec 2009 – OCV committee meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.

  • Contact: Nathalie
Sunday 6 Dec 2009 – Scrub clearance at Hook Norton Cutting, North Oxfordshire
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This disused railway cutting is a SSSI and the site of OCV's first task in October 1977, clearing a line for a rabbit fence. We returned in 2007 to celebrate our 30th anniversary with some more scrub bashing on the steep slopes. It's an SSSI because the construction of the railway revealed the interesting geology and fossils. It also provides fantastic habitat for wildlife. This week we are working with a BBOWT warden to clear scrub a bit more scrub on the site. Expect a good bonfire to keep you warm during tea-breaks, that's if scrambling up and down the banks of the cutting doesn't keep you warm!

  • Leader: Michelle Reid
  • Driver: Inigo Surguy
Sunday 13 Dec 2009 – Reserve maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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A visit to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. We'll be helping Natural England with their scrub bashing, tackling anything too big for sheep to munch through. If there's a chill in the air, then the bonfire will keep you warm, and possibly excite the interest of the Red Kites. It's getting close to Christmas so expect parsnips or spuds roasted in the embers.

  • Leader: Naomi Berger
  • Driver: Bob Dunn
Friday 18 Dec 2009 – Christmas party at It's a surprise

Mark this date in your diary for the annual OCV Christmas bash! Details to be announced closer to the day.

  • Contact: Naomi
Sunday 20 Dec 2009 – Scrub clearance at Watlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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More large scale scrub-bashing on this National Trust site in the Chilterns. There are excellent views across Oxfordshire from hillside, and huge numbers of Red Kites overhead. We'll be working alongside the National Trust warden and the Friends of Watlington Hill. We're promised an excellent pre-Christmas bonfire to roast your parsnips or potatoes.

  • Leader: Michelle Reid
  • Driver: Ray Hitchins
Sunday 27 Dec 2009 – No task this week at Our Region

It's the day after the day after Christmas Day today, so no OCV task this week. Stay at home and doze off in front of the TV. Or, even better, grab a map and head out into the countryside and go and see somewhere that OCV have cleared, coppiced, pollarded, raked, hedgelayed, walled or fenced. Admire the past years' works and look forward to tasks in the future. Think about whether you could be a leader, driver or committee member and help things run smoothly in 2010. Normal tasks will resume the day after the day after New Year's Day.

    Sunday 3 Jan 2010 – Hedge Restoration at Moor Lane, West Hagbourne
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    We start the new year with further hedge restoration work on this ancient byway near the village of West Hagbourne in South Oxfordshire. The aim is to turn the large swathes of scrub at each side of the path back into recognisable hedges. This preserves the diverse range of species that have colonised the area over perhaps 200 years and is an infinitely better solution to the overgrown hedge than drastic actions with machinery. We'll be hacking through the bramble, and removing scrub that is not in the line of the hedge, perhaps laying some lengths and possibly replanting the gaps. We'll have a bonfire as well, which will be especially welcome if the weather is very cold.

    • Leader: Chris Skepper
    • Driver: Jo Gay
    Tuesday 5 Jan 2010 – OCV committee meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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    OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.

    • Contact: Nathalie
    Sunday 10 Jan 2010 – Scrub Clearance - CANCELLED at Calvert Jubilee, Calvert, Buckinghamshire
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    We'll be working with BBOWT's wardens at this beautiful nature reserve in Buckinghamshire. The site was once a clay pit for the brick industry, but is now a fantastic open water and wetland site with an impressive range of bird visitors. We're likely to be helping with scrub clearance. Without seemingly destructive management work, wetland areas would soon become scrubby woodland and the rarer types of habitat and their associated wildlife would quickly be lost. Come along for some valuable work on a beautiful site. **We regret that this task has been CANCELLED due to the dangerous conditions of the roads approaching the site and the slippery conditions of railway cutting we were due to work on.**

    • Leader: Nathalie Marten
    • Driver: Michael Green
    Saturday 16 Jan 2010 – Reserve Maintenance at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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    Today we'll be heading to an old favourite site for some serious scrub burning. The willows have been pollarded, the logs removed for fuel for locals, and we're left with piles of the brashy material to burn. Otherwise the willow cuttings start to grow and the valuable wetland grass habitat will be jeopardised. If there's time we'll also do some preparatory work for a new set of steps we're installing in the spring. If you've never been to this fantastic reserve then it's well worth coming along.

    • Leader: Tim Evans
    • Driver: Ray Hitchins
    Sunday 17 Jan 2010 – Coppicing at Boarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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    Come along and learn the ancient skill of coppicing at this very interesting National Trust site near the Buckinghamshire border. Traditional coppicing is a way of harvesting wood every few years, and then allowing the trees to grow back. Traditionally, every part of the tree was used, for either building materials, fencing or hedging stakes, or fuel. Our work will leave areas of the woodland open for particular types of wildlife, with the cut wood forming habitat piles for invertebrates, hedging stakes and binders for our hedge-laying work or fuel for the warden's house. The excess brushy material will probably make a bonfire to keep us warm during tea-breaks!

    • Leader: Nathalie Marten
    • Driver: Paul Clarke
    Thursday 21 Jan 2010 – Pub visit at The Kings Arms, Broad Street

    A time to think about tasks of the coming year, drink beer and grab a bite to eat. Please email Naomi for information on this event. We are meeting at 7.30pm in the pub.

    • Contact: Naomi
    Sunday 24 Jan 2010 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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    Our regular monthly visit to our favourite National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns in South Oxfordshire. At this time of year we'll most likely be doing either scrub clearance to protect the grassland, coppicing in the woodland area or just possibly looking after one of the flocks of sheep. As usual, further details will be in the weekly email, so if you're not on the mailing list then sign up now! Aston Rowant is a fantastic site with several very distinct areas, so if you haven't been before then this task is a must!

    • Leader: Naomi Berger
    • Driver: Matt Cardy
    Sunday 31 Jan 2010 – Scrub Clearance at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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    Together with locals from the Parish Council we've been keeping the scrub under control on this chalk grassland, railway embankment nature reserve for a number of years. We know it's chalk grassland from the range of wild flowers you see in the spring - many of them chalk grassland indicator species - and also because we dug holes for fence posts here, in some cases into almost solid rock! We can admire that whole length of fence constructed in Summer 2008 and 2009 today as we cut the scrub back on this lovely site.

    • Leader: Aga Rzad
    • Driver: Jo Gay
    Tuesday 2 Feb 2010 – OCV committee meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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    OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.

    • Contact: Nathalie
    Thursday 4 Feb 2010 -
    Sunday 7 Feb 2010 – Brecon Beacons Residential Trip at Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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    Our trip to the Dan-y-Gyrn National Trust base camp in the Brecon Beacons is fast becoming an annual tradition. But this time we're going a bit earlier in the year than previously. This gives us the chance to see this beautiful part of Wales in the Winter. If the weather is too chilly or wet for path work on the hills then we'll be in one of the valleys, perhaps doing some woodland work. We'll leave on Thursday evening, work on Friday and Saturday, then have Sunday to look around the area, and come back Sunday night. Remember, if you want to come, you'll have to take Friday off work, because it's not a bank holiday weekend. It should be well worth it though. The National Trust accommodation is very comfortable, with dormitories, showers, fully-equipped kitchen and a log burning stove. Good food, drink and company guaranteed. This trip was fully booked very quickly last year, so click below if you want to book, or email Chris for more details. (You'll have to become a member if you're not one already.) **THIS IS NOW FULL!**

    • Leader: Nathalie Marten
    • Driver: Paul Clarke
    Sunday 14 Feb 2010 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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    Our monthly visit to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. We'll be working with one of the wardens from Natural England. We could be coppicing, scrub-bashing or looking after one of the flocks of sheep. The weekly email should give more details. But whatever we get up to, there's going to be a good chance to see some fine views of Oxfordshire.

    • Leader: Michelle Reid
    • Driver: Jo Gay
    Sunday 21 Feb 2010 – Scrub Clearance at Rushy Meadows, Kidlington
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    An interesting new site for us this week. It's an important area of meadow/wetland near Kidlington, just North of Oxford and we'll be working for the landowners, helping to put into practice conservation advice they've recently received from Natural England. The aim today will be to coppice a large clump of willows that are beginning to encroach on the wetland. So we'll be protecting this habitat from gradually turning into scrubby woodland. We might leave some of the material as habitat piles at the edges, but a good bonfire is definitely to be expected.

    • Leader: Chris Skepper
    • Driver: Tim Howard
    Tuesday 23 Feb 2010 – Ice skating at Oxford Ice Rink
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    I know how much some of you enjoyed ice skating last time so I thought we could do it again! Session starts at 8pm. A pub visit after the skating might be necessary so that we can quench our thirst.

    • Contact: Naomi
    Sunday 28 Feb 2010 – Scrub Clearance at Little Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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    An old favourite for us this week, we worked here a lot in previous years and you'll be able to see some expertly laid hedges around the site. Today though we'll be up one of the hills itself, helping to clear some scrub and restore the area to it's traditional state. If you've never noticed the clumps before then you probably haven't been around this area long! They are very distinctive landmarks, of archaeological importance as well as value for wildlife, and are expertly managed by the Northmoor Trust. Come along today to find out more about the area and join in the scrub clearing.

    • Leader: Nathalie Marten
    • Driver: Inigo Surguy
    Tuesday 2 Mar 2010 – OCV committee meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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    OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.

    • Contact: Nathalie
    Sunday 7 Mar 2010 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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    We're back to Aston Rowant this week, one of our most regular work sites and a National Nature Reserve. We'll be helping the wardens from Natural England with either controlling scrub encroaching on chalk grassland, coppicing one of the several areas of woodland, or possibly helping with one of the flocks of sheep. More details will be included in the weekly email, so join the mailing list if you're not on it already.

    • Leader: Lydia Clarke
    • Driver: Paul Clarke
    Sunday 14 Mar 2010 – Scrub Clearance at Chinnor Hill, South Oxfordshire
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    Chinnor Hill is a BBOWT nature reserve in the Chilterns. In the past, we've cleared scrub and build several sets of steps on this site. Today's work is most likely to be scrub clearance, either to maintain the chalk grassland or the numerous footpaths in the area. We'll be working alongside a warden from BBOWT, so we'll have expert direction and a chance to admire the views over Oxfordshire.

    • Leader: Michelle Reid
    • Driver: Jo Gay
    Friday 19 Mar 2010 – Spanish Food at Al-Andalus

    It's spanish this time. This months social is at the Al Andalus restaurant on Little Clarendon Street, Oxford. More information will be sent to the mailing list later. Be there at 8pm.

    • Contact: Naomi
    Sunday 21 Mar 2010 – Path Creation at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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    Over the last year we've done a number of days' work at this former rubbish dump in North Oxford. It's now protected as a Town Green, and our work with rubbish removal, habitat creation, path clearing, meadow work and bramble bashing has helped to improve it noticeably. On quite a small site, there are ponds, woodland and meadow areas, and it's a popular outdoor space with the local community. Today we'll be continuing this work. Since this site is only a short walk from the centre of Oxford, feel free to come along for any part of the day if you want to see if conservation volunteering is for you!

    • Leader: Elizabeth Morrow
    • Driver: Michael Green
    Sunday 28 Mar 2010 – Hedgelaying at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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    This week we'll be laying another section of hedge, just along from the section we completed in October. Without active management a hedge becomes simply a line of large trees. Instead, a dense hedge forms a corridor, home and food source for a range of wildlife. And hedgelaying is the traditional way of achieving this. This will be the last hedgelaying we do until the Autumn due to the start of the bird nesting season. So come to the last chance to participate in this skilled and valuable work.

    • Leader: Tim Evans
    • Driver: Michael Green
    Sunday 4 Apr 2010 – Step Building at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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    Jubilee Meadows is a nature reserve created and managed by the Wootton Conservation Trust. There are chalk grassland slopes managed by grazing cattle and a wetland area surrounded by willows and bordered by the beautiful Dorn and the Glyme rivers. We were last here in January to help with the willow pollarding and in the past we've done a lot of fencing work on this site. Today we are building a set of steps down a steep slope, using some recycled railway sleepers. Some digging, heaving and bashing will be required, but we should have a very useful set of steps to show for it at the end of the day.

    • Leader: Chris Skepper
    • Driver: Ray Hitchins
    Tuesday 6 Apr 2010 – OCV committee meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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    OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.

    • Contact: Nathalie
    Sunday 11 Apr 2010 – Duck Decoy Maintenance at Boarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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    • Leader: Chris Skepper
    • Driver: Tim Howard
    Sunday 18 Apr 2010 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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    Our regular monthly visit to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We'll be helping the wardens from Natural England with whatever they need to do to maintain the chalk grassland, paths and woodland. At this time of year it's most likely to be fencing work, although looking after the flock of sheep is also a possibility. Further details will be given on the mailing list as usual.

    • Leader: Nathalie Marten
    • Driver: Paul Clarke
    Sunday 25 Apr 2010 – Path Maintenance at Hanborough Parish, Oxfordshire
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    It's nearly 3 years since we last worked at Long Hanborough, on a very hot day. Despite the heat we helped to clear the path, which was becoming overgrown with turf, and we made a massive difference to it. We eventually ended up sipping cold drinks in the cricket pavilion. Now, of course, it needs doing again! A conservation volunteer's work is never done! But if we make good progress with the work we can always have a drink at the nearby pub at the end of the day.

    • Leader: Steve Lilley
    • Driver: Jo Gay
    Sunday 2 May 2010 – Step Building at Ardley Quarry, Fritwell, Oxfordshire
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    Ardley Quarry is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) with plenty of exciting geological features and rare wildlife. It's managed by BBOWT for the benefit of the wildlife and we've worked here several times before, most recently helping with scrub control. Today our work is going to be helping to maintain public access with some step-building projects. More information will be in the weekly email as usual. If you haven't been to this site before it's well worth a visit.

    • Leader: Chris Skepper
    • Driver: Kate Bone
    Tuesday 4 May 2010 – Annual General Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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    This year's AGM will be taking place at 8pm in the Jury Room in the Oxford Town Hall. We'll be reviewing OCV's activities in the last year and giving members the opportunity to vote on how the organisation is run. We will also elect the new committee for 2010/11. Please send all nominations for committee positions to secretary@ocv.org.uk by Tuesday 27 April 2010. Everyone is welcome to attend. Don't worry if you're not a member, you can join on the night and wield your voting powers straight away. Alternatively, we will go to Far from the Madding Crowd for a pint or two after the AGM, so please feel free to come along and join us.

    • Contact: Nathalie
    Sunday 9 May 2010 – Duck Decoy Maintenance at Boarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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    • Leader: Tim Evans
    • Driver: Tim Howard
    Friday 14 May 2010 -
    Monday 17 May 2010 – Residential Trip at Peak District National Park, Derbyshire
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    We're off to the Peak District National Park for this long weekend. We'll be working with the National Park Authority to maintain public access and do whatever conservation work they want us for. They are well used to working with volunteers and have excellent facilities, including the converted barn where we will be staying. We'll set off on the Friday night, work Saturday and Sunday and have Monday to enjoy seeing more of the area, perhaps hiking up a hill, and returning on Monday evening. It's not a bank holiday so you might need to take Monday off work. There may also be an option to leave by train on Sunday night after we finish work. More information will be sent to the members mailing list, so please become a member if you want to find out about how to come.

    • Leader: Chris Skepper
    • Driver: Paul Clarke
    Tuesday 18 May 2010 – Bowling at Ozone Leisure Complex

    • Contact: Naomi
    Sunday 23 May 2010 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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    Another of our monthly visits to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve, managed by Natural England and situated in the heart of the Chilterns. It's home to juniper on growing on chalk grassland, several flocks of sheep and goats to control the scrub, valuable native woodland, an abundance of red kites, and orchids other rare wild flowers. Conveniently, it's also very close to the M40! We'll be helping the wardens with their projects, which are most likely to be fencing, path or sheep work at this time of year. Make sure you're on our mailing list to find out more about exactly what's planned for this week.

    • Leader: Nathalie Marten
    • Driver: Jo Gay
    Sunday 30 May 2010 – Fencing at Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire
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    We're returning to Stowe Landscape Gardens in Buckinghamshire this week to help out with some fencing work at the site of the new visitor centre. We did a lot of fencing here last year. It will be interesting to see how the plans to create new habitat, protect existing badger setts and create hedges are coming along on this site.

    • Leader: Chris Skepper
    • Driver: Tim Howard
    Tuesday 1 Jun 2010 – Committee meeting - 8pm - Jury Room at Oxford Town Hall
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    OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.

    • Contact: Lydia
    Sunday 6 Jun 2010 – Revetment Repair at Matthew Arnold Field, Oxford
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    We've worked on this site once before, creating an impressive length of boardwalk. Now we're going back to repair a different section, where the revetments have collapsed and the path is slipping away. We're working for the Oxford Preservation Trust who own the site as a result of its connection with the poet Matthew Arnold. They are being advised about management by BBOWT, with OCV doing the digging, sawing and bashing. So, as usual, someone else does the paperwork and we get to do the fun bit! It should be a satisfying day's project.

    • Leader: Tim Evans
    • Driver: Paul Clarke
    Sunday 13 Jun 2010 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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    Another visit to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chiltern hills. This time it will be the height of Summer and so it's probably an excellent time to see everything that the chalk grassland has to offer in terms of wild flowers. We'll be working with the wardens from Natural England helping with whatever reserve maintenance they think is most important. It could be fencing, path work or looking after one of the flocks of sheep that graze the fields to keep the grassland from being taken over with scrub.

    • Leader: Paul Clarke
    • Driver: Ray Hitchins
    Tuesday 15 Jun 2010 – Evening walk and pub visit at Port Meadow, Oxford
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    A summer evening walk starting from Jericho walking to wolvercote and then back into Oxford. It's about 5 miles long and I'm sure will involve a visit to the pub. Hopefully the weather will be kind! Start at 7pm.

    • Contact: Naomi
    Sunday 20 Jun 2010 – Scrub clearance at Louie Memorial Fields, North Hinksey, Oxford
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    This week's task is an unusual one. We are cutting some trees and brash to provide material to dam a stream. Diverting the stream is part of a programme of works to improve the habitat in the wood and protect the valuable fen. We'll be working with an ecologist, and hopefully some local volunteers as part of a project supported by the Trust for the Oxfordshire Environment. The ecologist's input in this project will avoid any risk of disturbing nesting birds, given the time of year. It should be an interesting day's work.

    • Leader: Andy Mo
    • Driver: Tim Howard
    Sunday 27 Jun 2010 – Thistle Pulling at Tuckmill Meadows, Oxfordshire
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    This week we're off to Tuckmill Meadows, a area of stream-side fen, meadow, woodland and hedgerows which has been designated an SSSI. Working with one of the BBOWT wardens who look after the site, we'll be tackling some of the invasive thistles before they have chance to seed. It should be an enjoyable day's work especially if the mid-Summer weather is kind to us.

    • Leader: Nathalie Marten
    • Driver: Kate Bone
    Sunday 4 Jul 2010 – Meadow Maintenance at Fields at Hook Norton Cutting, North Oxfordshire
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    This week it's a new site for us, a privately-owned SSSI on the edge of the Hook Norton cutting. It's just over the road from the BBOWT site where we've often worked in the past. We're assisting with pulling the ragwort from the meadow. Ragwort is poisonous, and there can be legal obligations on landowners to control it. So if we weren't available to pull it, the ragwort might have to be mowed or sprayed, which would damage the biodiversity on a sensitive site like this. Come along for some pleasant, and generally uncomplicated Summer work.

    • Leader: Nathalie Marten
    • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
    Tuesday 6 Jul 2010 – Committee Meeting - 8pm - Jury Room at Oxford Town Hall
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    OCV's committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.

    • Contact: Lydia
    Sunday 11 Jul 2010 – Reserve maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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    Our regular monthly visit to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. Summer work here could be fencing, path work or looking after the sheep. We'll be working with the Natural England wardens who are extremely knowledgeable about the countryside and will be sure to find us some valuable and interesting work to do. As usual, the exact work planned will be announced on the mailing list in the week before. So if you're not already on our mailing list, then now would be great time to join it.

    • Leader: Paul Clarke
    • Driver: Tim Howard
    Sunday 18 Jul 2010 – Pipe-edging at Boarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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    • Leader: Tim Evans
    • Driver: Jo Gay
    Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 – Burgers!! at Atomic Burger, Cowley Road

    A visit to the delightfully kitsch world of small independent burger bars on Oxford's very own strip, the Cowley Road. Quality home made burgers are made in this gaff and served with an eclectic choice of toppings and quality sides, salads and beverages. Any burger can be made with beef, chicken or veggie. This restaurant has a comic book theme so feel free to don superhero garb! 96 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1JE

    • Contact: Naomi
    Sunday 25 Jul 2010 – Meadow Maintenance at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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    The Trap Grounds is a small pocket of the countryside in the middle of urban north Oxford next to the canal. A group of local residents fought and won an epic legal battle to stop it being developed for housing, and had it designated as a Town Green. Since then, and with OCV's help, the area has been cleared up, with projects to increase biodiversity, remove dangerous rubbish and improve public access. There are woods and ponds, and part of the site is being maintained as meadow, which is where we are working today. We'll be pulling up the invasive Golden Rod and preventing bramble encroachment.

    • Leader: Andy Mo
    • Driver: Stuart Malyn
    Sunday 1 Aug 2010 – Reserve maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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    Another of our monthly visits to our most regular work site. It's a National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns, with particularly special junipers on chalk grassland. We sometimes look after one of their flocks of sheep or do some fencing work, particularly in the Summer months. We'll be working with one of the highly-knowledgeable wardens from Natural England. The exact details will be announced nearer the time on the OCV email list.

    • Leader: Elizabeth Morrow
    • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
    Tuesday 3 Aug 2010 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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    OCV's monthly committee meeting is taking place in the Jury Room of the Town Hall at 8pm. Everyone is welcome - come along to find out how the charity is run and perhaps get involved. Alternatively, you can join us afterwards for a pint at Far From the Madding Crowd from around 9pm (down the alley next to where Borders used to be).

    • Contact: Lydia
    Sunday 8 Aug 2010 – Step-building at Ardley Quarry, Fritwell, Oxfordshire
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    We last visited Ardley Quarry in the Spring and put in four new sets of steps using wooden planks and stobs. This time we'll be continuing the work of improving the quality of the public access on the labyrinthine network of paths through this SSSI. Working with the BBOWT warden we'll be sawing, digging and bashing. We might also create some revetments where there is the risk of erosion of sections of footpath. Expect grateful thanks from local dog walkers and visitors to this interesting nature reserve.

    • Leader: Steve Lilley
    • Driver: Tim Howard
    Sunday 15 Aug 2010 – Ragwort Pulling at Seacourt Nature Park, Oxford
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    We've helped with Seacourt Nature Park in West Oxford many times before, including hedgelaying in the Winter and scrub clearance and ragwort pulling in the Summer. Today we're back helping to control the ragwort. Since it's a poisonous plant, there can be legal obligations on landowners to control it. So if we weren't available to pull it, the ragwort might have to be mowed or sprayed, which would damage the biodiversity on a sensitive site like this. Come along for some pleasant, and generally uncomplicated Summer work.

    • Leader: Aga Rzad
    • Driver: Inigo Surguy
    Saturday 21 Aug 2010 – Punting on the Cherwell at Cherwell Boat House
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    A lovely picnic and a punt down the river Cherwell. Starting from the Cherwell boathouse at 6pm.

    • Contact: Naomi
    Saturday 21 Aug 2010 – Tool store work party at Stansfeld Park, Oxford
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    Not a conservation task as such, but a gainful way to spend a Saturday nonetheless. We'll be digging a trench for a cable duct and other jobs in and around the tool store. No minibus pick-ups - meet at Stansfeld OEC at 10am and we'll finish in plenty of time for the punting.

    • Contact: Tim
    Sunday 22 Aug 2010 – Meadow cutting at Iffley Island, Oxford
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    • Leader: Steve Lilley
    • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
    Friday 27 Aug 2010 -
    Monday 30 Aug 2010 – Drystone Walling Summer Residential at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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    Each Summer Bank Holiday weekend we go to Swanage in Dorset to work at the beautiful Durlston Country Park. It's described as a 280 acre countryside paradise, consisting of sea-cliffs, coastal limestone downland, haymeadows, hedgerows and woodland. The normal work is repairing and rebuilding some of the many miles of attractive Purbeck Limestone dry-stone walling. Working with the highly-knowledgeable rangers from Dorset County Council who manage the site, we'll be learning new walling skills or developing old ones. Walling is not heavy work and is not complicated but simply requires patience and skill. It's ideal work for a sunny day in August. We'll set off on the Friday night, work Saturday and Sunday, then spend Bank Holiday Monday on the beach, hiking along the coast, or pottering around the town. We'll come back to Oxford on Monday night. The accommodation is a church hall just 5 minutes' walk from the sea-front. Make sure you're a fully paid up member, because full details will be announced on the members' mailing list nearer the time and places usually get snapped up very quickly.

    • Leader: Chris Skepper
    • Driver: Jo Gay
    Sunday 5 Sep 2010 – Scrub Clearance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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    Our September visit to the beautiful National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. Working with an experienced warden from Natural England, we'll be clearing a line through some scrub to allow a new fence to be installed in the future. Fences are key to managing the flocks of sheep that keep the grassland in fine condition. If you've never been to this national nature reserve you could do a lot worse than come along with OCV and find out how it's managed.

    • Leader: Tim Evans
    • Driver: Tim Howard
    Tuesday 7 Sep 2010 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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    OCV's monthly committee meeting is taking place in the Jury Room of the Town Hall at 8pm. Everyone is welcome - come along to find out how the charity is run and perhaps get involved. Alternatively, you can join us afterwards for a pint at Far From the Madding Crowd from around 9pm (down the alley next to where Borders used to be).

    • Contact: Lydia
    Sunday 12 Sep 2010 – Wildflower Planting and Hedgelaying at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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    Two different projects for today. We'll be helping to plant a wild flower meadow in an unused part of the cemetery, we've not done this kind of work for a bit, but it should be well within our capabilities and perhaps won't be too strenuous. Then we'll be kicking off the Autumn 2010 hedgelaying season with another short section of the hedge alongside the cemetery footpath. We'll be able to see how the hedgelaying we did the year before is fairing. It was showing some promising signs of rejuvenation the last time we looked. Given the age of the hedge, the hedgelaying work is likely to be a bit brutal and look quite drastic, but the end result should be a denser hedge, more useful for wildlife as a corridor, habitat and source of food.

    • Leader: Tim Evans
    • Driver: Paul Clarke
    Saturday 18 Sep 2010 – Scrub Clearance at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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    Another visit to the Trap Grounds, a varied site in North Oxford that is rapidly-becoming a regular destination for us. We'll be working with locals from the Friends of the Trap Grounds to uproot brambles from the meadow area and perhaps make seats out of cut timber. There will most likely be a bonfire to celebrate the arrival of Autumn!

    • Leader: Andy Mo
    • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
    Sunday 19 Sep 2010 – Coppicing at Hutchcombe Copse, Oxford
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    A new site for OCV, this privately-owned copse in North Hinksey is a piece of traditional coppice woodland. There are stools of hazel and ash with much larger oaks dominating in places. Being quite small, it rubs up against the backs of people's gardens and borders the copse and fen attached to Louie Memorial Fields. We'll be working with the owner and focussing on coppicing and scrub clearance. Our aims will be to remove non-native bushes spreading in from the gardens, reduce the encroachment of the scrub and bramble onto the meadow, and coppice some of the hazel.

    • Leader: Chris Skepper
    • Driver: Paul Clarke
    Tuesday 21 Sep 2010 – Curry! at Majliss Indian Restaurant

    Majliss Indian Restaurant this month, on the Cowley Road, Oxford. As it's always full of people, I reckon it must be quite a good place to eat. Please feel free to tell me otherwise! More details to be sent by email soon.

    • Contact: Naomi
    Sunday 26 Sep 2010 – Reserve maintenance at Louie Memorial Fields, North Hinksey, Oxford
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    We last visited this site in June to sensitively clear some scrub in preparation for some hydrology work on the ditch and fen. In the past, we've also helped to prevent further willow encroachment onto the fen. This week we'll be returning to help with more tasks on the site, planned and supervised by hydrology and ecology experts. These include cutting sedge on the fen, planting-up the edge of the new pond, removal of alien shrubs, and some willow pruning. Join the OCV mailing list for more information about this and any other projects.

    • Leader: Tim Evans
    • Driver: Jo Gay
    Saturday 2 Oct 2010 – Brewery Trip at Hook Norton Brewery

    A trip to the Hook Norton Brewery in North Oxfordshire. This is a daytime social with the tour starting at 2pm in the Afternoon. There will be minibus transport from the usual pick ups in Oxford. There are only 10 places available so get in quick!

    • Contact: Naomi
    Sunday 3 Oct 2010 – Fen raking at Lye Valley, Oxford
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    OCV have been involved with the Lye Valley Nature Reserve in East Oxford for many years. Even though it's a small acreage, it's full of rich wildlife habitat. Last Summer we helped to extend a pond in the wetland, as well as our usual tasks of clearing the footpaths, pollarding the willows and raking the fen. Today we'll be fen-raking again, managing it in this traditional way prevents it scrubbing over and avoids the soil getting enriched. This maximises biodiversity on this beautiful SSSI. It's hard work, but very worthwhile.

    • Leader: Michelle Reid
    • Driver: Paul Clarke
    Saturday 9 Oct 2010 – Peat Cutting at Parsonage Moor, Oxfordshire
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    We're returning to this valuable nature reserve to take part in a project planned by BBOWT who own this site, an SSSI and SAC (Special Area of Conservation). This project is aimed at creating some areas of open water in the fen and encouraging early succession areas by cutting peat. Essentially we're digging peat from one area and moving it to another. That may sound simple, but it should be very incredibly important for wildlife diversity on this site. Wellies will be very advisable!

    • Leader: Steve Lilley
    • Driver: Jo Gay
    Sunday 10 Oct 2010 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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    Our regular monthly visit to this favourite site in the Chilterns. We'll be working with the wardens from Natural England to do whatever reserve maintenance is most pressing. At this time of year it could be scrub clearance, fence building or caring for one of the flocks of sheep on the site. Further details will be in the regular weekly email. Update - This week we'll be refurbishing livestock fencing and doing a bit of scrub bashing as well.

    • Leader: Andy Mo
    • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
    Sunday 17 Oct 2010 – Dipping Platforms at Stansfeld Park, Oxford
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    We worked at Stansfeld last year building some dipping platforms; small walkways extending into ponds used for collecting samples from the water. These have been very successful and useful for the many schoolchildren who visit the centre. Since Stansfeld is also the home of our tool store, we won't have to drive far after the usual pick-ups and we won't have to worry about forgetting any crucial tools! This site is in Oxford so feel free to come for just part of the day if you prefer.

    • Leader: Tim Evans
    • Driver: Ray Hitchins
    Sunday 24 Oct 2010 – Peat Cutting at Parsonage Moor, Oxfordshire
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    Another visit to this wetland site adjoining Cothill Fen. Working for BBOWT on this site, we'll be doing some more peat cutting work to help create open areas of water and encourage early succession species to move in. There should be plenty of digging and barrowing work required. Wellies will almost certainly be essential if you don't want to get your feet too wet.

    • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
    • Driver: Jo Gay
    Saturday 30 Oct 2010 – Coppicing Training Task at Boarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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    We're coppicing this week at Boarstall Duck Decoy in Buckinghamshire. It's one of the few remaining duck decoys in the country and is owned by the National Trust. Our work is going to involve clearing a section of the woodland, in order to harvest the coppice products for a variety of purposes. Traditional coppicing results in areas of woodland with enhanced light levels and sparks off a whole variety of new flora at ground level while the coppice stools are regenerating. We've already seen this happening in the areas we coppiced last year. This is a task with a focus on learning how to do this traditional activity, so there will be some informal training from experienced OCVers.

    • Leader: Chris Skepper
    • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
    Sunday 31 Oct 2010 – Scrub Clearance at Watlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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    We've been coming to this splendid National Trust site in the Chilterns for several years, to assist with controlling the scrub and to enjoy the excellent views. The last time we worked here it was thick in snow, with the reflected sunlight illuminating the scores of Red Kites circling overhead. As usual we'll be scrub clearing and working with the Friends of Watlington Hill, but this time we'll also be helping them to celebrate their 20th Anniversary with bonfire-cooked jacket potatoes and potentially some buffet food to go with them. Stay tuned-in on the OCV mailing list for more information nearer the time.

    • Leader: Andy Mo
    • Driver: Jo Gay
    Tuesday 2 Nov 2010 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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    The committee meets once a month in theTown Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us in the Jury Room at 8pm. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near Borders) from about 9pm.

    • Contact: Lydia
    Sunday 7 Nov 2010 – Reserve Maintenance at Meadow Lane Nature Reserve, Iffley, Oxford
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    This week we'll be working with wardens from Oxford City Council. We'll be working at Meadow Lane Nature Reserve which has been allowed to scrub over in recent years. Our role is classic scrub bashing to help to restore it to meadow, allowing the rarer and more interesting wild flowers to flourish. There'll be plenty of hard work, but the results should be rewarding, and we're envisaging regular return visits to keep well managed. More details will be given on the weekly email as normal.

    • Leader: Tim Evans
    • Driver: Phil Hunter
    Saturday 13 Nov 2010 – Hedge Rejuvenation at Moor Lane, West Hagbourne
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    Last Winter we did some work clearing scrub at the edge of the byway in South Oxfordshire. The idea was to sensitively clear scrub without using machinery, so the gaps could be re-planted and the hedge rejuvenated without destroying the great diversity of species present in this ancient hedge. Today we're doing another section further up the byway towards the bridge carrying the cycleway overhead. We can admire the progress made on the section which villagers have replanted already and prepare the next section.

    • Leader: Steve Lilley
    • Driver: Phil Hunter
    Sunday 14 Nov 2010 – Willow pollarding and path maintenance at Lye Valley, Oxford
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    We will be helping out at one of our old favourite sites in East Oxford. Part of the Lye Valley nature reserve is designated as an SSSI because of it's great value for wildlife. Working with Oxford City Council's countryside team we'll be pollarding the willows, keeping paths accessible and possibly helping to repair the board walk. Willow pollarding is vitally important to maintain the fen, which would otherwise become shaded over, and get covered in scrub.

    • Leader: Rosie Pope
    • Driver: Tim Howard
    Tuesday 16 Nov 2010 – Pub at Bookbinders pub, Jericho
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    A visit to the bookbinders pub in Jericho. Maybe we could play a game or three and have a few pints in this cosy pub, they also do food if you're hungry. We shall be meeting in there at 7.30pm.

    • Contact: Naomi
    Sunday 21 Nov 2010 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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    Our monthly trip to our most regular work site. We'll be helping the wardens from Natural England care for this large National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We'll be helping with priority projects on the site. At this time of year the work could be scrub clearance or involve caring for one of the flocks of sheep that help to maintain the valuable chalk grassland.

    • Leader: Carri Swann
    • Driver: Jo Gay
    Sunday 28 Nov 2010 – Hedgelaying at East Hagbourne, Oxfordshire
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    Several years ago a new hedge was planted on this site in South Oxfordshire. It's now got to a suitable time for laying it and we've been asked by the Parish Council to help out. Hedgelaying is a traditional technique that almost died out with the mechanisation of agriculture and the switch to wire fencing. Now it is recognised as a great way to conserve wildlife habitats by making a hedge denser and a much better home for birds and small mammals. Newcomers and old hands equally welcome to come along.

    • Leader: Andy Mo
    • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
    Saturday 4 Dec 2010 -
    Sunday 5 Dec 2010 – Coppicing Training Weekend at Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
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    Coppicing is an ancient practice for sustainably managing woodland to produce wood products and fuel. Traditional coppice woodland is rich in a diverse range of wildlife, including all the early succession species that thrive straight after coppicing. This weekend we'll be learning how to go about coppicing with Brian Williamson, a former OCVer and professional coppicer who is incredibly knowledgeable and experienced on the subject. We don't normally plan residentials for the depths of December but we thought an overnight stay in a wood would separate the men from the boys, and the women from the girls! Hopefully we can huddle up round the camp fire and it will be cosy. There's a barn to sleep in if you don't fancy it in a tent, and there should be toilets and washing facilities nearby. Most importantly, it's a chance to learn all about coppicing and it should give you everything you need to take part in or lead an OCV coppicing task in the future. Expect to be reminded many times to bring warm clothes!

    • Leader: Lydia Clarke
    • Driver: Paul Clarke
    Tuesday 7 Dec 2010 – Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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    The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near where Borders used to be) from about 9pm.

    • Contact: Lydia
    Friday 10 Dec 2010 – Christmas Party at Peace House, Paradise St

    • Contact: Naomi
    Sunday 12 Dec 2010 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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    Our final visit of the year to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. We'll be helping out with whatever the wardens from Natural England want us to do. Quite possibly it will be scrub clearance to prevent scrub encroaching onto the valuable chalk grassland. Chalk grassland is so rare and valuable for a rich variety of wild flowers that it is sometimes called the rainforest of Southern England. This is not quite accurate since it is a totally man-made habitat, and if grazing and scrub clearance work wasn't carried out regularly it would soon revert to scrub and eventually to woodland. The nature of the work planned this week will be revealed in the weekly email as usual.

    • Leader: Lucy Capstick
    • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
    Sunday 19 Dec 2010 – Scrub Clearance - CANCELLED at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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    ***** UPDATE: This task has been CANCELLED due to the depth of snow covering the site and snow-related transport problems. ***** For the last task of the year we'll be scrub clearing at the Trap Grounds in North Oxford. This is a varied site with ponds, woodland and a small meadow area. A former rubbish tip, it was saved as a nature reserve and Town Green after an epic campaign. We've helped to clear rubbish in the past and also attacked the brambles and created some new paths. We're continuing with that work this week. It's the last task of the year so feel free to bring along potatoes or parsnips to roast in the bonfire. The Trap Grounds is close to the centre of Oxford so feel free to come for part of the day if you have some last minute Christmas shopping to fit in.

    • Leader: Chris Skepper
    • Driver: Ray Hitchins
    Sunday 26 Dec 2010 – No task due to Christmas at

    It's Boxing Day, so we won't be having any task this week. It's a good opportunity to look back at a year's OCV activities and think of our many accomplishments. If you need to work off some Christmas excess, why not visit one of the nature reserves we work at and admire fences, steps, grassland, coppice, hedges and all the other products of OCVers hard work? Remember that OCV always needs more volunteers, leaders, drivers and committee members, so why not get more involved in 2011? And why not bring your friends along too?

      Sunday 2 Jan 2011 – Urban Nature Conservation at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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      We're kicking off 2011 with a day's scrub clearance on this site in central Oxford. Holywell Cemetery is managed in a way that is sympathetic to wildlife, while still allowing public access to the graves, many of which are of historic interest. This means that every-so-often the scrub on one section of it is cut back, whilst still leaving other areas with plenty of scrub cover for wildlife. As part of this work the ivy needs carefully removing from the gravestones so there will be plenty of lighter work as well as plenty of the usual sawing, cutting, dragging and burning. If you haven't been to an OCV task before then why not come along to get a taste of what we do? We won't make you stay all day! But if you do there's almost always some OCVers going for a sociable drink at the Turf afterwards.

      • Leader: Andy Mo
      • Driver: Inigo Surguy
      Tuesday 4 Jan 2011 – Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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      The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near where Borders used to be) from about 9pm.

      • Contact: Lydia
      Sunday 9 Jan 2011 – Coppicing and Bird Box Construction at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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      We've been going to Deddington in North Oxfordshire for several years now, either to maintain the paths on the Castle site or do some hedgelaying along a path near the Windmill Centre. Today's plan is to do some coppicing work on a small copse managed by Deddington Parish Council. We'll also be building and installing some bird and bat boxes on the trees around it. So it's going to be an interesting mixture of coppicing work, outdoor woodworking and climbing ladders. If you're an experienced coppicer, skilled carpenter, you know how to site bird boxes, or if you're just willing to help out, then this task is one for you.

      • Leader: Chris Skepper
      • Driver: Phil Hunter
      Sunday 16 Jan 2011 – Hedgelaying at Lye Valley, Oxford
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      • Leader: Tim Evans
      • Driver: Phil Hunter
      Sunday 23 Jan 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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      This week is our monthly visit to this National Nature Reserve in the Chiltern Hills. Aston Rowant is managed by Natural England, who ensure that the valuable chalk grassland is conserved through sheep grazing, that the woods are regularly coppiced to keep a diverse range of flora and that the paths are safe and accessible to visitors. This week we were coppicing near the Natural England Office, building a dead hedge and a couple of bonfires.

      • Leader: Carri Swann
      • Driver: Paul Clarke
      Sunday 30 Jan 2011 – Scrub Clearance at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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      OCV are old friends of this Local Nature Reserve in North Oxford, having helped create the paths and steps, replaced a long length of fence and done regular days of scrub clearance to keep it in pristine condition. The sensitive management of this site has resulted in large numbers of wild flowers on the chalk grassland. Though if you get the train from Oxford to Banbury, you'll probably not spot them as you hurtle through the cutting! Today we'll be continuing our work with some enthusiastic sawing, lopping and slashing. There will also be a good bonfire to keep us warm and dispose of some of the scrub. In other words, OCV will be doing what we do best, so do come along and join in!

      • Leader: Steve Lilley
      • Driver: Tim Howard
      Tuesday 1 Feb 2011 – Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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      The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near where Borders used to be) from about 9pm.

      • Contact: Lydia
      Thursday 3 Feb 2011 – Sausages! Walls. at The Big Bang

      A new restaurant for OCV. This restaurant serves a fantastic array of sausages and little else. They also serve vegetarian options which sound more interesting than the meat options! We will be meeting at the restaurant at 7.30pm. Please email me if you would like to come.

      • Contact: Naomi
      Saturday 5 Feb 2011 – Scrub Clearance at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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      • Leader: Caroline Ruse
      • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
      Sunday 6 Feb 2011 – Tree Planting at Cumnor Hurst Community Woodland
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      There's a prize for anyone who can remember when OCV last planted some trees! Conservation work in England is usually much more about controlling scrub than planting anything, but today we'll be participating in a project to create new woodland on this hill just to the West of the city. It's the first time we've worked on this site, which has been donated by a local timber company and there are plans to create a new native wood by planting thousands of trees. They may also be some trimming of scrub around existing saplings, so there'll be loads to do. Some species, like Oak, take hundreds of years to reach maturity, so come along and be a part of creating a wood that will hopefully provide much enjoyment to future generations.

      • Leader: Jo Hayduk
      • Driver: Paul Clarke
      Sunday 13 Feb 2011 – Coppicing and burning brash at Warburg Nature Reserve, Bix, Oxfordshire
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      We'll be making a welcome return to one of BBOWT's finest and largest nature reserves, near Henley. It's a while since we've worked here but it's well worth a visit. Our role today is to help out with a grassland project. Some felling of big trees has taken place recently but much of the material is left on the ground. We'll be helping to clear this up and burn the brash and probably doing some felling of our own. Sawing, chopping and burning is what we love, so come along and join in.

      • Leader: Michelle Reid
      • Driver: Ray Hitchins
      Sunday 20 Feb 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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      This week it's our February visit to one of our favourite sites in the Chiltern Hills. Well-known to travellers on the M40 for its huge numbers of red kites, this National Nature Reserve is owned and managed by Natural England for the benefit of wildlife and to maintain public access. We'll be helping out the wardens who manage it with the priority projects for this month whether it be scrub clearance, coppicing, fencing or sheep work. We'll describe the work we're planning in the weekly email, so now's a good time to check you're on our mailing list.

      • Leader: Aga Rzad
      • Driver: Jo Gay
      Sunday 27 Feb 2011 – Coppicing at Brasenose Wood, Oxford
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      It's a while since we've been to this site in East Oxford, near the old OCV tool store, where we spent many happy hours oiling and sharpening. Today's work is coppicing, which helps to maintain a cycle of cutting and regrowth that's traditional in English woodland, and leads to a diverse range of wildlife habitats. The work will be planned by Oxford City Council's countryside team, and as usual we'll be providing the tools, the training, the tea and biscuits. But we'll need lots of you to actually do the work, so come along!

      • Leader: Chris Skepper
      • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
      Tuesday 1 Mar 2011 – Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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      The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near where Borders used to be) from about 9pm.

      • Contact: Lydia
      Saturday 5 Mar 2011 – Rubbish Removal and Scrub Clearance at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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      Today is OxClean 2011, a day when Oxford residents spring clean the city, clearing up rubbish and litter. We're doing our bit at this Town Green and nature reserve on the site of a former rubbish dump in North Oxford. In recent years, we've helped remove lots of rubbish and painstakingly uproot brambles to create a fantastic little meadow, where piles of old bricks create perfect homes for lizards and slow worms. Today's project will be a few hours of removing any dangerous or unsightly rubbish for collection, followed by scrub clearing work, most likely involving a blazing bonfire. As usual, new and old alike will be very welcome, even for just part of the day.

      • Leader: Lucy Capstick
      • Driver: Jo Gay
      Sunday 6 Mar 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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      This week's it's another of our monthly visits 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, and it's well worth a stop and a walk round. Today we'll be helping the wardens care for the chalk grassland, woods and paths by helping out with their conservation priorities. Full details will be in the email sent to the mailing list, so make sure you're signed up and then come along and join in.

      • Leader: Andy Mo
      • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
      Sunday 13 Mar 2011 – Scrub Clearance and Transplanting Ancient Shrubs at Louie Memorial Fields, North Hinksey, Oxford
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      When we first started working on this site, we removed huge numbers of willows which were in danger of completely covering the valuable fen at the edge of the ancient woodland. Since then we've helped to prepare for hydrology work which it is hoped will safeguard the future of the fen as well as reducing the speed of water run off from the site. Afterwards we transplanted ancient woodland plants into areas left bare, and we cut the fen, which is essential for maintaining a rich diversity of plant life. Today we're continuing the transplantation work under the guidance of a knowledgeable ecologist and also removing invasive native and non-native scrub from around the fen. So there will be plenty of work for all levels of physical ability, knowledge and experience. Everyone welcome as usual.

      • Leader: Chris Skepper
      • Driver: Tim Howard
      Sunday 20 Mar 2011 – Coppicing at Boarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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      We've been working on this National Trust property in Buckinghamshire for about 18 months. We last visited in October for our coppicing training date. Today we're returning for some more coppicing work, taking particular care to avoid going anywhere where birds could be just beginning to nest at this time. We'll also be doing a selection of other jobs on site. If the warden is here, there will be a chance to hear about the interesting history of duck decoys in England, and perhaps meet the decoy dog.

      • Leader: Rosie Pope
      • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
      Sunday 27 Mar 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Watlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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      Today we'll be working with the warden from the National Trust on this stunning site in the Chilterns AONB and possibly also with locals from the Friends of Watlington Hill. We'll mostly likely be doing some kind of scrub clearance work to increase the area of valuable chalk grassland, with due care given the approaching bird nesting season. In the past at this site we've also helped to restore an ancient sunken way that had been completely obscured by yew woodland. We can't guarantee the weather won't block the impressive views, but we can guarantee there will be magnificent Red Kites soaring above our heads. Come and be uplifted!

      • Leader: Lydia Clarke
      • Driver: Paul Clarke
      Sunday 3 Apr 2011 – Dipping Platforms at Stansfeld Park, Oxford
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      Stansfeld is where we keep our tools and our van, so we won't have to worry about forgetting any tools today! We'll be helping create some more dipping platforms for the students who come to stay at this residential outdoor education centre to use. They stand on the dipping platforms and take samples from the various ponds on the site. Making the platforms requires some carpentry skills, some standing in the water and the mud and quite a lot of bashing. It's all good fun until someone drops something in the water and we have to fish around for it. We'll also do any other jobs that we're given on the site and if we run out of work we can always sharpen some tools, or maybe just leave them for the Tools Officer and go to the pub!

      • Leader: Tim Evans
      • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
      Tuesday 5 Apr 2011 – Committee Meeting - Jury Room - 8pm at Oxford Town Hall
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      The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near where Borders used to be) from about 9pm.

      • Contact: Lydia
      Saturday 9 Apr 2011 -
      Sunday 10 Apr 2011 – Boardwalk Training and Camping Residential at Hill End Residential and Field Studies Centre, Oxford
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      A local camping residential this week. Hill End is an outdoor education centre just on the west of Oxford run by Oxfordshire County Council for local schoolchildren. We'll be doing a boardwalk project, building a significant length of boardwalk over a series of ponds that have been recently created. We'll camp overnight on Saturday night, probably with a campfire barbecue and a few drinks in the evening. We will have access to proper toilets. The idea is that we'll arrive on Saturday morning and have a day to make a start on the work and when we're getting the hang of it, we'll be able to crack on with the rest of the work on Sunday morning as soon as the sun is up and we've had our bacon and eggs. You'll need to be an OCV member to come and places will be limited. We'll give priority to people wanting to come for both days, because then we'll get everyone trained and be able to get the job done!

      • Leader: Chris Skepper
      • Driver: Paul Clarke
      Tuesday 12 Apr 2011 – Pub at The Turf Tavern

      A pub visit for OCV. Good beer and decent food in the Turf Tavern. No need to tell me you're coming just pop in for one or stay all evening. Meeting from 7ish in the Turf.

      • Contact: Naomi
      Sunday 17 Apr 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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      Our monthly trip to this Natural England reserve in the Chiltern Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. At this time of year we often do fencing and path work and occasionally help with one of the flocks of sheep that graze the chalk grassland. But the exact work planned will be announced on the OCV mailing list in the week before. If you've only ever driven past Aston Rowant on the M40 then it's well worth a visit. OCV tasks are an excellent way to see Behind-The-Scenes as we work with the wardens of a national nature reserve.

      • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
      • Driver: Ray Hitchins
      Sunday 24 Apr 2011 – Fencing at Raleigh Park, Oxford
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      We're off to Raleigh Park Nature Reserve in West Oxford this week for a bit of fencing work. It's not a regular site for us but hopefully we'll get to know it better as we go on. We'll be working for Oxford City Council's parks and countryside department, and the wardens will be trusting us to replace an old, failing fence with a shiny new OCV one. Exact details nearer the time on the mailing list.

      • Leader: Chris Skepper
      • Driver: Inigo Surguy
      Friday 29 Apr 2011 -
      Monday 2 May 2011 – Trail Maintenance Residential at Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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      • Leader: Andy Mo
      • Driver: Jo Gay
      Tuesday 3 May 2011 – Annual General Meeting - 8pm - Jury Room at Oxford Town Hall
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      An excellent opportunity to see how the charity is run and to exercise your voting powers! We will be discussing the past year and electing the new committee, among other things. Everyone is welcome to attend.

      • Contact: Lydia
      Sunday 8 May 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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      Our monthly visit to this splendid National Nature Reserve in the Chiltern Hills. We'll be working with the highly-knowledgeable wardens from Natural England and helping out with whatever tasks they have for us. At this time of year it's unlikely to be scrub clearance because of the nesting birds, but there will be no shortage of path, fence or sheep-related work. As usual more details will be distributed via the OCV mailing list in the week beforehand. A mixture of fun, hard work, tea breaks and inane conversation will be guaranteed as usual!

      • Leader: Ray Hitchins
      • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
      Sunday 15 May 2011 – Fencing at Raleigh Park, Oxford
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      This week we'll be doing some more fencing work for Oxford City Council. The site may change depending on priorities and how much we managed last time. We'll be replacing old dilapidated fencing with splendid new OCV fencing. The straining posts will need digging in, the intermediate posts bashing in and the wire straining and stapling on. So there will be lots of different jobs to do and some very visible results to hopefully be proud of. Come along and learn to fence!

      • Leader: Tim Evans
      • Driver: Tim Howard
      Sunday 22 May 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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      A visit to one of our favourite sites in North Oxfordshire. Jubilee Meadows is a nature reserve in Wootton near Woodstock and is home to water meadows, the Dorn and Glyne rivers, trees, meadows and cows. We'll probably be clearing up the remains of some pollarding work from earlier in the year, building a ramp near a bridge and generally helping out with some miscellaneous reserve maintenance jobs. It's a beautiful site and well worth coming if you've not been before.

      • Leader: Michelle Reid
      • Driver: Inigo Surguy
      Wednesday 25 May 2011 – Punting at Cherwell Boat House
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      • Contact: Beth
      Friday 27 May 2011 -
      Monday 30 May 2011 – Trail Maintenance Residential at Peak District National Park, Derbyshire
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      We went to this National Park base camp in the Peak District last year and had two great days. The work last year involved a day's remote peat mat peg collecting, and also a day's path repair looking after the southern end of the Pennine Way. This year the plan is to do whatever the National Park rangers need help with, most likely some more trail maintenance. We'll leave Oxford on the Friday night, arrive in the Peak District in time for some dinner and work Saturday and Sunday. In the evenings there's potential for a barbecue at the splendidly well-equipped base camp and there's also a couple of pubs within walking distance. On the Monday we have a day off to either go for a walk in the area or see some sights in one of the towns. We'll get back to Oxford on Monday evening.

      • Leader: Chris Skepper
      • Driver: Paul Clarke
      Sunday 5 Jun 2011 – Mulching, Weeding and Ragwort Pulling at Cumnor Hurst Community Woodland
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      • Leader: Aga Rzad
      • Driver: Tim Howard
      Saturday 11 Jun 2011 – Scrub Clearance at Chilswell Valley, Oxford
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      Today we're off to a site we haven't been to for a few years at least. It's a steep limestone valley to the south-west of Oxford, towards Boars Hill. It comprises grassland, a reed bed and woodland. Today we're doing the first day of a double bill of projects at this site. More information will come via the OCV mailing list as normal

      • Leader: Tim Evans
      • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
      Sunday 12 Jun 2011 – Scrub Clearance at Chilswell Valley, Oxford
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      Another day's work at this splendid steep limestone valley to the south-west of Oxford, towards Boars Hill. It comprises grassland, a reed bed and woodland. Although the site is not huge, the task programmer went for a walk there at dusk once and got very lost in the dark. Hopefully it should be an interesting and pleasant place to spend a summer's day.

      • Leader: Paul Clarke
      • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
      Sunday 19 Jun 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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      Our monthly visit to this splendid National Nature Reserve in the Chiltern Hills. It's easy to get to, because the M40 goes straight through it! But if you're walking deep in the beech woodland or perched on the beautiful chalk grassland you'll soon forget about that. At this time of year we'll most likely be doing fencing, path work or sheep care. But we take our orders from the expert wardens from Natural England who know the site like the backs of their hands. There'll be full details in the weekly email of course. Come and see Red Kites galore and help care for this important site.

      • Leader: Lucy Capstick
      • Driver: Jo Gay
      Wednesday 22 Jun 2011 – Fruit picking and picnic in Port Meadow at Medley Manor Farm

      Meet at Medley Manor Farm (Binsey Lane) at 6.15pm for fruit picking followed by a picnic in Port Meadow. If you want to come later we will be at the farm until about 7pm and in Port Meadow after that. Fruit on offer will hopefully include strawberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries and possibly raspberries, along with a variety of vegetables.

      • Contact: Beth
      Sunday 26 Jun 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Boarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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      We're off to this National Trust site for a variety of tasks on this historic duck decoy on the Oxfordshire-Buckinghamshire border. We'll be helping keep the site tidy and the paths clear and doing a range of other reserve maintenance tasks: things like clearing ditches, repairing fences and removing bramble. We'll try to make sure there's something for everyone. If you've never been to a duck decoy then this is a good chance. If you arrive by your own means then say you're volunteering with OCV and you won't be expected to pay the entrance fee!

      • Leader: Andy Mo
      • Driver: Inigo Surguy
      Sunday 3 Jul 2011 – Ragwort Pulling at Fields at Hook Norton Cutting, North Oxfordshire
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      A day at this meadow SSSI in North Oxfordshire. We'll be pulling poisonous ragwort to make the hay safe for cattle and horses, and to prevent it spreading to neighbours. If we didn't do this, the alternative methods of control would be much more destructive to wild flowers. It should be quite light work and at some point there should be chance for a good walk round the neighbouring BBOWT reserve, which we usually only see in Winter.

      • Leader: Emma Burnett
      • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
      Sunday 10 Jul 2011 – Fencing and Ragwort Pulling at Monks Farm Field, Shotover, Oxfordshire
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      Our first visit to this splendid meadow in East Oxford belonging to the Oxford Preservation Trust. The land is managed as a rich wild flower rich meadow, but the once-yearly hay cut can only take place if the ragwort has been pulled first. There's also a fence that's looking in a poor state. So today's project is to pull the ragwort and replace the fence. We might be able to re-use one of the straining posts to save time. So there should be a good range of different tasks to suit all tastes.

      • Leader: Chris Skepper
      • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
      Tuesday 12 Jul 2011 – Social - glow worm spotting at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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      • Contact: Beth
      Sunday 17 Jul 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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      Another of our regular visits to this splendid National Nature Reserve in the Chiltern Hills AONB. We'll be working with the wardens from Natural England helping them look after the chalk grassland, woods and paths. At this time of year it could be fencing, sheep or path work. We'll let you know more details of this week's project via the OCV mailing list as usual.

      • Leader: Paul Clarke
      • Driver: Phil Hunter
      Sunday 24 Jul 2011 – Fenraking and sleeper walkway work at Lye Valley, Oxford
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      One of our regular Oxford sites. It's a small nature reserve that seems like another world with its fen, ponds, and woodland. We'll be doing our usual Summer work raking the fen, which only remains a rich habitat for wildflowers as long as the reeds are cut and removed to keep the soil low in nutrients. This is quite tough work sometimes, especially if it's very wet or very hot. As if that wasn't enough labouring, we'll also be tasked with cutting scrub that is encroaching on the fen and possibly helping with a new section of sleeper walkway. So there'll be plenty for everyone to do and we can also check out what effect the hedgelaying we did in the Winter is having. Come along and join the fun.

      • Leader: Emma Burnett
      • Driver: Tim Howard
      Sunday 31 Jul 2011 – Pond project at Tackley Heath, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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      It's now 2 years since we last worked here, doing a couple of days cutting vegetation around the banks and on a floating "island" in the pond. Today we'll be continuing the work from that management plan, so it will be cutting, dragging and stacking but with a distinctly wet theme. So it's a chance to get into the waders and get yourself wet and dirty.

      • Leader: Steve Lilley
      • Driver: Jo Gay
      Tuesday 2 Aug 2011 – Committee Meeting at

      This month's committee meeting will be held from 8pm in the Jury Room of the Town Hall. Come along if you want to see how the charity is run and perhaps get involved. Alternatively, we will be going for a few drinks in Far From The Madding Crowd from around 9pm.

      • Contact: Lydia
      Sunday 7 Aug 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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      A regular visit to this chalk grassland and beech woodland National Nature Reserve just south of Oxford. We'll be helping wardens from Natural England with their many and varied duties. At this time of year that can include anything from fencing to trimming the toenails of the sheep that graze the chalk grassland. The sheep keep the bramble and scrub away and the grass short to allow wild flowers to flourish. Exact details of the work via the OCV mailing list as usual.

      • Leader: Beth Sutton
      • Driver: Tim Howard
      Sunday 14 Aug 2011 – Meadow Cutting at Iffley Island, Oxford
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      A tiny and secluded SSSI near the river in Oxford, sometimes used for mooring narrow-boats. We do essential work here cutting the sedgy grass and raking it off. This means that the soil isn't enriched and the scrub doesn't take over, so rare plants flourish. This job can be really hard work, but great exercise, and as usual, we won't push you too hard. We always have plenty of tea breaks!

      • Leader: Andy Mo
      • Driver: John Worth
      Tuesday 16 Aug 2011 – Social - mini golf at Florence Park

      For our August social we will be enjoying the summer sunshine, if it ever arrives, playing mini golf in Florence Park, conveniently located near to Cowley Road for a probable pub trip afterwards. Meet at the mini golf kiosk at 6.45pm. For directions to Florence Park, and a map showing the mini golf kiosk, see http://www.oxford.gov.uk/PageRender/decLP/2_Florence_park_occw.htm

      • Contact: Beth
      Sunday 21 Aug 2011 – Fencing at Raleigh Park, Oxford
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      In a change to the task programme, this week is a return to lovely Raleigh Park to do fencing. We will be working at the east end of the park by the entrance from Westminster Way Sign up to the mailing list, come along and find out more.

      • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
      • Driver: Tim Howard
      Friday 26 Aug 2011 -
      Monday 29 Aug 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Durlston CP, Swanage, Dorset
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      A residential trip to Swanage in Dorset. We'll be working at the spectacular Durlston Country Park, high up on the cliffs. Projects in previous years have mainly been drystone walling, but with bits of fencing and meadow work on occasions. We'll be staying in the heart of the town in a church hall, which means we'll have access to a kitchen and showers, as well as plenty of space to sleep. Swanage is always lively on the bank holiday weekend, with music and fireworks in the evening. We often have a swim in the sea and a barbecue on the beach if the weather is kind to us. We'll set off on Friday evening, work on the Saturday and Sunday and have the Monday as a day off before coming back on Monday evening. TOO LATE - NO MORE BOOKINGS PLEASE!

      • Leader: Jo Gay
      • Driver: John Worth
      Sunday 4 Sep 2011 – Fencing at Raleigh Park, Oxford
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      We're back to this Oxford City Council site for a bit of fencing work. We'll be replacing some old tangled barbed wire with a shiny new, straight, fit-for-purpose OCV fence. Come along if you like digging holes, bashing in posts, straining wire and admiring a job well-done. More details about the project will be sent via the mailing list as usual.

      • Leader: Paul Clarke
      • Driver: Ray Hitchins
      Tuesday 6 Sep 2011 – at Oxford Town Hall
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      The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near where Borders used to be) from about 9pm.

      • Contact: Lydia
      Sunday 11 Sep 2011 – Hedgelaying at Boarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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      Our first hedgelaying task of the season. We'll be laying a hedge really close to where we did some coppicing last year. This means that we'll let in additional light to help the coppice woodland regenerate, whilst also making the hedge into a denser barrier that will also act as home, food source and corridor for wildlife. Hopefully, we'll be able to harvest a few fresh binders from coppice stools nearby.

      • Leader: Chris Skepper
      • Driver: John Worth
      Sunday 18 Sep 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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      Our monthly visit to this splendid site in the Chilterns, commanding views across Oxfordshire. At this time or year we could be fencing, looking after the sheep, or even doing a spot of scrub clearance or early coppicing. Whatever we do, the project will be planned by the wardens from Natural England who manage the site.

      • Leader: Paul Clarke
      • Driver: Jo Gay
      Tuesday 20 Sep 2011 – Social - badger watching at Wytham Woods, Oxford

      The conservator of Wytham Woods has kindly agreed to take us on a badger watch in this beautiful University owned forest. It is said to be home to one of the densest badger populations in the world, so that should give us a good chance of seeing some! In the hopefully unlikely event that we don't, we could always make up for it afterwards with a visit to the local pub, The White Hart. The minibus will be leaving from The Lamb and Flag at 6.20pm, or if you would like to make your own way there, meet us at Keeper's Cottage (OX2 8QQ) at 6.45pm.

      • Contact: Beth
      Sunday 25 Sep 2011 – Hedge Rejuvenation at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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      We laid a very mature hedge on a wet day here three years ago. It's close to a children's playground and something had to be done for safety reasons. So we did quite a rough job as a more wildlife-friendly alternative to grubbing the whole thing out and putting up a fence. Now it's getting overgrown again but is some good material, a large range of different species under the mass of dead wood and scrub. The plan for today is to give it a trim, lay some of the regrowth and remove much of the dead material. We'll also be planting some of the gaps in another hedge with new root stock. Meet at the playground at Clifton.

      • Leader: Chris Skepper
      • Driver: John Worth
      Sunday 2 Oct 2011 – Fen Raking at Lye Valley, Oxford
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      We're working for Oxford City Council this month at the Lye Valley. We did some light fen-raking here in July and now we're going back after the second cut of the year, to rake the cuttings off again. The fen is cut twice in the summer to stop it getting covered in scrub, which would stop it being fen. If we didn't rake off the cuttings they would decay and enrich the soil. Rich soil might be good for your garden but it's no good for nature reserves, because scrub would take over rather than exciting wild flowers and interesting insects and invertebrates. Fen-raking is sometimes quite hard work, but very important.

      • Leader: Andy Mo
      • Driver: Ray Hitchins
      Tuesday 4 Oct 2011 – at Oxford Town Hall
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      The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near where Borders used to be) from about 9pm.

      • Contact: Lydia
      Saturday 8 Oct 2011 – Bramble and Golden Rod Pulling at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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      It's another visit to this nature reserve and town green in North Oxford today. For a while it was used as a rubbish tip and landfill site, but we've done so much tidying up recently that these days if you trip over a decaying relic of the early 1980s it's most likely to be one of the OCV committee. Today's task will be building a bird hide, attacking the bramble and perhaps cutting large branches that overshadow the ponds.

      • Leader: Chris Skepper
      • Driver: Ray Hitchins
      Sunday 9 Oct 2011 – Scrub Clearance at Watlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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      We're back to this splendid National Trust site in the Chilterns this Sunday. We'll be working with the wardens and most probably with the local volunteer group. We often have some really huge bonfires on this site as we cut scrub and trees to maintain and extend the valuable chalk grassland. There are almost always red kites circling overhead all day. If the weather is clear, the views are splendid from this site. Come along and bash some scrub.

      • Leader: Paul Clarke
      • Driver: Jo Gay
      Tuesday 11 Oct 2011 – October social - telescope evening at Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road

      October's social will be a telescope evening at the Philip Wetton telescope. This is a 0.4 metre telescope belonging to the University of Oxford Department of Physics, and it gives an amazing, professional astronomer's view of the night sky. The evening will be from 7pm - 9pm, and will include a short astronomy talk, an 'ask an astronomer' session with refreshments, a tour of the observatory and use of the telescope, and an astronomy workshop (all for free!). There will be an opportunity for a pub trip afterwards. The meeting place for the evening will be the reception of the Denys Wilkinson Building on Keble Road (just where it joins Banbury Road, slightly further away from town than our usual pick-up point of The Lamb and Flag); please be there by 6.50pm for registration. Places are limited to 15 (possibly a few more) so if you would like to come please could you let me know by Thursday 6th October.

      • Contact: Beth
      Sunday 16 Oct 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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      We're off for our October visit to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. We'll be helping the wardens who work for Natural England; the government's nature conservation agency. At this time of year the work could be almost anything: scrub bashing, coppicing, fencing or caring for one of the flocks of sheep that help to keep the grassland in pristine condition. As usual we'll let you know what sort of thing to expect in our weekly pre-task email, so make sure you're on our email list.

      • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
      • Driver: Phil Hunter
      Saturday 22 Oct 2011 – Indoor Training Event at Stansfeld Park, Oxford
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      We sometimes have training tasks, but today is a bit different. We will all be indoors in a classroom or around the tool shed. We'll be covering some of the theory and how to plan and lead different sorts of tasks. The subjects will include coppicing, hedgelaying, fencing, boardwalk, bird and bat boxes, step building and scrub bashing. The format will be a series of short talks with an opportunity to ask questions and have a discussion. The talks will all be given by OCV leaders and although we're not experts, if we pool what we know, we should all be able to learn a lot. Please note that this is aimed at leaders and experienced volunteers, rather than complete beginners. Everyone is very welcome, but if you've never done any conservation before it would be better to come to a few ordinary tasks first! The day is free, but booking is required, as places will be limited. (Ignore the website if it asks for a deposit!) Please ask Chris if you're willing to research a topic and give a short talk. FULLY BOOKED NOW!

      • Leader: Chris Skepper
      • Driver:
      Sunday 23 Oct 2011 – Site Maintenance at Stansfeld Park, Oxford
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      Today's task is at the place we keep our tools and van, so not far to go, but we will be doing the usual pickups as normal. We'll be helping out with various tasks around the school grounds which include woods, meadow and several ponds. The work will be various maintenance jobs appropriate for the time of year. More details will be in the weekly email as usual, so make sure you're on our mailing list.

      • Leader: Paul Clarke
      • Driver: Phil Hunter
      Sunday 30 Oct 2011 – Hedgelaying at East Hagbourne, Oxfordshire
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      We're continuing with some hedgelaying along this path across fields in South Oxfordshire. We'll be working for the local parish council. We did day's work here in sub-zero conditions last winter, and it was so cold even the leftover tea froze in the mugs! Today we're hoping for warmer weather as we do the final stretch, helping to turn a row of small trees into a hedge that will act as home, food source and corridor for wildlife. If you're an experienced hedgelayer we'll need you. If not, come along and learn how.

      • Leader: Steve Lilley
      • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
      Tuesday 1 Nov 2011 – at Oxford Town Hall
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      The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near where Borders used to be) from about 9pm.

      • Contact: Lydia
      Sunday 6 Nov 2011 – Hedgelaying at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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      We're hedgelaying this week near to the cemetery at Deddington. We'll be continuing the work of previous years but now we'll be getting onto a tricky bit where there may be as much coppicing as laying to rejuvenate the aged hedge. It's possible we'll also be doing some replanting of the gaps to recreate a native hedge that is a food source and habitat for local wildlife.

      • Leader: Chris Skepper
      • Driver: Jo Gay
      Thursday 10 Nov 2011 – Ice skating at Oxford Ice Rink
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      • Contact: Beth
      Sunday 13 Nov 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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      Our monthly visit to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns, OCV's most regular site over more than 30 years. We'll be working with the wardens from Natural England and at this time of year the work is likely to include coppicing in the ancient woodland or scrub clearance on the chalk hillsides. As usual there's also the possibility of sheep work, but full details will be announced on the mailing list as usual.

      • Leader: Phil Hunter
      • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
      Saturday 19 Nov 2011 – Bird Hide Construction at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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      This week we're at the Trap Grounds in North Oxford. The name of this site may come from the Oxford word "trap" meaning toilet, because it may once have been a dumping ground; it certainly was used as a rubbish tip before a group of local people helped to get it designated as a Town Green and nature reserve. Or the name could be a contraction of "extra-parochial grounds", which would be a bit of a mouthful. Whatever the origin of the name, the site itself is impressive for its range of habitat within quite a small area. Working with local residents, the varied tasks we'll be doing include finishing building a bird hide, preparing to plant native trees, and lots of the usual bramble bashing. Feel free to come for part of the day if you like.

      • Leader: Chris Skepper
      • Driver: Phil Hunter
      Sunday 20 Nov 2011 – Scrub Clearance at Lye Valley, Oxford
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      This week we'll be doing some urgent jobs at this splendid little SSSI in east Oxford. Oxford City Council manage the site and we'll be working to a management plan involving Natural England and local ecologists. We came here in the Summer and again in Autumn to rake the cuttings off the fen. Today we'll be cutting back the scrub on both the North and South fen. Join the mailing list to find out more details nearer the time.

      • Leader: Phil Hunter
      • Driver: Tim Howard
      Sunday 27 Nov 2011 – Scrub Clearance at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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      We're scrub bashing on this Local Nature Reserve on the side of a railway cutting in north Oxfordshire this week. Our scrub clearance work over many years is combined with sensitive grazing with cows and sheep to maintain the valuable unimproved grassland in perfect condition for wild flowers. A local naturalist told us that wild flowers could be seen in June on the exact spot we cleared scrub from last Winter, which sounds like the best endorsement of our work here that we could ask for. We'll most likely have a bonfire as well as leaving scrub piles to give some extra cover for small mammals. Come along and wave at the trains as they go past!

      • Leader: Michelle Reid
      • Driver: John Worth
      Sunday 4 Dec 2011 – Revetment Construction at Matthew Arnold Field, Oxford
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      We normally do path revetments in Spring and Summer, but unusually we're going to do some in the Winter this Sunday. We'll be working to improve access on this site owned by the Oxford Preservation Trust. As well as building revetments to hold up the path, we'll also scrape off some turf to prepare potential habitats for insects in the Spring. Come along for a day of digging, sawing and bashing at this splendid woodland site on Boar's Hill.

      • Leader: Phil Hunter
      • Driver: John Worth
      Tuesday 6 Dec 2011 – at Oxford Town Hall
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      The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near where Borders used to be) from about 9pm.

      • Contact: Lydia
      Sunday 11 Dec 2011 – Coppicing at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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      We did some coppicing near here last year as well. Coppicing is the traditional way of managing woodland to provide a reliable "crop" of timber of a particular size. We cut the trees off at ground level and amazingly they regrow and after somewhere between 2 and 30 years, you can repeat the process and get another crop. Even more amazingly, this makes the trees almost immortal, so the trees you're coppicing could be hundreds of years old. Coppicing lets the light reach the woodland floor which means there can be a more interesting selection of wild flowers and potentially more food for dormice and other potential inhabitants of the wood. Come along and give it a go this Sunday.

      • Leader: Phil Hunter
      • Driver: Paul Clarke
      Friday 16 Dec 2011 – Christmas party at Magdalen College

      Come and celebrate Christmas with OCV! This year's party will be held in the Oscar Wilde Room (which Oscar Wilde actually used to live in) in Magdalen College. The main entrance to the college is on the High Street just before Magdalen bridge; ask the porters for directions to the room when you arrive. The party will start at 7.30pm. Please bring some food and drink, and Christmas music and decorations would also be appreciated!

      • Contact: Beth
      Sunday 18 Dec 2011 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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      Our December visit to this splendid National Nature Reserve owned and managed by Natural England, the government's nature conservation agency. We'll be working with the wardens who look after the site and the work could be scrub clearance on the valuable chalk grassland, coppicing in the woods, or looking after the sheep that graze the slopes. More details in our weekly email as normal. It's our last task before Christmas, so there may be a bonfire to bake potatoes and parsnips for lunch.

      • Leader: Jo Hayduk
      • Driver: John Worth
      Sunday 25 Dec 2011 – No task on Christmas Day at

      We're not having a task this Sunday because it's Christmas Day! We'll resume regular tasks in the New Year. If you're a regular volunteer then many thanks for all your efforts in 2011, your hard work keeps OCV going, and OCV keeps many local nature reserves in excellent condition. If you'd like to get more involved in 2012, then we'd love to have you on board; talk to any task leaders or committee members.

        Monday 2 Jan 2012 – Walling and Scrub Clearance at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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        It's an unusual bank holiday Monday task for us today to start the year. Come and get some fresh air and fun in this historic cemetery and urban nature reserve in central Oxford. Instead of having the grass nicely trimmed like you'd traditionally expect, it is allowed to grow wild for a period of time and then the scrub is trimmed back in one area at a time, so it remains accessible to visitors. The new scrub growth is great for birds and small mammals, which feed on the berries and seeds. Today we'll be repairing a wall, attacking the scrub in one section of the cemetery and having a good bonfire to burn the waste and keep ourselves warm. There'll be some lighter work peeling the ivy off gravestones and some harder work hand-mixing some cement for minor repairs to the walls.

        • Leader: Chris Skepper
        • Driver: Jo Gay
        Sunday 8 Jan 2012 – Otter Holt Construction and Scrub Clearance at Kennington Pools, Oxford
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        It's a new site for us this week, but a very promising little nature reserve in South Oxford. We'll be cutting back scrub which is shading a pond, possibly coppicing some hazel and building an Otter Holt. Otters are still scarce after decades of pollution to rivers and destruction of their habitat, but their population is thought to be recovering along the Thames. They naturally live under tree roots near water, but to give them a helping hand we're building them a holt to a careful design, made from the natural materials we harvest today. Come along and help provide an otter with a home!

        • Leader: Chris Skepper
        • Driver: John Worth
        Sunday 15 Jan 2012 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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        This week we'll be helping the wardens from Natural England who manage this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. We'll be helping with whatever tasks they have planned for us. At this time of year it could be scrub clearance to maintain the stunning chalk grassland, coppicing operations in the woodland on site, or even caring for one of the flocks of sheep that themselves carry out essential scrub munching work on the grassland. As usual our weekly email will have all the details including the type of work planned and the part of the reserve on which we're working.

        • Leader: Tom Black
        • Driver: Paul Clarke
        Saturday 21 Jan 2012 – Reserve Maintenance at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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        This nature reserve in North Oxford has an interesting history, and is quite small but still encompasses pond, wetland, wood and meadow. The meadow exists thanks to the efforts of OCV and the local Friends of the Trap Grounds group. Today we'll be working with the locals to clear bramble, maintain paths, reduce excessive scrub shading the ponds and generally help to maintain the site. As usual everyone's welcome, there'll be loads to do, and it's walking distance from Oxford City Centre if you miss the minibus pick-up.

        • Leader: Ray Hitchins
        • Driver: Jo Gay
        Sunday 22 Jan 2012 – Heathland Restoration at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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        We'll be working on Mary Sadler's field at Shotover Country Park to the East of Oxford today. We'll be taking part in a new heathland restoration project organised by the city council. Heathland is very rare in Oxfordshire, so this is valuable work. More details will be forthcoming nearer the time, but it's likely to be mainly scrub clearance tasks. We're good at that! As usual, no experience is necessary, full instructions will be given and it should be a good day.

        • Leader: Phil Hunter
        • Driver: Tim Howard
        Friday 27 Jan 2012 – Pub Social at The Kings Arms, Broad Street

        We'll be having a few drinks in the KA tonight, starting at 7pm. It sells food and opens till midnight I think, so you can either stay all night or drop in at any time that suits. You don't have to be a regular volunteer to come; sometimes people like to see what we're like before they commit themselves to a whole task! So feel free to come along and say hello. Further details will be sent via email, so get yourself on our mailing list if you're not already.

        • Contact: Chris
        Sunday 29 Jan 2012 – Timber Extraction Clean-up at Warburg Nature Reserve, Bix, Oxfordshire
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        We're off to Warburg, near Bix today, and we'll be working for the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire wildlife trust who own this splendid site. It's BBOWT's showcase nature reserve and whenever we go here we always admire the well-maintained hedges, grassland and habitat piles on this site. Today's project is clearing up and burning the left-overs from felling of some of the conifers on this site. We'll be helping to extend the chalk grassland, which is a rare and valuable habitat in this part of the world. Get yourself on our email list to find out more about it.

        • Leader: Jo Hayduk
        • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
        Sunday 5 Feb 2012 – Coppicing at Pissen Wood, Oxfordshire
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        We're going to a new site today, but doing work that's not new to us at all. This part of Pissen Wood is a privately-owned part of a larger National Trust woodland and is being managed as wildlife habitat. We'll be harvesting some of the timber for our hedging stakes and binders, clearing coupes to let in sunlight and improve biodiversity and leaving habitat piles for invertebrates. There will certainly be a good bonfire to keep warm and cook any potatoes or parsnips you want to bring for your lunch. As usual, full details will be sent out in the weekly email. THIS TASK WAS CANCELLED DUE TO THE SNOW.

        • Leader: Steve Lilley
        • Driver: John Worth
        Sunday 12 Feb 2012 – Scrub Clearance at Ardley Quarry, Fritwell, Oxfordshire
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        This week it's a welcome return to this former quarry and splendid nature reserve just one junction north on the M40. It's the place where they found amazing fossilised dinosaur footprints. Sometimes we've done paths and steps here in the Summer, but today we'll be clearing scrub to maintain biodiversity. We'll most likely be working with one of BBOWT's wardens, who will be able to tell us all about the site.

        • Leader: Aga Rzad
        • Driver: Ray Hitchins
        Saturday 18 Feb 2012 – Fencing at Raleigh Park, Oxford
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        A bonus Saturday task and more work on our ongoing replacement of the fencing around Raleigh Park. We're making incredibly good progress putting brand-new post and wire round this much-valued park and nature reserve in West Oxford. Our post-and-wire fencing has all be done to a very high standard and should last for many years to come. When complete, it will be something that we can be proud of, because not all volunteer groups would have the skills to do this type of work, to the same consistently high standard. Not that we like to boast! Come along and help, there'll be plenty for everyone to do and it's fine to come along for part of the day.

        • Leader: Chris Skepper
        • Driver: Jo Gay
        Sunday 19 Feb 2012 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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        Our regular monthly visit to this splendid nature reserve and SSSI in the Chilterns. If you've not been before you've probably noticed the place where the M40 cuts through the chalk and Red Kites circle overhead. We'll be working with the highly-knowledgeable wardens from Natural England; the government's main nature conservation agency. They'll probably give us some scrub to clear, some woodland to coppice, or some sheep to foot-trim. As usual, we'll find out the exact work plan in the week beforehand so get on the mailing list, get the email and get involved!

        • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
        • Driver: John Worth
        Sunday 26 Feb 2012 – Coppicing at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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        Shotover covers the old coach road from London to Oxford. As Oxford comes into sight, there would be just one stretch of more woodland to get through before travellers would be safe from highwaymen. The woodland we're managing today is coppice woodland, which may have looked very similar even hundreds of years ago. Coppicing is a way of managing woodland to provide a regular supply of timber for building, hurdle-making, fence posts or firewood. In fact, no part of the tree would have been wasted. Nowadays, we might be taking a few hedgelaying stakes but our main purpose is to maintain the woodland in the way that the local wildlife are used to. This means fresh coppiced coupes providing light for rare woodland flora and regeneration of the trees.

        • Leader: Phil Hunter
        • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
        Saturday 3 Mar 2012 – Rubbish Removal and Scrub Clearance at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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        Today is Oxclean day and OCV's contribution will be some rubbish clearance at the Trap Grounds in North Oxford. It used to be an unofficial rubbish dump, so we're not moving everything, but we'll fill a skip with the sharpest, most dangerous and unsightly things. This type of work has made a huge difference in the past, and makes the site safer for children and dogs. But since that sort of thing is not really nature conservation work, we're also likely to do some bramble bashing, create and maintain some paths and cut back any trees shading out the ponds too much.

        • Leader: Tom Black
        • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
        Sunday 4 Mar 2012 – Fencing, Wildflower Planting and Scrub Clearance at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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        It's a mixed bag of tasks today. We'll be working around the Cemetery and Windmill Centre in Deddington and the work will involve modifying some post and rail fencing and moving stiles and gates. We'll also plant some wildflowers in suitable locations and cut back scrub in other locations. OCV work on this site has made a real difference over the last few years, creating footpaths, laying hedges and coppicing woodland. So come along today and help us keep up the good work.

        • Leader: Tim Howard
        • Driver: John Worth
        Tuesday 6 Mar 2012 – at Oxford Town Hall
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        The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd (a pub in Friar's entry, near where Borders used to be) from about 9pm.

        • Contact: Jo
        Saturday 10 Mar 2012 – Coppicing at Pissen Wood, Oxfordshire
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        We're going to a new site today, but doing work that's not new to us at all. This part of Pissen Wood is a privately-owned part of a larger National Trust woodland and is being managed as wildlife habitat. We'll be harvesting some of the timber for our hedging stakes and binders, clearing coupes to let in sunlight and improve biodiversity and leaving habitat piles for invertebrates. There will certainly be a good bonfire to keep warm and cook any potatoes or parsnips you want to bring for your lunch. As usual, full details will be sent out in the weekly email. (This task was rescheduled to today as a result of snow in February.)

        • Leader: Chris Skepper
        • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
        Sunday 11 Mar 2012 – Coppicing at Boarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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        Our last coppicing task of the Winter. We'll be clearing another coppice coupe to let in the daylight and promote regeneration, whilst also harvesting a good crop of timber for hedgelaying stakes and binders. We'll also be able to look at other areas we coppiced last Winter and the year before and see how they are regenerating and providing a range of different ages of trees for maximum biodiversity. After this there'll probably be no more coppicing until Autumn!

        • Leader: Ray Hitchins
        • Driver: Jo Gay
        Sunday 18 Mar 2012 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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        Our regular monthly visit to this splendid National Nature Reserve. We'll be working with Natural England's wardens to help maintain the reserve. They will give us some work that's appropriate to the type of year, whether it's a bit of scrub bashing, fencing or even caring for one of the flocks of sheep by trimming their feet. As usual we'll explain exactly what sort of task is planned in the weekly email that's sent out before the task.

        • Leader: Aga Rzad
        • Driver: John Worth
        Thursday 22 Mar 2012 – Pub Social (possibly some games) at Bookbinders pub, Jericho
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        For the March social, we're keeping things simple with a trip to the Bookbinders Pub in Jericho from 7.30pm. If you'd like to play some boardgames or card games, feel free to bring some with you, but no obligation if you'd just like a quiet drink and chat! You don't have to be a regular volunteer to come along - we're a friendly bunch, drop by and say hello!

        • Contact: Michelle
        Sunday 25 Mar 2012 – Fencing at Raleigh Park, Oxford
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        It's now nearly a year since we started replacing the fencing around this splendid park in West Oxford, managed by Oxford City Council with help from us and other local groups. We've been working in stretches of 50m to 100m each time, with the amount we've got done depending on the number of fiddly bits, such as straining posts, gates and stiles. When it's finished it will be a great achievement and will last for many years to come. In the course of doing it, we'll have improved and consolidated the fencing skills we have in the group ready for future tasks. Come along and get involved.

        • Leader: Paul Clarke
        • Driver: David Max
        Saturday 31 Mar 2012 – Fencing at 'Cultivate', Little Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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        It's a slightly unusual one for us today. We'll be helping out Cultivate, a new co-operative social enterprise which aims to bring fresh, local, organic food directly to the Oxford area. They have a site where they are planning to start growing food at Little Wittenham, close to where OCV have worked in the past with the Northmoor Trust. Together with Cultivate volunteers, we'll be helping out with an ambitious fencing project around one of their fields. This type of organic food production can leave many great opportunities for wildlife like birds and pollinating insects to flourish in the hedges and field margins. Come along for a good day's fencing and a chance to find out about the plans for sustainable food production.

        • Leader: Emma Burnett
        • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
        Sunday 1 Apr 2012 – Bonfires, fencing, footbridge and signs at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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        It's April Fool's Day and you'd be a fool to miss a chance to visit this fantastic nature reserve near Woodstock. Some willows have been pollarded recently by a chainsaw team so we'll be having some bonfires to dispose of the cuttings. This is vital work to stop them sprouting into the damp ground of the water meadow. Even a small twig cut from a willow can produce a huge tree in no time at all. The water meadow is an incredibly rich habitat but without regular maintenance it would become boring old scrub. It's also likely we'll be asked construct a sleeper footbridge, repair fences and replace or clean the signage on site. This is a stunning nature reserve, so it's a task not to miss.

        • Leader: Phil Hunter
        • Driver: Tim Howard
        Tuesday 3 Apr 2012 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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        The meeting will be held at 8pm in the Jury Room. Come along if you would like to learn more about how we run or would like to get more involved. Or join us for a pint at Far from the Madding Crowd from around 9pm.

        • Contact: Lydia
        Friday 6 Apr 2012 -
        Monday 9 Apr 2012 – Brecon Beacons Residential 2012 at Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
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        This weekend we're off to the Brecon Beacons to work with the National Trust wardens who help maintain some of the most heavily-used trails in this National Park. We'll be leaving on Good Friday evening and arriving back on Easter Monday evening. We'll be working with the National Trust on Saturday and Sunday and we'll have Monday off to explore the area. We've been to this area several times in the past and it's always a really good trip. The National Trust base camp accommodation is comfortable and well-equipped and we provide transport and meals. After the work is done there's usually plenty of time for eating, drinking and general merriment. Total cost should be less than 40 pounds. More details will be sent to the OCV mailing list and to members. You must be an OCV member to come on residentials, but it only costs 5 pounds and you can join at the same time as booking. For more information contact tasks@ocv.org.uk or book via the button below. SORRY - THIS IS NOW FULL.

        • Leader: Andy Mo
        • Driver: Jo Gay
        Sunday 15 Apr 2012 – Reserve Maintenance at Stansfeld Park, Oxford
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        We'll be working very close to home today. This is the outdoor education centre where we keep our tools and minibus. Today's task will be general maintenance on the site. In the past this has included building dipping platforms, creating steps and putting up fences, clearing and surfacing paths, and controlling ivy where it threatens large trees. Today's work could be any of those or something completely different, join the mailing list to get details nearer the time.

        • Leader: Tom Black
        • Driver: Tim Howard
        Saturday 21 Apr 2012 – First Aid Training at British Red Cross, Abingdon

        We're doing a one day first aid course today with the British Red Cross in Abingdon. It is a standard first-aid course and if you pass the assessment at the end you will get a certificate that is valid for 3 years. This is really important for OCV because it makes it more likely we have qualified first aiders present on most of our tasks. It will be free to OCV members, and the standard of the training is very high and you are guaranteed to learn something, even if you have been on a similar course before. There are a limited number of places, but OCV has paid so we'd really like to use them all. So please book if you're able to come and also say if you already have a first aid certificate. We will give priority to leaders, drivers, members and then regular volunteers, particularly those who haven't had training before or whose certificates are expiring soon. Please fill out the booking form if you'd like to come. We'll also need a leader and a driver to get us there. (NB. No deposit cheque is required, whatever the booking form says!) **SORRY - THIS IS NOW FULLY BOOKED**

        • Leader: Paul Clarke
        • Driver: Tim Howard
        Sunday 22 Apr 2012 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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        Our regular monthly visit to a National Nature Reserve. We'll be working with the wardens from Natural England to look after this splendid chalk grassland and woodland site in the Chilterns. At this time of year the work is likely to be maintenance of fences, stiles and gates or steps and paths. Or it could involve work with one of the flocks of sheep on site. Full details will be given on the OCV mailing list as usual.

        • Leader: Aga Rzad
        • Driver: John Worth
        Sunday 29 Apr 2012 – Fencing at Raleigh Park, Oxford
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        We've been working our way round the edge of Raleigh Park in West Oxford for the last year, replacing the fencing a stretch at a time. We're making good progress and the eventual aim is to leave it stock proof to give the option of grazing the site to keep scrub down. We pull out the rotten posts and carefully roll up the rusty old barbed wire, then we put in new posts and wire and hopefully we do it well enough to last for 15-20 years. It's possible this task will be changed to another Oxford City Council site if a more urgent job needs doing. The best thing to do is join our mailing list so you get all the up-to-date information.

        • Leader: Paul Clarke
        • Driver: Phil Hunter
        Tuesday 1 May 2012 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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        The meeting will be held at 8pm in the Jury Room. Come along if you would like to learn more about how we run or would like to get more involved. Or join us for a pint at Far from the Madding Crowd from around 9pm.

        • Contact: Lydia
        Sunday 6 May 2012 – Stone wall repair and outdoor bird box workshop at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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        This week we'll be doing a slightly unusual task. Part of the day will be repairing a wall at this urban nature reserve in central Oxford. Since the wall is old we'll be using traditional lime mortar to match the original. Lime mortar has been used in building work for centuries and has very different properties to modern cement, and is still considered superior in some respects. We'll need help mixing the mortar, then skilfully placing the stones in the wall. The stones should all be there ready as we recovered them from the neighbouring land on a previous visit. If we have more volunteers than the walling requires, then there may be some other small tasks on the site. And if not, it would be great to set up some portable workbenches and make up loads of bird and bat boxes. We're likely to visit loads of sites where we can put them up throughout Oxfordshire in the coming months.

        • Leader: Chris Skepper
        • Driver: David Max
        Sunday 13 May 2012 – Fencing at Raleigh Park, Oxford
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        • Leader: Phil Hunter
        • Driver: Jo Gay
        Sunday 20 May 2012 – Steps, paths, benches and bridge building at Standlake Ranch, Witney, West Oxfordshire
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        This is the first of two tasks at a new site for us. It's a Christian retreat with facilities for outdoor education for children including a rope bridge and improvised water slide. We'll be improving the nature trail through a small patch of woodland. We'll replace several sets of steps, clear and re-route a path. There might also be possibility of making some wooden benches. Most interestingly of all, we will make a start on constructing a substantial wooden footbridge to a small island.

        • Leader: Chris Skepper
        • Driver: John Worth
        Sunday 27 May 2012 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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        Our monthly visit to this Natural England-managed National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. If you're regularly on the M40, you'll know it as the bit where you go through a chalk cutting and there are always a lot of birds hovering overhead (they are Red Kites). The site has quite a bit of woodland and some stunning unimproved chalk grassland with wild flowers everywhere. Since we're in the middle of the bird nesting season we're likely to be doing fencing, step or path maintenance or looking after one of the flocks of sheep that keep the grassland safe from scrub invasion. More details in the weekly email.

        • Leader: Tom Black
        • Driver: David Max
        Sunday 3 Jun 2012 – Bridge building, path and step work at Standlake Ranch, Witney, West Oxfordshire
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        Our second day's work at this Christian retreat and outdoor educational centre. We're helping to improve the nature reserve aspect of the grounds by improving access with better steps and today we'll hopefully be finishing construction of a large wooden bridge. There might be time for a few side jobs, such as making benches, repairing steps, trimming vegetation on paths and maybe creating some different habitat. It's an unusual project for us that may hopefully take OCV's construction projects up a notch or two from boardwalks and dipping platforms. So come along and be a part of the fun!

        • Leader: Chris Skepper
        • Driver: David Max
        Thursday 7 Jun 2012 – AGM at Oxford Town Hall
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        This month's committee meeting is the AGM - a chance for members to exercise their voting powers! The meeting will be held from 8-9pm in the Jury Room of the Town Hall. If you would like to come along and learn more about the work of the committee then all members are welcome. Alternatively you can join us for a pint at Far From the Madding Crowd afterwards. PLEASE NOTE THIS MEETING IS ON THURSDAY, NOT THE USUAL TUESDAY.

        • Contact: Lydia
        Sunday 10 Jun 2012 – Fencing at Raleigh Park, Oxford
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        We're at this Oxford City Council-managed site in West Oxford again this week for a bit more fencing work. Fencing is one the main things that we do in Spring, when the birds are nesting and trees are growing vigorously, and we're pretty good at it. Maybe we're not as fast as people with a lot of agricultural machinery, but we take pride in a quality job and we can get posts put-in in some awkward to access places. This task might change to another Oxford City Council site if there's something that's more urgent for us to deal with on one of Oxford's other nature reserves. The weekly email will have all the details.

        • Leader: Phil Hunter
        • Driver: Paul Clarke
        Sunday 17 Jun 2012 – Footbridge and step construction at Standlake Ranch, Witney, West Oxfordshire
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        This will be our third visit to Standlake Ranch in recent months and this time we're hoping to finish the footbridge and also complete the path with a few more steps and handrails. The result should be a much more accessible nature trail through woods to an island. If there's time we might also make a dipping platform, but we'll probably have our work cut out with the jobs we've started already. Come along for some more exciting construction work with lots of sawing and bashing required.

        • Leader: Chris Skepper
        • Driver: Jo Gay
        Sunday 24 Jun 2012 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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        We're back to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve this week to help out looking after this particular part of the Chilterns AONB. We'll be working with the wardens from Natural England who will give us some appropriate tasks to do within their management plan for the reserve. It's less likely to be scrub destruction and bonfires at this time of year, and more likely to be fencing, path work or sheep husbandry. Whatever the plan is, our weekly email will have all the information you need to get involved.

        • Leader: Andy Mo
        • Driver: Tim Howard
        Sunday 1 Jul 2012 – Scrub Clearance and Ragwort Pulling at Fields at Hook Norton Cutting, North Oxfordshire
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        We've worked in the amazing wild-flower meadows here for the last few years. The owners don't treat them with chemicals, so they are traditional meadows with a broad range of species. We helped to pull ragwort so that the hay wasn't contaminated with this potentially poisonous plant. Last year there were amazing butterflies everywhere. This time they're hoping a ragwort pull won't be required on their land so we're actually working on the neighbouring farm, near to an SSSI. We'll be cutting back scrub which is encroaching onto the grassland. This probably won't take us very long, so we will pull ragwort in their fields as well and there will be no shortage of that work. Come along to admire the views and the wild flowers and for some Summer grassland slashing, sawing and uprooting.

        • Leader: Phil Hunter
        • Driver: Ray Hitchins
        Tuesday 3 Jul 2012 – Committee Meeting at Oxford Town Hall
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        The meeting will be held at 8pm in the Jury Room. Come along if you would like to learn more about how we run or would like to get more involved. Or join us for a pint at Far from the Madding Crowd from around 9pm.

        • Contact: Lydia
        Sunday 8 Jul 2012 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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        We're off for our monthly visit to our most regular work site this week. Working with the expert wardens from Natural England we'll be doing whatever reserve maintenance work they've got planned for us this week. At this time of year, it will most likely be fencing, path work or looking after one of the flocks of sheep which graze the chalk grassland and keep it in great condition. We'll give full details in our weekly email.

        • Leader: Aga Rzad
        • Driver: Jo Gay
        Sunday 15 Jul 2012 – Fen-raking at Lye Valley, Oxford
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        Despite its urban surroundings the Lye Valley is an exceptionally important natural habitat with several rare species only found in one or two other places in Oxfordshire. One of our annual tasks is raking the fen after it has been cut by Oxford City Council staff. Our task may be careful management of sensitive habitat, but it can still be very hard work. It can also be wet even in warm weather. It's a satisfying job though because you can clearly see the difference when it's done. We also sometimes pollard willows nearby to stop them shading out the fen. Come along and help us do this vital work.

        • Leader: Phil Hunter
        • Driver: John Worth
        Sunday 22 Jul 2012 – Stone wall repair at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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        We started a wall-repair project here in May. We did a lot, but there is still plenty left to repair. Today we'll be dismantling some partly-collapsed wall and repairing it with lime mortar, which was the traditional material used for buildings before the twentieth century. It's likely that a lot of mixing of mortar will be required, along with sorting out stones and finally placing them back on the wall. If we can, we'll also replace the capping on the wall, which will require some more mixing and artistic shaping. We might also do some small scrub clearance jobs and generally tidy up where we can. When repaired, the wall should be good for many years to come.

        • Leader: Chris Skepper
        • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
        Friday 27 Jul 2012 – Dinner at the Jam Factory at

        We'll be meeting at the Jam Factory near the station for a good meal. The table will be booked for 8pm. Check out their website for the new summer menu and please email Tom by the night of Tuesday the 24th to book.

        • Contact: Tom
        Sunday 29 Jul 2012 – Fencing at Raleigh Park, Oxford
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        We'll be putting some finishing touches to our splendid fence around this park in West Oxford today, managed by Oxford City Council. Since finishing the fence won't take the whole day, we'll also be doing a few other fence and gate repair jobs, then getting our waders on and doing some pond work. So it should be a varied day's work here. Come along and join the fun!

        • Leader: Tom Black
        • Driver: David Max
        Sunday 5 Aug 2012 – Scrub Clearance and Otter Holt Construction at Kennington Pools, Oxford
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        We had a day on this small but important nature reserve in southern Oxford in the Winter. On that occasion we did some coppicing, cleared some tree branches which were overshadowing one side of the pool and built an otter holt. This time we've chosen a warmer time of year so we can get into the water in our wellies and waders to complete the work around the pond. That will give us a lot of spare scrub and so we will build another otter holt, near to the previous one. This will give the otters an extra choice of home, but more to the point the scrub cutting will greatly increase biodiversity around the southern end of the pond. We'll bring all our waders and wellies, so come along, get your rubber gear on and prepare to jump in!

        • Leader: Chris Skepper
        • Driver: John Worth
        Tuesday 7 Aug 2012 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town Hall
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        Tonight is our monthly committee meeting - come along if you would like to get more involved in the running of the charity. Alternatively, you can meet us in Far From the Madding Crowd afterwards. Please note this month's meeting will be held in the PLOWMAN ROOM of the Town Hall. Sadly no ploughman's lunch will be provided.

        • Contact: Lydia
        Saturday 11 Aug 2012 – Wild Swimming/ Punting day at Tumbling Bay, Botley
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        This will be a Saturday afternoon out and about! It will involve our own very cool Oxford rivers and it'll be loads of fun... other details to follow..

        • Contact: Tom
        Sunday 12 Aug 2012 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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        A Summer visit to this important site in the Chilterns. Aston Rowant is a National Nature Reserve, run by the government's conservation agency Natural England. We'll be helping the wardens with whatever they want doing at this time of year, whilst enjoying the views and hopefully the nice weather. For more information about exactly what we'll be doing, join our email list and you'll get full details.

        • Leader: Phil Hunter
        • Driver: John Worth
        Sunday 19 Aug 2012 – Fen cutting and raking at Iffley Island, Oxford
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        This small spit of land next to the river is not quite an island, but it does sometimes look like one. The last few years we've cut the sedgy grass and, importantly, raked if off the site so that it doesn't enrich the soil. The low-nutrient soil is vital for promoting wild flowers such as fritillaries. We've also pollarded some of the smaller willows to stop them overshadowing the fen. Come along and help with this vital but very hard work. You can do it at your own pace of course! It's usually really nice working alongside the river, particularly when the weather is kind to us. Come along and join in!

        • Leader: Aga Rzad
        • Driver: Jo Gay
        Tuesday 21 Aug 2012 – Book Binders Pub Social at

        Just a good pub social. We had a great time when Michelle took us there at the beginning of the year. I also love the fact that crepes are the main item on the menu! I'll be there from 8pm.

        • Contact: Tom
        Saturday 25 Aug 2012 – Scrub and rubbish clearance and reed pulling at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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        This site in north Oxford is a former rubbish dump, which is now a popular community resource as well as an impressive nature reserve. We've done lots of work clearing scrub, creating paths and building a bird hide. Today we will be doing some scrub clearance around the meadow, and possibly removing excess reeds from the ponds, which will require waders and possibly a small boat! Come along and help with this important work.

        • Leader: Paul Clarke
        • Driver: John Worth
        Sunday 26 Aug 2012 – Sleeper walkway repair at Chilswell Valley, Oxford
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        Another visit to this stunning Oxford City Council nature reserve to the south-west of the city. There are great views and fantastic woodland, grassland and wetland habitats. Today we'll be repairing a walkway constructed from railway sleepers. This will help to maintain safe public access to the site. Come along and get involved.

        • Leader: Phil Hunter
        • Driver: Geoff Watson
        Sunday 2 Sep 2012 – Step-building and coppicing at South Newington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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        South Newington is a village in North Oxfordshire towards Banbury. We'll be doing two different jobs in the parish this week. Firstly we'll be building a set of steps to improve access to a newly planted woodland up a steep slope. Secondly, we'll be in a different part of the village, coppicing trees alongside an ancient lane. This type of work will improve access, but also drastically increase biodiversity by letting the light reach the ground and kick-start growth of a lot of woodland plant species. It will be interesting to call back in the future and see what grows back where we've worked. Come along for some enjoyable step-building and first coppicing of the year.

        • Leader: Chris Skepper
        • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
        Tuesday 4 Sep 2012 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town Hall
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        Tonight is our monthly committee meeting - come along if you'd like to get more involved in the running of the charity. Alternatively, we will be heading to Far from the Madding Crowd for a pint or join afterwards if you would like to come along. Please note: This month's meeting will be held in the BARRISTERS ROOM of the Town Hall.

        • Contact: Lydia
        Sunday 9 Sep 2012 – Dipping platform construction and more at St Peter's Primary School, Cassington
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        This week we'll be doing a series of jobs at this village primary school to significantly improve the school nature area. We'll be clearing some scrub from around the pond, building a new dipping platform, cutting a meadow, pollarding a willow, surfacing a network of paths, and planting a hedge, possibly two of them. It's a lot of small jobs which altogether will hopefully make an amazing nature area with examples of 5 or 6 different types of habitat. We'll be working with locals, perhaps including parents, pupils and staff. There will be loads to do, so please come along and do your bit!

        • Leader: Chris Skepper
        • Driver: John Worth
        Sunday 16 Sep 2012 – Scrub clearance and pond work at Widnell Park, Piddington, North Oxfordshire
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        We'll be scrub-clearing and helping to restore a pond at this site in Piddington parish, near Bicester. We'll be working for the parish council who are creating a new woodland for the jubilee-year. There'll be lots coppicing to do, as well as bramble to cut and possibly some earth to move. The trees will be planted later in the Winter. Come along for lots of top quality conservation work helping to create a woodland that will hopefully be enjoyed by generations to come.

        • Leader: Phil Hunter
        • Driver: Alison Hopkin
        Saturday 22 Sep 2012 – Scrub Clearance at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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        This week we'll be working at Shotover Country Park, which is managed by Oxford City Council. This is a last-minute change from the previously advertised task at Port Meadow. We'll be removing sycamore saplings from a relatively remote corner of the site. More information has already been sent out in the weekly email, so please email tasks@ocv.org.uk if you want a copy forwarding to you!

        • Leader: Phil Hunter
        • Driver: Geoff Watson
        Sunday 23 Sep 2012 – Lime mortar walling at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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        We're close to home again today with another day's walling at Holywell Cemetery - a space for urban wildlife in the centre of Oxford. We're working our way along the stone wall at the rear of the site, rebuilding those parts of it that have collapsed, using traditional lime mortar. There will be lots of mortar to mix and stone to sort out, and there will be also be chance to have a go at laying the new stones if you want. If we have a really good turnout then we can do some scrub clearance as well, as there will certainly be loads needed after the wet spring which has allowed some very vigorous growth. Given the convenient location, feel free to come along for part of the day if you prefer.

        • Leader: Chris Skepper
        • Driver: Jo Gay
        Sunday 30 Sep 2012 – Coppicing at Pissen Wood, Oxfordshire
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        We last went to this beautiful privately owned woodland late last Winter. There's loads and loads of work to do coppicing it, because it hasn't been actively managed for some time. Today we'll get ourselves some hedgelaying stakes and binders and create some dense log piles for invertebrates and some messier scrub piles for other wildlife. But the main purpose is of course to open the canopy to let in light and promote regeneration. This means rare plants on the floor of the woodland and a source of food for birds and small mammals. In fact, since it's hazel coppice there may even be rare dormice, which are thought to benefit hugely from maintaining the traditional coppice cycle. So come along and join the fun.

        • Leader: Aga Rzad
        • Driver: John Worth
        Tuesday 2 Oct 2012 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town Hall
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        Tonight we are holding our monthly committee meeting - come along if you fancy getting more involved in the running of the charity. Afterwards, we'll head to Far from the Madding Crowd for a pint or two if you fancy coming along. Tonight's meeting will be in the usual Jury Room.

        • Contact: Lydia
        Sunday 7 Oct 2012 – Hedgelaying at Boarstall Duck Decoy, Buckinghamshire
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        Our first hedgelaying task of the season and we're off to a site we've worked at many times in the past, doing coppicing, hedgelaying and repairing the banks of the lake. This time we'll be laying another section of a rather mature hedge we started last year, so there will be some coppicing involved as well. The aim will be to make the hedge denser, so it provides better habitat for birds and small mammals, and we'll also let in more light to help regenerate an area of recently coppiced woodland. No previous experience of hedgelaying required, so come along and get stuck in.

        • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
        • Driver: Alison Hopkin
        Saturday 13 Oct 2012 – Fen-raking at Lye Valley, Oxford
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        Day one of a double-bill of fen-raking this weekend. There are two fens at the Lye Valley and we will most-likely do one each day. This is vital work to maintain the rich diversity of species on this SSSI in East Oxford. The reeds will have been cut by the city council, so our job will be to rake them off the fen so that the soil is not enriched by the decaying matter. To maintain the interesting plants it's important to keep the soil really low in nutrients. It's hard work but really important work.

        • Leader: Richard Newton
        • Driver: Jonathan Eccles
        Sunday 14 Oct 2012 – Fen-raking at Lye Valley, Oxford
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        Day two of a double-bill of fen-raking at this SSSI in East Oxford. The reeds will have been cut and will just need raking off to maintain variety of species on this fen. It can be hard work but is a vitally important bit of management to maintain the site. If we finish all the raking, there may be some other bits of scrub clearance to do at the edge of the fen. Come along and join in. Many hands make light work!

        • Leader: Jo Hayduk
        • Driver: John Worth
        Saturday 20 Oct 2012 – Reserve Maintenance at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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        We're off to this nature reserve and town green in North Oxford today to do a bit of scrub clearance and possibly remove some dangerous and unsightly rubbish as well. It used to be a rubbish tip and the small piles of old bricks and rubble are home to lizards, with the ponds and wetland home to birds, amphibians and reptiles. It's possible that we'll build a bench for users of our bird hide screen. In the past we've also pulled up bramble and golden rod to create a meadow and cleared a lot of scrub to create a network of paths.

        • Leader: Chris Skepper
        • Driver: David Max
        Sunday 21 Oct 2012 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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        Our first Autumn visit to this Natural England nature reserve in the Chilterns. At this time of year we could be doing fencing work, looking after the sheep, or perhaps starting on some Autumn scrub bashing on the grassland or some coppicing in the woods. We'll be working with one of the wardens from Natural England and they will tell us their priorities. It's an amazingly diverse nature reserve, so it could be almost anything. As usual our weekly e-mail will have all the details.

        • Leader: Aga Rzad
        • Driver: Jo Gay
        Thursday 25 Oct 2012 – Social event: a curry at Majliss Indian Restaurant

        We'll be getting a curry on the Cowley Road. If you want to join us for a drink after, then we'll most probably be at the Star from about 9pm - but take my mobile number just in case: 07887 928115

        • Contact: Jo
        Sunday 28 Oct 2012 – Sheep foot trimming and ear tagging at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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        It's unusual for us to work at this National Nature Reserve two weeks running, but we will be back this week to help the wardens with whatever their priorities are. It could be scrub clearance on the grassland, coppicing ash and hazel, or any number of other tasks around the site. If we're on the hillside the views over Oxfordshire are splendid. Update: This week we'll be gathering up the lambs for foot trimming and ear tagging. There may also be a bit of roof construction and fence deconstruction.

        • Leader: Andy Mo
        • Driver: John Worth
        Sunday 4 Nov 2012 – Hedgelaying Training at Lincombe Lane, Boars Hill, Oxford
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        This week we're running a hedgelaying training session at this site in Boar's Hill in Oxford owned by the Oxford Preservation Trust. We'll be laying a length of hedge to create a dense natural barrier providing habitat for birds and small mammals. Without hedgelaying hedges would eventually become simply lines of trees or get very gappy if they were just trimmed by machinery. This week's project will be a chance to learn how to lay a hedge under the guidance of one of our experienced volunteers. No previous experience is needed and this is a great opportunity to learn a new skill.

        • Leader: Tim Evans
        • Driver: Paul Clarke
        Tuesday 6 Nov 2012 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm Jury Room at Oxford Town Hall
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        Tonight is our monthly committee meeting, held in the town Hall. Come along if you fancy learning more about how the charity is run, or if you think you might like to get more involved. We will follow the meeting with a few pints at Far From the Madding Crowd.

        • Contact: Lydia
        Sunday 11 Nov 2012 – Pond Work and Scrub Clearance at Kirtlington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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        It's a new destination for us this week as we work with the parish council and alongside members of the Kirtlington Wildlife and Conservation Society (KWACS). We'll be helping to pull up thick reeds from their impressive village pond. If we need a break from standing in cold water in waders and wellies then we'll also be clearing a badly overgrown hedge in preparation for replanting, and clearing scrub from a churchyard managed for wildlife. So there's loads to do around this picturesque village just north of Oxford. Come along and get involved.

        • Leader: Steve Lilley
        • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
        Saturday 17 Nov 2012 -
        Sunday 18 Nov 2012 – Coppicing Training Winter Camping Residential at Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
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        We'll be learning about coppicing and woodland management from an expert this weekend. We're off to Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire to catch up with ex-OCVer, TV personality, coppicer, hurdle-maker and green woodworker Brian Williamson. He'll be telling us about the coppice restoration work he's doing at Westonbirt and helping us improve our own knowledge and skills covering everything from tool use to woodland management. We're hoping this will be interesting to everyone, whether a newcomer or old-hand. On the Saturday evening we can guarantee a roaring campfire, good food and drink, and somewhere flat to pitch your tent. No hot showers though! Come along if you want to learn about coppicing and woodland skills. There will be a bit of hands-on work to do, with the main focus on training.

        • Leader: Tim Evans
        • Driver: Alison Hopkin
        Sunday 25 Nov 2012 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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        It's our regular monthly trip to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. Since we're working directly with the wardens from Natural England they will plan the task for this week, based on their priorities for managing this site. At this time of year it's likely to be coppicing in the woodland or scrub-bashing to maintain the splendid chalk grassland. Full details will be on the weekly email as usual.

        • Leader: John Worth
        • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
        Saturday 1 Dec 2012 – Reserve Maintenance at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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        We'll be working with the Friends of the Trap Grounds at this site in North Oxford this week. You would never guess this was formerly a rubbish tip, as there are splendid ponds, woods and even some meadow providing a range of habitat. It links up with nearby Burgess Field and Port Meadow via the trees and scrub along the railway, increasing the value to wildlife still further. There is a network of paths that OCV helped create along with a bridge and bird hide. Today we're most likely to be scrub clearing, removing any dangerous rubbish remaining or doing other general maintenance tasks to keep this site in perfect condition for wildlife and the local community.

        • Leader: Chris Skepper
        • Driver: David Max
        Sunday 2 Dec 2012 – Hedgelaying at Lincombe Lane, Boars Hill, Oxford
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        A second visit to Lincombe Lane in Boars Hill. The land is owned by the Oxford Preservation Trust and managed with advice from BBOWT. We'll be continuing the hedge we started laying last time on our training session. This will hopefully result in a rejuvenated hedge with potential to be much denser and provide habitat and food for birds and small mammals. If there are gaps left then we may replant them as well this time. Come along and get involved.

        • Leader: Ray Hitchins
        • Driver: John Worth
        Tuesday 4 Dec 2012 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm Jury Room at Oxford Town Hall
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        Tonight is our monthly committee meeting, held in the town Hall. Come along if you fancy learning more about how the charity is run, or if you think you might like to get more involved. We will follow the meeting with a few pints at Far From the Madding Crowd.

        • Contact: Lydia
        Sunday 9 Dec 2012 – Scrub Clearance at Sydlings Copse, North-East Oxford
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        We're off to work at this SSSI just north of Oxford this week. We'll be working with one of the BBOWT wardens helping to clear scrub and look after this valuable grassland and heathland site. We've been promised a roaring bonfire to keep us warm in the depths of Winter, so feel free to bring potatoes or parsnips to bake in the embers. More details about this task will be included in our weekly email as usual so do join our mailing list if you're not on it already.

        • Leader: Aga Rzad
        • Driver: John Worth
        Saturday 15 Dec 2012 – Fencing at Chilswell Valley, Oxford
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        The plan for this week is to do some fencing at this splendid City Council site on the south-west side of Oxford. We normally do fencing in the Summer months, but this job is a bit more urgent to allow grazing on the site, which can be an important part of management. After all, a cow, sheep or horse can eat a lot more scrub than even the most determined OCVer can clear in a day! So come along and keep your fencing skills up-to-date over the Winter months. More details will be included in the weekly email as usual.

        • Leader: Ray Hitchins
        • Driver: Daniel Thomas
        Sunday 16 Dec 2012 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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        Our last task before Christmas and we're off to our most regular site, Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve about 15 miles south of Oxford. We'll be working with one of the friendly wardens from Natural England, who help keep this site the showcase nature reserve that it is. Tradition dictates that we have a bonfire for cooking potatoes on the last task before Christmas, but this will be confirmed in the weekly email before the task along with all the other details as usual.

        • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
        • Driver: Jo Gay
        Friday 21 Dec 2012 – Christmas Party at St Clement's Street

        Our Christmas Party is close to Christmas this year, on the shortest day of the year, and supposedly the day the world ends. So a good day for a party. Everyone associated with OCV is welcome to attend even if you've only been to the occasional task, or even if you haven't been to any yet. As usual, it will be a case of bring-your-own drinks and buffet food. It would be helpful if you let us know roughly what you're intending to bring so we can vaguely co-ordinate and not get too much of one thing or another, but that's not essential. There will be a conservation pub quiz, with questions devised by the task programmer. Festivities will get underway at 7pm and we will go on to late, possibly adjourning to a late-opening pub nearby. We've promised not to publicise the exact location, so please email tasks@ocv.org.uk if you would like to come so we can give you the full address. Hope you can make it.

        • Contact: Chris
        Sunday 23 Dec 2012 – No task due to Christmas at Home

        It's only two days before Christmas and many people will be away from home and so we've decided not to have a task today. But save your energy for next week - we're having a task between Christmas and New Year instead. That will certainly help you work off some of that excess turkey! Happy Christmas from OCV.

          Sunday 30 Dec 2012 – Sleeper Walkway Repair at Chilswell Valley, Oxford
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          In August we started work on improving the sleeper boardwalk on this site on the south-west of Oxford. It was hard work lifting, flattening and replacing the sleepers to keep the public access completely up-to-scratch. Today we'll be continuing with that work, although there probably won't be so many people out for a walk! This job may be a bit weather dependant, so make sure you're on the email list in case of a last-minute alteration. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter, but email is the most reliable way to make sure you're up-to-date with us. Happy New Year from OCV.

          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: Ray Hitchins
          Sunday 6 Jan 2013 – Scrub Clerarance at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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          We're kicking off the new year with a visit to this Local Wildlife Site in Tackley. We've done a lot of work here over the years: fencing around it, installing steps and clearing lots and lots of scrub. It's grazed by the neighbouring farmer's cows and sheep and so we just need to come in and take care of the bigger, thorny stuff the stock can't handle. Then when Spring comes there will be the usual array of chalk grassland species including Snake's Head Fritillary, Salad Burnet and Yellow Rattle. We usually have a good bonfire to keep us warm on this site.

          • Leader: Ray Hitchins
          • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
          Tuesday 8 Jan 2013 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town Hall
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          The committee meets once a month in the Oxford Town Hall to make sure that the group operates smoothly. If you'd like to come along and see how we run things and perhaps get more involved, please feel free to join us. The meeting will be held in the Panel Room of the Town Hall from 8-9pm. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

          • Contact: Lydia
          Sunday 13 Jan 2013 – Reserve Maintenance at Stansfeld Park, Oxford
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          We've got a day close to home this week. We're at Stansfeld Outdoor Education Centre in Headington, which is where we base our operations. We'll be working with the Principal and helping to manage the wide variety of habitat on the site which are studied by the students young and old. In the past we've helped clear felled trees, lay hedges, build dipping platforms and improve ponds. Best of all, if we forget any tools it's not far to go back for them!

          • Leader: Andy Mo
          • Driver: Jo Gay
          Sunday 20 Jan 2013 – TASK CANCELLED DUE TO BAD WEATHER at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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          (TASK CANCELLED) One of our regular monthly tasks at Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve. We'll be working with one of the wardens from Natural England who maintain the nationally important chalk grassland and other habitat. We could be clearing scrub, coppicing or looking after one of the flocks of sheep. This is a good site for enjoying splendid views across Oxfordshire. Check our weekly email for more details.

          • Leader: Matt Cardy
          • Driver: Paul Clarke
          Thursday 24 Jan 2013 – Meal at Atomic Pizza at

          We are going for a meal at Atomic Pizza http://atomicpizzas.co.uk/ - (far end of Cowley Rd) at 7.30pm on Thurs 24th January. Where else could you get a pizza named after Xena, Dogtanian, or Hanibal from the A-Team? Those are my TV memories right there! We will most likely be going on to a near-by pub afterwards, so please feel free to come along for the meal or just to the pub. If you would like to come, please let Michelle know by next Mon 21st Jan.

          • Contact: Michelle
          Saturday 26 Jan 2013 – Coppicing at Brasenose Wood, Oxford
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          We're having a day coppicing in the ancient Brasenose Woods to the East of Oxford. Woodland like this has been managed by coppicing for centuries to provide a steady supply of timber every few years. Nowadays we keep the coppice cycle going by clearing a section of woodland so that the ground flora get plenty of light and a new cycle of regeneration begins. The habitat piles we leave will be good cover for small mammals and habitat for invertebrates, which will eventually benefit birds as well.

          • Leader: Phil Hunter
          • Driver: David Max
          Sunday 27 Jan 2013 – Coppicing at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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          We'll be working near the Windmill Centre in Deddington CP this week. A couple of years back we did some hedgelaying round here and coppiced an area of woodland. It's a very small wood so even though the regrowth was very rapid we decided to wait a year before coppicing the next section or coupe. Coppicing is the traditional way of ensuring a steady supply of timber by cutting different sections of a wood in rotation. The result is a patchwork of habitat of different ages which is excellent for biodiversity. Today's job will be more coppicing and also giving the hedge a bit of loving care.

          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: Alison Hopkin
          Saturday 2 Feb 2013 – Biodiversity measures at 'Cultivate', Little Wittenham, South Oxfordshire
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          • Leader: Ray Hitchins
          • Driver: John Worth
          Sunday 3 Feb 2013 – Coppicing at Brasenose Wood, Oxford
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          We'll be back in Brasenose Woods for some more coppicing today. Coppicing is the traditional way to manage woodland to provide a regular supply of timber. Even though the trees are cut down to ground level, they regenerate from their root system and trees become effectively immortal when managed in this way. Originally wood products harvested from Brasenose were used throughout the city by the colleges, some of whom owned the wood before the city council. We may take some binders for hedgelaying, but most of the material will be left as habitat. Then the area cleared will begin a new cycle of regeneration with positive outcomes for biodiversity.

          • Leader: Phil Hunter
          • Driver: Ray Hitchins
          Tuesday 5 Feb 2013 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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 Panel 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 Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

          • Contact: Lydia
          Sunday 10 Feb 2013 – Scrub Clerarance at Watlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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          A task at one of our favourite sites this week, back by popular demand! We'll be working with some of the National Trust wardens responsible for this stunning site in the Chilterns and some of the locals from the Friends of Watlington Hill. Scrub clearance here normally involves a great view over Oxfordshire, huge bonfires and crowds of Red Kites above us. The scrub clearance work is necessary to maintain the chalk grassland which is an important part of the landscape in southern England, and home to rare flora and fauna.

          • Leader: Andy Mo
          • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
          Saturday 16 Feb 2013 – Hedgelaying at Lincombe Lane, Boars Hill, Oxford
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          This is the third and final stretch of hedge to lay at this site in Boar's Hill, south of Oxford. We've been laying the hedge in the traditional way in two previous sessions this Winter to make it a denser habitat for small mammals, insects and birds. Our work will also improve the view over the fields and increase the longevity and effectiveness of the hedge as a barrier. Come along and help us finish the job.

          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: David Max
          Sunday 17 Feb 2013 – Scrub clearance at Sydlings Copse, North-East Oxford
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          After a splendid day's scrub clearance in December we're going back to do another day's work at this SSSI just to the East of Oxford, only a couple of miles from Barton. It's managed by BBOWT, our local Wildlife Trust, because of the site's importance. Part of it is ancient broadleaved woodland and there is also limestone grassland and heathland. We're likely to be clearing gorse and silver birch, and a blazing bonfire is on the cards as well. If you haven't been to this site before then it's well worth a visit and a bit of a hidden gem very close to the city.

          • Leader: Andy Mo
          • Driver: John Worth
          Thursday 21 Feb 2013 – February Social - 7.30pm at Gino's Spaghetti House

          This month, we will be meeting for some Italian food at Gino's Spaghetti House on Gloucester Green at 7.30pm. The restaurant serves a variety of pizzas, pasta dishes, salads, and meat and fish dishes, so there should be something for everyone. We'll then move on to a nearby pub for a pint or two. Everyone welcome, even if you've not been on a task before! Just let Nat (socials@ocv.org.uk) know by 17th Feb if you'd like to come.

          • Contact: Nathalie
          Sunday 24 Feb 2013 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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          Our February visit to this National Nature Reserve managed by Natural England. We do a wide variety of types of work on this site, everything from trimming sheep feet, fencing, coppicing and lots of clearing scrub. It's an important site and we'll be working with some very knowledgeable wardens who can tell you everything about its important chalk grassland with its rare juniper bushes and wildflowers, the ancient Ridgeway trail which very close by, and the various pieces of ancient woodland.

          • Leader: Ray Hitchins
          • Driver: David Max
          Sunday 3 Mar 2013 – Pond Maintenance at Kennington Pools, Oxford
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          Last year we had two days at this site in Kennington, in south Oxford, just outside the southern bypass and close to Redbridge. We are working to sensitively manage the ponds by cutting back some of the willows from the banks to let in light. We've also built otter holts here and coppiced an small area. Today we'll be doing some straightforward willow cutting and hopefully the next time we come we will see the benefits of increased biodiversity around the banks and at the water's edge.

          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: Alison Hopkin
          Tuesday 5 Mar 2013 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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 Panel 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 Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

          • Contact: Jo
          Sunday 10 Mar 2013 – Gate installation and scrub clearance at Widnell Park, Piddington, North Oxfordshire
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          The parish council who manage this site are creating a new woodland where once was a very under-used field. By the time we arrive they will most-likely have begun some of the planting but we will be working to clear scrub from an area containing a dew pond in need of re-lining with puddled clay. Even small ponds can have a dramatic effect on biodiversity in an area, supporting amphibians, reptiles and insects as well as whole extra collection of aquatic plants. (So if you don't have a garden pond, go and dig one straightaway!) We'll also be installing a new kissing gate and possibly even re-painting some railings. Come along and find out more.

          • Leader: Phil Hunter
          • Driver: Jo Gay
          Sunday 17 Mar 2013 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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          As we reach the end of the scrub-bashing season we might be helping to maintain chalk grassland on this National Nature Reserve or possibly helping with all sorts of other jobs needed to keep it the important site for wildlife that it is. We'll be working with the wardens from Natural England, the government's conservation body. Full details of today's tasks will be in the weekly email as usual, so join our mailing list if you're not on it already!

          • Leader: Phil Hunter
          • Driver: Daniel Thomas
          Sunday 24 Mar 2013 – Fencing at Raleigh Park, Oxford
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          This week we'll be back at Raleigh Park where we recently replaced a large section of the boundary fence. A site like this really needs grazing to keep the grass and scrub down to levels where interesting flora can flourish, so the aim of the fencing was to enable this to take place. With the livestock on its way for the Spring we'll be fixing a last few dubious sections of fence and working through a long list of other conservation mini-projects on the site.

          • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
          • Driver: John Worth
          Tuesday 26 Mar 2013 – March Social - Le Kesh 7.30pm at Le Kesh

          This month, we'll be going for a tasty meal at Le Kesh. Le Kesh is a Lebanese & Morrocan fusion restaurant, located on Cowley Road. It offers a large selection of excellent food at affordable prices. Their menu can be found here: http://keshoxford.com/. The selection of tajines on offer are particularly delicious. We'll then move on to a local pub for post-dinner drinks. Please email me by Friday 22nd March at socials@ocv.org.uk if you would like to join us there.

          • Contact: Nathalie
          Sunday 31 Mar 2013 – Lime mortar walling at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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          With bird nesting season beginning and hopefully the worst of the Winter frost past, we'll be able to continue the wall repairs we're undertaking in this churchyard in central Oxford. The cemetery is managed in a way which encourages urban wildlife. Even with the noise we make on an OCV task we've still seen foxes, mice, rabbits, and a variety of birds. Today's task is to reassemble more of the wall we took apart last year. We'll be using lime mortar, so there will be quite a lot of mixing required as well as the rewarding task of seeing the wall go back together, hopefully being solid for many years to come. There will be lots to do, but it's mainly light tasks such as carefully dismantling sections of wall and sorting stone. If we finish on time we'll probably head over for a drink at the nearby Turf Tavern.

          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: David Max
          Tuesday 2 Apr 2013 – Committee meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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 Panel 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 Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

          • Contact: Jo
          Sunday 7 Apr 2013 – Dry stone walling at St Michael's Church, Begbroke, North Oxfordshire
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          It's a new site for us this week. We'll be helping to repair a drystone wall at this ancient churchyard in Begbroke near Kidlington. Dry stone walls are a familiar part of the landscape in many parts of the British Isles, and before modern materials were available they were one of the most permanent ways to mark a boundary or contain livestock. This wall is on the edge of the countryside and will make a great home for wildlife, from insects to lizards and small mammals. No previous experience is necessary, and everyone is welcome to come along and join in. Dry stone walling is a fun activity, and a useful skill to learn. If you have some patience and good spatial skills it will help a lot!

          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: David Max
          Sunday 14 Apr 2013 – Dry stone walling at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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          • Leader: Richard Newton
          • Driver: Ray Hitchins
          Friday 19 Apr 2013 – Comedy at The Glee Club at The Glee Club

          Due to popular demand, we will be going to see comedy at The Glee Club for this month's OCV social. The show starts at 7pm at The Glee Club on Hythe Bridge Street and will include comedy by Steve Williams, Dave Johns, Matt Rees & Zoe Lyons. Food and drink are available for purchase at the venue. More details can be found on The Glee Club's website (http://www.glee.co.uk/oxford-comedy). To book your place, please email me by 5 April at socials@ocv.org.uk.

          • Contact: Nathalie
          Sunday 21 Apr 2013 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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          Our regular trip to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. We'll be working with one of the wardens who look after this large site, which includes ancient woodland and chalk grassland. At this time of year we often help with fencing projects to contain the sheep which keep the scrub under control. Sometimes we look after the sheep themselves and occasionally we help to maintain paths and steps. As usual the full details and exact meeting place will be included in the weekly email.

          • Leader: Alison Hopkin
          • Driver: John Worth
          Friday 26 Apr 2013 -
          Tuesday 30 Apr 2013 – Wilderness Treeplanting at Carrifran Wildwood, Scotland
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          We're going a bit further afield for a residential this year. We'll be working in the Southern Uplands of Scotland with the Borders Forest Trust who are working to re-create a valley of wooded wilderness with the rich diversity of native species that existed here thousands of years ago before human activities dominated. So far volunteers have planted over 500,000 native trees and that's most likely the type of work we'll be continuing: planting Juniper at the end of a remote valley. The plan is to set off from Oxford on the Friday morning, work two days of the weekend and stay for one full day more to properly see the area, perhaps including a hike, before coming back on the Tuesday afternoon. We'll be staying in a hall with cooking facilities, heating, toilets and hot-water/showers, but we'll be sleeping on the floor so sleeping bags will be required. Further details will be provided nearer the time.

          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
          Sunday 5 May 2013 – Scrub Clearance at Chilswell Valley, Oxford
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          • Leader: Phil Hunter
          • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
          Tuesday 7 May 2013 – Annual General Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town Hall
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          This month's committee meeting is the AGM - a chance for members to exercise their voting powers! The meeting will be held from 8-9pm in the St. Aldates Room of the Town Hall. If you would like to come along and learn more about the work of the committee then all members are welcome. Alternatively you can join us for a pint at Far From the Madding Crowd afterwards.

          • Contact: Jo
          Saturday 11 May 2013 – Dry stone walling at St Michael's Church, Begbroke, North Oxfordshire
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          A second visit to this Norman churchyard just north of Oxford. We'll be continuing the work on two dry stone walls that we started in April. We've done most of the taking down, and so today there will be a chance to get started putting everything back. If you've not done dry stone walling before, then don't worry, you will be able to learn on the job. If we get a section finished we may also put a lime mortar capping on to protect our handiwork. More details in the weekly email as usual.

          • Leader: John Worth
          • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
          Sunday 12 May 2013 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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          We're back to one of our favourite sites this week. We'll be helping the reserve wardens maintain the nationally important calcareous grassland habitat. At this time of year we might actually begin to see some of the rare plants that our work helps to protect. We'll most likely we helping out with fence and gate repairs, looking after one of the flocks of sheep or doing whatever other maintenance jobs are required on the site. As usual everyone will be welcome and full details of the project and the meeting place will be given in the weekly email.

          • Leader: Aga Rzad
          • Driver: Ray Hitchins
          Sunday 19 May 2013 – Jetty construction at Standlake Ranch, Witney, West Oxfordshire
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          We'll be starting a construction project at this Christian retreat centre in West Oxfordshire. Last year we cleared a path and built steps and a bridge to make a nature walk through the woods. Today we'll be building a platform out into the lake to enable people to get in and out of boats, go on to the lake and skirt the around the reedbeds by boat. This work will involve bashing in some posts and some bits of woodwork to create platform that will enable people to enjoy the wildlife at this site.

          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: Alison Hopkin
          Sunday 26 May 2013 – Footpath Maintenance at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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          Today's task will be erosion control on the footpaths at Shotover Country Park. We'll be making some steps and revetments using timber felled from the site itself. This will stop the paths washing away and getting full of potholes which get muddy and wet, and then wider as people have to skirt round the puddles. Come along and join in the sawing and bashing.

          • Leader: Phil Hunter
          • Driver: Jo Gay
          Tuesday 28 May 2013 – May's Social - Pub drinks at the Turf Tavern at The Turf Tavern

          This month, we're meeting up at the Turf Tavern in central Oxford for a pint or two. They have a great terrace, which is fantastic to soak up the spring sunshine... We'll be there from about 7pm, so there's no need to book a place - just turn up at any point during the evening. All are welcome, including new volunteers! We're looking forward to seeing many of you there:-) If you can't find us then you can try calling Jo on 07887 928115, although reception is not great in there.

          • Contact: Nathalie
          Sunday 2 Jun 2013 – Dipping Platform Construction at Kennington Pools, Oxford
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          We last worked at this site on a cold day in February and we've had also done a few days over the last couple of years. We've been pollarding willows, clearing scrub from the banks and trying to improve the diversity of flora and improve habitat for aquatic mammals such as otters and water voles. Today we'll be doing something for human visitors by repairing the dipping plaforms which have not been usable for some time. We may also do a bit of careful scrub clearance to keep the paths accessible, taking care not to risk disturbing nesting birds of course. Everyone is welcome and there's lots to do

          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: Ray Hitchins
          Tuesday 4 Jun 2013 – Committee meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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 Panel 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 Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

          • Contact: Jo
          Sunday 9 Jun 2013 – Jetty Construction at Standlake Ranch, Witney, West Oxfordshire
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          A second visit to this Christian retreat centre in West Oxfordshire, the grounds of which are managed for wildlife and enjoyed by the visitors. We'll be continuing work on a boardwalk or jetty to make it easier for people to enjoy the lake. If we have time we'll also do any small jobs such as keeping the paths clear and steps in good repair. As usual full details will be given in the weekly email, but you can be sure the work will involve significant amounts of post-bashing in the water.

          • Leader: Phil Hunter
          • Driver: Ray Hitchins
          Saturday 15 Jun 2013 – Dry stone walling at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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          Today's task is a second day's dry stone walling in Deddington. We'll be continuing the work on the historic castle site. We're dismantling and re-assembling a number of sections of collapsed wall, then when it's done we will put a mortar capping on top and hopefully the wall will last for a long time afterwards. No previous experience of walling is required, although some patience is helpful with this type of task!

          • Leader: Phil Hunter
          • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
          Sunday 16 Jun 2013 – Lime mortar walling at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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          We last visited this urban nature reserve in central Oxford in March, when we were hoping it would be warm enough for some lime mortar walling. In practice it was a bit touch-and-go, but we still did a good chunk of walling. Today we can at least be confident that the temperature will stay above freezing, and the aim is to get close to finishing the job. No previous experience is necessary and everyone is welcome: we'll need people to lay stones, mix mortar and there may be limited scrub clearance required as well. This is a convenient location if you can only come for part of the day. Full details will be in the weekly email as usual.

          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: Tim Howard
          Sunday 23 Jun 2013 – Sheep Care and Fencing at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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          A mid-Summer visit to this splendid National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. We'll most likely be repairing or replacing fences, as well as doing any other jobs the wardens from Natural England want us to do. This is an excellent time of year to keep an eye out for wildflowers on the calcareous grassland. The task programmer's favourite is the unmistakable bee orchid. Update: This week we'll be trimming the feet of the sheep used to graze the grasslands and also helping to reconfigure the sheep-handling area.

          • Leader: Andy Mo
          • Driver: John Worth
          Tuesday 25 Jun 2013 – OCV's annual punting trip & picnic! at Cherwell Boat House
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          As is tradition, we'll be going punting on the Cherwell for this month's social. We'll meet at 7pm at the Cherwell Boat House at the end of Bardwell Street, where we'll hire punts. We'll aim to go all the way to the Victoria Arms, have a picnic on the lawn & then punt back to Oxford. This social has been a great success in past years, so we'll be looking forward to seeing many of you there... Please let me know if you're coming & make sure that you bring some food & drink.

          • Contact: Nathalie
          Sunday 30 Jun 2013 – Fen-raking at Lye Valley, Oxford
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          We're spending the day raking the fen at this SSSI in East Oxford today. It's vitally important to cut and rake the fen each year to avoid the soil becoming too fertile and losing the rare plants which can be found here. The council will have cut the fen and we'll rake it, probably wearing hard hats to protect against the risk of stray golf balls from the nearby course! Local ecologist and Lye Valley expert Judy Webb may be on hand to explain the importance of our work here. Raking can be hard work especially if the weather is very warm, but a vital part of the management of this site, and it should be easy to come for just part of the day if you wish.

          • Leader: Richard Newton
          • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
          Tuesday 2 Jul 2013 – Committee meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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 Panel 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 Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

          • Contact:
          Saturday 6 Jul 2013 – Dry stone walling at St Michael's Church, Begbroke, North Oxfordshire
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          Today we'll be continuing and perhaps even finishing the wall in front of this ancient church just north of Oxford. OCVers have spent 2 days working on it so far. The first session was mainly taking the collapsed wall down, sorting the stone, and coppicing the hedgerow. Then the next session we made a good start on putting it back. This time we'll be able to get straight on with more building it back up. Beginners and old hands alike will be very welcome as usual. When it's back up it should last for many more years. Come along and help us finish the job.

          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: Alison Hopkin
          Sunday 7 Jul 2013 – Scrub Clearance at Grays Lane Bank, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
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          A return visit to a site OCV worked on many years ago. We'll be clearing scrub on this privately-owned SSSI in the Chilterns. It's very important for its unimproved grassland which is great for wild flowers, but there is a real problem with controlling the little hawthorn saplings and other scrub. The focus will be on removing small saplings and if there is time attacking some of the large clumps of scrub at the edges. There are impressive views across the valley.

          • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
          • Driver: Ray Hitchins
          Saturday 13 Jul 2013 – Kingfisher Bank Construction at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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          We'll be starting work on an ambitious project to build an artificial Kingfisher bank. This will create the the perfect nesting site for these distinctive birds. There will be a lot of bashing-in posts required, possibly some digging, although there is a plan to use a mini-digger as well. If we have a good turn out then there are always lots of other jobs at the Trap Grounds including keeping the meadow free of scrub, maintaining paths or even clearing any remaining rubbish we haven't managed to remove on previous visit.

          • Leader: Phil Hunter
          • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
          Sunday 14 Jul 2013 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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          This Sunday will be our regular monthly visit to this national nature reserve in the Chilterns. On recent occasions we've helped sort out the fencing around their new volunteer centre and we've also trimmed the feet of one of the flocks of sheep which are kept to control scrub and thus maintain the rare chalk grassland for wildflowers. We'll be working with one of the wardens from Natural England as usual, and the details of the work will be in the weekly email as usual.

          • Leader: John Worth
          • Driver: Ray Hitchins
          Sunday 21 Jul 2013 – Drystone Walling at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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          Another visit to Deddington CP and the site of the town's Norman castle. We are mid-way through a project to repair collapsed sections of dry-stone wall around the grounds. We've made good progress in the two days we've done so far, but there is plenty more still to do. Dry-stone walling is a great skill to learn, since there are many more collapsed walls than there are people able to repair them! The completed wall makes a great home for small wildlife and well-maintained walls make the site look cared-for and encourage others to treat it with respect. Come along and see how it's done.

          • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
          • Driver: John Worth
          Sunday 28 Jul 2013 – Scrub Clearance at Grays Lane Bank, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
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          Another visit to this stunning SSSI in Buckinghamshire. We'll be uprooting hawthorn and other things that have sprung up in the middle of the meadow. We did this work many years ago and it seemed to stop the wild flower rich meadow from being shaded and scrubbed over for a good long time. When we did our first task this year people thought it was quite hard work in the sun, but a really impressive site to work on.

          • Leader: Phil Hunter
          • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
          Sunday 4 Aug 2013 – Meadow Raking at St Mary's Fields, Kidlington, Oxfordshire
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          A new site for us this week. We'll be working with the determined group of volunteers who maintain this large site on the edge of Kidlington. Our main job will be helping with raking off the material from the yearly grass-cut. This is important to keep the fertility of the soil low and thus encourage rare plants and wildflowers. It will be hard work but straightforward and very important for biodiversity. If there's time we might also help out with some scrub clearance, since we're good at that as well! Come along and explore a new nature reserve.

          • Leader: Richard Newton
          • Driver: Jo Gay
          Tuesday 6 Aug 2013 – Committee meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

          • Contact:
          Thursday 8 Aug 2013 – Social - 7.30pm - Curry at the Bombay at Bombay Restaurant

          For our next social, we will be going to the Bombay Restaurant on Walton Street in Jericho for a curry night. We'll meet there at 7.30pm, eat and then we'll move on to a pub in Jericho for a pint or two. Please let me know by email (socials@ocv.org.uk) if you'd like to come. Note: The Bombay doesn't have a licence to serve alcohol, so please bring your own if you'd like to drink alcohol.

          • Contact: Nathalie
          Sunday 11 Aug 2013 – Waterway Maintenance at The Waterways, North Oxford
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          We'll be working between the Trap Grounds and Hook Meadow SSSI, with the residents' association that manages the housing estate. They have responsibility for an important wildlife corridor between these two sites. Our work will involve clearing silt from the drainage channel which takes water into the ponds at the Trap Grounds after heavy rain on the meadow. But we'll try to avoid making it too straight or deep like a digger would, and instead create a channel rough edges of different shapes and heights. This will hopefully maximise the value for amphibians, reptiles and semi-aquatic mammals. We'll also remove some of the bigger scrub from the middle of the ditch but try to avoid leaving it too tidy, so that it's value as a wildlife corridor is maintained. Come along for some potentially muddy digging!

          • Leader: Richard Newton
          • Driver: Alison Hopkin
          Sunday 18 Aug 2013 – Reed cutting and raking at Iffley Island, Oxford
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          It's all hands to the slashers, sickles and rakes today! We'll be doing our regular cut of this SSSI by the river. Despite its name the site is not quite an island, but it is quite inaccessible and easily forgotten. Before we were involved it was at risk after the yearly cut was missed for a number of years, but now it should be much better because of determined and thorough work over the last five or so years. We cut the sedgy grass and rake the cuttings off so they do not enrich the soil. The end result is wild flowers such as fritillaries. Come along for some great exercise and a pleasant location by the river.

          • Leader: Andy Mo
          • Driver: John Worth
          Saturday 24 Aug 2013 – Kingfisher Bank Construction at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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          We'll be continuing work building a kingfisher bank at this nature reserve in North Oxford. The Trap Grounds has woodland, meadow and ponds, and forms an important part of a network of nature reserves in this predominately urban area. The artificial bank is being designed to provide the perfect habitat for kingfishers, which like to burrow into banks. Come along and find out more on the day - we're banking on it being a big success!

          • Leader: Phil Hunter
          • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
          Sunday 25 Aug 2013 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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          It's time for our monthly visit to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. We often help out with scrub clearance, fencing or looking after one of the flocks of sheep at this important site. As usual we'll be working with the wardens from Natural England, the government agency with main responsibility for nature conservation. This nature reserve belongs to everyone, so come and help manage it for maximum biodiversity value. Full details of the week's project will be in the weekly email as normal.

          • Leader: Paul Clarke
          • Driver: John Worth
          Thursday 29 Aug 2013 – OCV Social - Kazbar - 7.30pm at Kazbar

          For this month's social, we'll be heading to Kazbar, a cool Spanish-themed tapas bar on Cowley Road (not far from the Plain). We'll meet there around 7.30pm, eat some delicious food and then move on for drinks at The Big Society pub further up the Cowley Road. Please let me know by 27 August if you'd like to come (socials@ocv.org.uk). I'm looking forward to seeing you there!

          • Contact: Nathalie
          Sunday 1 Sep 2013 – Fencing at Widnell Park, Piddington, North Oxfordshire
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          OCV were last here in the Winter, when we did some coppicing and installed a new kissing gate. The local parish council have a recently planted a native woodland here, gradually re-purposing a little used recreation ground as a nature reserve. Today we will be replacing a fence on the side of the site to mark the boundary with the adjoining military site. The area has exciting wildlife potential not just for the woodland and meadow but also for the ponds which we hope to extend in the future. Today there will be some serious scrub clearance needed, probably including a bonfire. Then we will install a section of the new fence.

          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: Ray Hitchins
          Tuesday 3 Sep 2013 – Committee meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

          • Contact:
          Sunday 8 Sep 2013 – Lime mortar walling at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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          We've been working on this site for a number of years usually doing scrub clearance to maintain the careful balance between wildlife and public access. The last year we've also been working on rebuilding a second of wall and we're making good progress, but there is still more to do to finish the job. We're using lime mortar rather than cement since it is both a more traditional technique and more appropriate when working with rough limestone. Come along and help with mixing, walling and probably clearing scrub as well.

          • Leader: Andy Mo
          • Driver: Chris Skepper
          Saturday 14 Sep 2013 – Dry stone walling at St Michael's Church, Begbroke, North Oxfordshire
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          Today we'll be returning to this churchyard in Begbroke to finish off the lime mortar capping on our newly-reconstructed dry stone wall and potentially tidy up a bit. It's likely to be a shorter task than normal, because there isn't too much to do, but it is important that we get this job finished before the winter as the capping will help protect the wall from frosts. Afterwards we might go for a drink slightly earlier than normal.

          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: Phil Hunter
          Sunday 15 Sep 2013 – Grass cutting at Kingstone Coombes LWS, Ashbury, South West Oxfordshire
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          A new site for us today, very close to the ancient White Horse and Wayland's Smithy. We'll be working in meadow that forms part of a Local Wildlife Site and is managed under the government's HLS scheme. Its value lies in the chalk grassland, which is great for a range of wild flower species. The fields are grazed, but the sheep prefer the flat areas, and so the grass is still threatening to choke out much of the interesting flora. Since the banks are so steep the farmer can't cut them with machinery and we'll be trying to cut the grass ourselves. It could be hard work but the site is small enough that we should be able to make good progress on a chunk of it.

          • Leader: Richard Newton
          • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
          Sunday 22 Sep 2013 – Dry stone walling at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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          This week we're back at the site of the Deddington castle for another dry-stone walling session, probably the last of the Summer season and the year. If we have time we might cap the wall with some lime mortar to reduce water and frost damage and increase the lifespan of the wall by stopping the top stones being disturbed. There's plenty of walling to do and there will likely be other jobs to do elsewhere on the site at this time of year.

          • Leader: Phil Hunter
          • Driver: John Worth
          Tuesday 24 Sep 2013 – Social - 7.30pm - The Big Bang at The Big Bang

          For our next social, we'll be going for good old sausage and mash at The Big Bang located in the Oxford Castle (http://www.thebigbangrestaurants.co.uk/). We'll meet there around 7.30pm on Tuesday 24 September. We'll then move on to a nearby pub. Please drop me an email at socials@ocv.org.uk by 21 September if you'd like to come.

          • Contact: Nathalie
          Saturday 28 Sep 2013 – Dry stone walling at Enstone Sports and Social Club, Near Enstone, Oxfordshire
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          Today we're heading out into North Oxfordshire and the village of Enstone. Our client is the sports club, who have a dry stone wall around their sports ground which has collapsed in a number of places. Our job will be to rebuild it in the traditional manner. We do this kind of work because dry stone walls are part of the traditional landscape and can provide useful habitat for invertebrates and small animals, certainly more than a mortared wall or fence. We're hoping to complete this job in just one session, so this is a great chance to take part in all stages of the job: dismantling the wall, sorting stone and rebuilding it.

          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
          Sunday 29 Sep 2013 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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          It's time for our regular monthly task at this National Nature Reserve, a short journey down the M40 from Oxford. We'll be working with one of the wardens from Natural England who manage this site among others. At this time of year we might expect some scrub clearing or coppicing, or there may be fencing jobs or even sheep-related work. Full details about the task will be in the weekly email as usual.

          • Leader: Paul Clarke
          • Driver: Ray Hitchins
          Tuesday 1 Oct 2013 – Committee meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

          • Contact:
          Saturday 5 Oct 2013 – Reed Clearance and Tree Planting at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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          Another visit to this site in North Oxford. Over the Summer we helped with the first stage of constructing a kingfisher bank, and we also helped to clear out some of the ditches and improve the pond habitat. Today we're going to be planting native trees around the area cleared for the kingfisher bank project and we'll also be removing some of the reeds from the pond. In the past this has involved waders, flat-bottomed boats and various power tools, so it should be fun, if somewhat messy work!

          • Leader: Andy Mo
          • Driver: Phil Hunter
          Sunday 6 Oct 2013 – Hedgelaying at Windale Community Primary School, Blackbird Leys, Oxford
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          We're working in an urban setting in south-east Oxford today. We're helping out a primary school which has its own garden and nature area. We're going to be laying the hedge along one boundary. This will make it a dense habitat for wildlife and is far-preferable to trimming it. It will also be good for children to see an example of this traditional country craft, even if they are a bit young to be given a bill-hook of their own just yet! There's quite a decent stretch so it should keep us busy for the day.

          • Leader: Ray Hitchins
          • Driver: John Worth
          Sunday 13 Oct 2013 – Reserve Maintenance at Cothill National Nature Reserve
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          This is a change to the original plan of Aston Rowant. Cothill NNR, also run by Natural England, is a site that we haven't been to for a long while. It's known for its fens and their rich invertebrate life, but in addition the site also has open water, reedbeds and oak and alder woodland. We'll be covering a number of varying tasks at Cothill. We'll be installing a pedestrian gate which will involve some post digging and a small amount of fencing each side. We'll also be clearing pre-cut scrub by dead hedging and burning on a fire. Thirdly there's some fen raking to do. Full details will be in our weekly email as usual.

          • Leader: Paul Clarke
          • Driver: Jo Gay
          Thursday 17 Oct 2013 – Social - Oxford Beer Festival - 7pm at Oxford Town Hall
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          • Contact: Nathalie
          Sunday 20 Oct 2013 – Scrub Clearance at St Mary's Fields, Kidlington, Oxfordshire
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          We last visited this site in early Summer to help with the big grass cut. We liked it so much, we've arranged to come back and help clear scrub in various other parts of the site. We'll be working with the local volunteer group who know the large site well and have their list of important priorities for maintaining public access and promoting biodiversity. Come along and get involved!

          • Leader: Phil Hunter
          • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
          Saturday 26 Oct 2013 -
          Sunday 27 Oct 2013 – Coppicing and Camping Weekend at Pissen Wood, Oxfordshire
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          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: Alison Hopkin
          Sunday 3 Nov 2013 – Hedgelaying at Kirtlington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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          We last visited this area last Autumn, when we helped with clearing a pond, some brambles and did some work in a churchyard managed by the local wildlife group. Today we'll be laying a hedge along an ancient right of way near the same area. Hedgelaying is a great way to rejuvenate a gappy hedge and make it a more valuable habitat and food source for wildlife, such as small mammals and birds. We may also do some pond work this week. Full details in the weekly email as always.

          • Leader: Steve Lilley
          • Driver: Alison Hopkin
          Tuesday 5 Nov 2013 – Committee meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

          • Contact:
          Saturday 9 Nov 2013 – Fen raking at Lye Valley, Oxford
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          • Leader: Phil Hunter
          • Driver: Ray Hitchins
          Sunday 10 Nov 2013 – Reserve Maintenance at Stansfeld Park, Oxford
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          We're staying close to home today and working to maintain the grounds of this education centre in East Oxford. It's a small site, but seems much large because of the woodland, earthworths and the range of habitats. In the past we have maintained ponds, cleared scrub, built steps and fences, and done hedgelaying. Today we'll be working on whatever are the priorities of the principal who manages this site for school parties and youth organisations to visit.

          • Leader: Ray Hitchins
          • Driver: Jo Gay
          Saturday 16 Nov 2013 – Pond Work and Scrub Clearance at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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          • Leader: Andy Mo
          • Driver: Chris Skepper
          Sunday 17 Nov 2013 – Scrub Clearance at Grays Lane Bank, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
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          • Leader: Phil Hunter
          • Driver: John Worth
          Tuesday 19 Nov 2013 – November Social - Pizzeria da Mario 7.30pm at Pizzeria da Mario

          This month, we'll be going for some traditional Italian food at the Pizzeria da Mario on Cowley Road. The Pizzeria is one of the more genuine Italian restaurants in Oxford. We'll meet there at 7.30pm for dinner. Please let me know in advance if you would like to come (socials@ocv.org.uk) and I'll book us a table. We'll then move on to a nearby pub for a drink. Looking forward to seeing lots of you there!

          • Contact: Nathalie
          Sunday 24 Nov 2013 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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          Today will be our regular monthly visit to this national nature reserve in the Chilterns. We'll be working with the wardens from Natural England who manage it, and we'll be doing whatever tasks they have for us. This could be fencing or coppicing, clearing scrub or even looking after one of their flocks of sheep. If we're up on the hills the views can be stunning. The details will be in our weekly email as usual, so make sure you're on the mailing list.

          • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
          • Driver: Tim Howard
          Sunday 1 Dec 2013 – Pond work and scrub clearance at North Hinksey Nature Reserve
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          We'll be working on a new site today. It's a small nature reserve on land which was once allotments and is now next to a business park. There is an area of meadow, some hedges and trees and an orchard, but we'll be working mainly around the ponds. We'll be helping to clear some scrub around the ponds, and, on the advice of an ecologist re-shaping the banks of the pond to make them better habitat for a wide range of amphibian and reptiles, which are known to be in the area. Come along and get muddy!

          • Leader: Chris Skepper
          • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
          Tuesday 3 Dec 2013 – Committee meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

          • Contact:
          Sunday 8 Dec 2013 – Scrub Clearance at Watlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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          One of our best sites for views of Red Kites, we've been here on many a Winter's day including in thick snow. We've also had some of our biggest ever bonfires here! Today we'll be working with the wardens from the National Trust and probably some local volunteers and helping to clear scrub from the valuable chalk grassland habitat. Unimproved grassland was once widespread in southern England but is now very limited due to development and changes in farming practices. Come along and get involved in some serious scrub bashing!

          • Leader: Andy Mo
          • Driver: Alison Hopkin
          Friday 13 Dec 2013 – OCV Christmas Party! at Oxford Hub

          • Contact: Nathalie
          Sunday 15 Dec 2013 – Reserve Maintenance at Cothill National Nature Reserve
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          This is a site that's known for its fens and their rich invertebrate life, but in addition the site also has open water, reedbeds and oak and alder woodland. We'll be working with the wardens from Natural England who know the site really well and will have a good set of tasks for us to do. Full details in the weekly email as usual.

          • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
          • Driver: Phil Hunter
          Sunday 22 Dec 2013 – Scrub Clearance at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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          We've been doing a lot of walling in Holywell Cemetery this year, but for the last task of the year it will be straightforward scrub clearance. Holywell Cemetery is an urban wildlife site, and the parts with the older graves are managed by allowing the grass and scrub to grow tall before being periodically cut, rather than regularly mown. This means that insects, birds and mammals have a much better habitat and source of food. Since each part is cut periodically, there is always some areas of good habitat while public access is maintained overall for those wanting to look for famous graves. We usually have a good bonfire, and since it's the last task of the year we might cook potatoes or parsnips in the embers and perhaps retire to the pub when it gets dark.

          • Leader: Richard Newton
          • Driver: Chris Skepper
          Sunday 29 Dec 2013 – No task due to Christmas at

          There's no task today because most people will be away for Christmas or busy elsewhere. Many thanks to everyone who has volunteered with us this year. Normal service will resume in 2014 when we will have plenty of projects to work off the results of any Christmas excess!

            Sunday 5 Jan 2014 – Scrub clearance, bird and bat box installation at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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            We're returning to the playground site at Clifton in Deddington Parish today. We'll be clearing scrub from one end of the site, leaving habitat piles close to the wet area. We will also be doing some work to maintain the front hedge where we have done hedgelaying on two occasions in the past. This time it will probably just need a trim and potentially some laying of the regrowth. As a final task, we will be installing some bird and bat boxes on the larger trees in this site. So it's lots of different jobs to improve the area's value as wildlife habitat.

            • Leader: Paul Clarke
            • Driver: Alison Hopkin
            Tuesday 7 Jan 2014 – Committee meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

            • Contact:
            Sunday 12 Jan 2014 – Coppicing at Spiceball Country Park, Banbury

            It's a new site for us this week. We'll be working at this large park in Banbury, which is in need of much more maintenance than it has been able to get. We're going slightly out of our way in order to help encourage interest from locals who might be able to get involved on a more regular basis. Much of the park is managed for wildlife and is popular with dog walkers and picnicking families in Summer. We'll be coppicing an area of woodland, which will let in light, and when it regrows it will add younger trees to the mix. We'll be leaving lots of habitat piles which will also help wildlife in the area.

            • Leader: Andy Mo
            • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
            Wednesday 15 Jan 2014 – Cinema social at Oxford City Centre

            This month's social will be a trip to the cinema to see Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. We've chosen a Wednesday so that people with an Orange phone will be able to get a 2 for 1 discount - with luck we can rustle up enough Orange subscribers to get everyone in at half price. We'll aim for the 7.45pm showing, but if we meet about 6.30pm there will be time to buy tickets and get a bite to eat nearby if desired. Please email socials@ocv.org.uk or text Chris if you're planning to come.

            • Contact: Chris
            Sunday 19 Jan 2014 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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            This Sunday is our regular visit to this National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. We'll be working with the wardens from Natural England, the government's main conservation agency, and we'll be helping with whatever the current priorities for management are. At this time of year it's highly likely to involve scrub cutting on the grassland, or coppicing in the woodland, and a bonfire is often on the cards.

            • Leader: Richard Newton
            • Driver: Phil Hunter
            Saturday 25 Jan 2014 – Heathland Management at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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            • Leader: Phil Hunter
            • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
            Sunday 26 Jan 2014 – Scrub Clearance at Kirtlington Quarry, Cherwell District

            !! We've had trouble with the general email notice this week. This task will go ahead as described, with the Oxford pick-ups as usual. This is a new site for us, close to the village of Kirtlington. It's an SSSI of international importance for its geology, and an interesting place to visit, with spectacular views across the countryside. We'll be working at the top of the quarry where there is an area of grassland on which wild flowers are in danger of being shaded out by thorny scrub. We'll try to grub out whatever we can and cut back the rest. If we finish all the scrub at the top of the site there are plenty of other areas close by that need scrub clearance work.

            • Leader: Chris Skepper
            • Driver: Paul Clarke
            Friday 31 Jan 2014 – Pub food and drinks at The Kings Arms, Broad Street

            This is a bonus social for January. Come along and get something to eat at about 7pm or something to drink whenever you like. There's no need to tell us you're coming beforehand, unless you're new to OCV and you want us to look out for you - otherwise just turn up! They don't normally close until midnight. For more details email socials@ocv.org.uk.

            • Contact: Chris
            Sunday 2 Feb 2014 – Scrub Clearance at Sydlings Copse, North-East Oxford
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            Once again, we've had difficulties posting this week's general email notice. If you haven't received it, note that the task will go ahead as described, with the Oxford pick-ups as usual: Tesco Metro on the Cowley Rd. at 9.20; and The Lamb & Flag on St. Giles at 9.30. The first of two visits this year to one of our favourite sites not far out of Oxford. It's managed by BBOWT, the local wildlife trust. There is some woodland and some heathland, which is acidic soil that is a bit unusual in Oxfordshire. The last time we were here we helped control the gorse and birch scrub and today's job is also likely to be similar sort of scrub clearance, probably with a bonfire to keep us warm.

            • Leader: Richard Newton
            • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
            Tuesday 4 Feb 2014 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

            • Contact:
            Sunday 9 Feb 2014 – Heathland Management at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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            Note that the planned task at Duke's Meadow, Banbury has been postponed - the site is under water. Instead, we'll return to Mary Sadler's Field, Shotover Country Park to continue work clearing scrub and gorse from the south facing slopes of Shotover Hill as part of a plan to manage the site for heather. See this week's general email for details!

            • Leader: Phil Hunter
            • Driver: Alison Hopkin
            Saturday 15 Feb 2014 – Coppicing and Scrub Clearance at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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            On recent visits to the Trap Grounds we've helped build a Kingfisher bank, unblock ditches and pull reeds out of the ponds. Today's work should be a bit drier at least. We're going to be coppicing and clearing scrub. The coppicing is a way to keep the trees a manageable size and introduce clearings while the trees regenerate. The scrub clearance will help to keep the paths usable and prevent the meadow area shrinking. Come along and get involved.

            • Leader: Phil Hunter
            • Driver: Jo Gay
            Sunday 16 Feb 2014 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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            For more than 30 years OCVers have been making regular visits to work at this splendid National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. We've done all kinds of tasks over that time, including fencing, sheep foot trimming, coppicing, scrub clearance and the installation of countless gates stiles and sets of steps. Today's task will be whatever the wardens from Natural England have in store for us, most likely scrub clearance or coppicing, given the time of year. Full details will be in the weekly email as usual.

            Thursday 20 Feb 2014 – Bowling Social 7:30pm at Ozone Leisure Complex

            This month's social will be bowling at the Ozone Leisure Complex next to the Kassam Stadium. Thursday is a good day because you can have 3 games for the price of 2. Apparently you can even wear your own shoes these days as long as they are reasonably sensible. There is free parking and I think it's on a bus route. It's also highly likely that some people will arrive by car so lifts to and from civilisation can probably be arranged. There is a bar and a grill, with deliciously unhealthy food, which the social secretary is getting excited about already. It would be great to have an idea of numbers in advance, so if you're planning to come, or if you're a maybe, please email socials@ocv.org.uk. UPDATE: This is now CANCELLED, we'll have another social soon though.

            • Contact: Chris
            Sunday 23 Feb 2014 – Scrub Clearance at Chilswell Valley, Oxford
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            • Leader: Richard Newton
            • Driver: Phil Hunter
            Sunday 2 Mar 2014 – Scrub Clearance at Sydlings Copse, North-East Oxford
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            This will be our second visit to this stunning nature reserve just to the east of the city. Sydlings Copse is managed by BBOWT and includes some areas of woodland and more open areas being encroached upon by gorse and birch. We're likely be doing some sort of scrub clearance under the guidance of one of the wardens from the local wildlife trust. A bonfire is a strong possibility to keep us warm.

            • Leader: Richard Newton
            • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
            Tuesday 4 Mar 2014 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

            • Contact:
            Sunday 9 Mar 2014 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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            Our March visit to this important National Nature Reserve in the Chilterns. It's a site that includes important chalk grassland which is grazed by a number of flocks of sheep. We'll be working with one of the wardens from Natural England to help look after the site, to maintain its important flora and fauna, and to maintain good public access along the various paths. Full details will be in the weekly email as usual.

            • Leader: Andy Mo
            • Driver: John Worth
            Saturday 15 Mar 2014 – Coppicing and scrub clearance at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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            Another visit to this Town Green in North Oxford. Although it used to be a rubbish tip, there's little sign of this since it's been cleaned up and managed as a great bit of wild space in the town. There are areas of woodland, meadow, fen, wetland and a number of ponds, some of which have been created in recent years with our help. Today we'll be helping to keep the paths clear and prevent scrub encroachment on the paths. We'll also be doing some coppicing to increase diversity of habitat and keep the trees a manageable size.

            • Leader: Richard Newton
            • Driver: Emma Bowler
            Sunday 16 Mar 2014 – Scrub Clearance at Watlington Hill, Watlington, South Oxfordshire
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            This grassland site in the Chilterns is a favourite with a number of our regular volunteers. It's managed by the National Trust and today we'll be working with the warden Jerry and probably some volunteers from the local group. We've had some splendid bonfires here in the past and today we're likely to be having another one since we will be clearing scrub to maintain the grassland which is important for wild flowers.

            • Leader: Andy Mo
            • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
            Tuesday 18 Mar 2014 – Curry 7:30pm at Mirch Masala Indian Restaurant

            Come along for some delicious food at this splendid restaurant on Cowley Road. I'm feeling hungry just thinking about it. Everyone's welcome, even if you haven't volunteered with us very much yet. Afterwards we might go to a nearby pub. Please email socials@ocv.org.uk if you're planning to come along so I can make a reservation for the right number of people.

            • Contact: Chris
            Sunday 23 Mar 2014 – Reserve Maintenance at Jubilee Fields and Long Meadow, Wootton, West Oxfordshire
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            Today we're working at this beautiful site near the village of Wootton by Woodstock. In the past we've been involved with several projects here, including building a lot of fencing and creating a number of paths and bridges. Today's task will likely involve cutting up and burning what has been left after the willows have been pollarded. This is important to stop the water meadows being covered by young willows springing up from the cut branches. We might also be doing some repairs to fences or stiles to maintain easy public access.

            • Leader: Richard Newton
            • Driver: Tim Howard
            Sunday 30 Mar 2014 – Lime Mortar Walling at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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            Last year we almost finished our ongoing project to rebuild the collapsed sections of wall using traditional lime mortar. Holywell is an urban wildlife site right in the middle of Oxford. We couldn't do our walling work over the winter when it could be frosty so now we're planning to put the last few layers of stones back and complete the all-important lime-concrete capping to finish the job. Come along and help us continue and hopefully finish off this project.

            • Leader: Chris Skepper
            • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
            Tuesday 1 Apr 2014 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

            • Contact:
            Sunday 6 Apr 2014 – Gate and Fence Work at Widnell Park, Piddington, North Oxfordshire
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            • Leader: Phil Hunter
            • Driver: Paul Clarke
            Sunday 13 Apr 2014 – Dry Stone Walling at Rectory Farm Fields, Kidlington
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            • Leader: Richard Newton
            • Driver: Phil Hunter
            Thursday 17 Apr 2014 – Stroll and pub meal 7pm at Port Meadow, Oxford
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            Now the nights are lighter, I thought we should get some fresh air. We'll start at the southern end of Port Meadow and stroll up one side of the river and back along the other with a pub meal at some stage. There are pubs on the route, and I will try to book a table at one of them. Come along for a nice way to start the Easter weekend.

            • Contact: Chris
            Sunday 20 Apr 2014 – Woodland Management at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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            Today, Easter Sunday, we return to Shotover Country Park to help in the management of the extensive woodland on behalf of Oxford City Council. A section of wood on the western side of the park has been selectively cut to thin out growth. Now the felled material needs to be dismembered, sorted, and left in brash stacks and log piles. This will open up the woodland floor to sunlight, enhance the biodiversity of the site, and provide invertebrate habitats. We might also harvest stakes and binders for future hedge-laying tasks.

            • Leader: Phil Hunter
            • Driver: Jo Gay
            Sunday 27 Apr 2014 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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            • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
            • Driver: Ed Polehampton
            Sunday 4 May 2014 – Dry Stone Walling at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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            • Leader: Chris Skepper
            • Driver: Emma Bowler
            Tuesday 6 May 2014 – Annual General Meeting at Cape of Good Hope

            This year's AGM will be taking place at 8pm in the upstairs room of the Cape of Good Hope pub. Its a great chance to hear about all of the wonderful things we have been doing over the past year, celebrate the enormous number of volunteer-hours everyone has contributed, and to support and thank the committee and fantastic leaders and drivers who give up their time to enable all of the tasks to happen. We'll be reviewing OCV's activities over the last year and electing the new committee for 2014/15. If you are interested in standing, talk to anyone on the current committee for details (and nominate yourself before 29th April 2014). Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting, or join us later for a pint or two.

            • Contact:
            Sunday 11 May 2014 – Bridge and Boardwalk Construction at Cothill National Nature Reserve
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            • Leader: Paul Clarke
            • Driver: Phil Hunter
            Monday 12 May 2014 – Fencing - Training Day at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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            • Contact: Phil
            Saturday 17 May 2014 – Lime mortar walling at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford
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            We've been working on this walling project for some time, but this will be the final session where we finish off the capping and generally admire our handiwork. The wall is at the rear of this peaceful cemetery and wildlife site in central Oxford and marks an ancient boundary of the city. Come along and do some mixing, trowelling or light scrub clearance. We may even finish early this time!

            • Leader: Chris Skepper
            • Driver: Claire Dalton
            Sunday 18 May 2014 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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            Another of our regular visits to Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve, managed by Natural England and situated in the heart of the Chilterns. It's home to juniper growing on chalk grassland, several flocks of sheep, valuable native woodland, an abundance of red kites, and orchids and other rare wild flowers. Conveniently, it's also very close to the M40! We'll be helping the wardens with their projects, which are most likely to be fencing, path or sheep work at this time of year. Make sure you're on our mailing list to find out more about exactly what's planned for this week.

            • Leader: Andy Mo
            • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
            Friday 23 May 2014 -
            Monday 26 May 2014 – Peak District Residential 2014 at Peak District National Park, Derbyshire
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            This weekend will be a residential trip to the Peak District. We'll be working with the Peak District National Park rangers and staying over in their volunteer accommodation at Brunt's Barn, which has beds and showers. The plan will be to leave on the Friday night, volunteer on the Saturday and Sunday and then do some sightseeing or walking on Monday before coming home. We usually eat and drink well on these trips, helped along by the fresh air and exercise and a good time is typically had by all. We'll find out more about the project we'll be doing nearer the time, but in the past we've helped with preventing erosion of peat moors, repairing footpaths and restoring dew ponds. The Peak District is a beautiful, spectacular landscape and is one of the most visited national parks due to being in the middle of a circle of population centres (Manchester, Leeds-Bradford, Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham and Birmingham). Online booking will start a few weeks beforehand. You must be a member to come on residentials, but you can join at the same time as booking if necessary.

            • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
            • Driver: Ed Polehampton
            Wednesday 28 May 2014 – Pub Social 7pm at The Head Of The River

            Come for a drink and/or something to eat tonight at the Head of the River from 7pm. If you're planning to come later then food is served until 9pm. If it's nice weather we'll be sat outside by the river. No need to tell us you're coming, but if you're new to OCV and you want us to look out for you then email Chris at socials@ocv.org.uk. Everyone welcome, even if you haven't been to many (or any) tasks before.

            • Contact: Chris
            Sunday 1 Jun 2014 – Balsam Pulling at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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            • Leader: Andy Mo
            • Driver: John Worth
            Tuesday 3 Jun 2014 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

            • Contact: Ed
            Friday 6 Jun 2014 – Wildflower Evening and Barbecue at Grays Lane Bank, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
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            We'll be visiting this stunning SSSI in the evening at the peak of the wildflower season. Since we do most of our scrub clearance in the Winter we often don't have chance to see any of the wildflowers that result from careful management of unimproved chalk grassland. This site is apparently spectacular at this time of year. Weather permitting there will be a barbecue kindly provided by the owner.

            • Contact: Chris
            Sunday 8 Jun 2014 – Bridge and Boardwalk Construction at Cothill National Nature Reserve
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            • Leader: Paul Clarke
            • Driver: Phil Hunter
            Sunday 15 Jun 2014 – Wetland Management at Woodstock Water Meadows
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            • Leader: Phil Hunter
            • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
            Saturday 21 Jun 2014 – Dry Stone Walling at Rectory Farm Fields, Kidlington
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            • Leader: Phil Hunter
            • Driver: Chris Skepper
            Sunday 22 Jun 2014 – Site Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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            • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
            • Driver: Jo Gay
            Sunday 29 Jun 2014 – Fen Raking at Lye Valley, Oxford
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            • Leader: Richard Newton
            • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
            Tuesday 1 Jul 2014 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

            • Contact: Ed
            Saturday 5 Jul 2014 – Dry Stone Walling at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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            • Leader: Phil Hunter
            • Driver: Jo Gay
            Sunday 6 Jul 2014 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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            • Leader: Ray Hitchins
            • Driver: Emma Bowler
            Thursday 10 Jul 2014 – Punting Social at Cherwell Boat House
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            Time for our traditional punting and picnic, weather permitting. Come along and see some riverbank wildlife and practice your punting skills or just sit back with your refreshments of choice and watch other people try to only nearly fall in. Summer wouldn't be summer without it! We'll start at the Cherwell Boat House at 7pm.

            • Contact: Chris
            Sunday 13 Jul 2014 – Task Change! - Balsam Pulling at Woodstock Water Meadows
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            The farmer at Hackpen Hill has been in touch to say that as it's turned out, there's insufficient ragwort in his fields to warrant a day's work at the site. There is, however, no lack of Himalayan Balsam in the water meadows at Woodstock, so today we'll follow up the visit we made in June with another day's work pulling balsam. We'll also look to continue some of the routine management tasks on the site.

            • Leader: Andy Mo
            • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
            Sunday 20 Jul 2014 – Fen Work at Duke's Meadow, Banbury

            • Leader: Chris Skepper
            • Driver: Phil Hunter
            Sunday 27 Jul 2014 – Grassland Maintenance at Grays Lane Bank, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire
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            • Leader: Phil Hunter
            • Driver: Tim Howard
            Saturday 2 Aug 2014 – Dry Stone Walling at Deddington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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            • Leader: Chris Skepper
            • Driver: Phil Hunter
            Sunday 3 Aug 2014 – Reserve Maintenance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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            • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
            • Driver: Claire Dalton
            Tuesday 5 Aug 2014 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

            • Contact: Ed
            Thursday 7 Aug 2014 – Picnic 6.45pm at Angel and Greyhound Meadow

            I'm hoping that Summer will last a little bit longer so we can meet up and play some frisbee or rounders, or similar, and have a picnic. This meadow is close to central Oxford and I'll send directions by email. Bring your own food and drinks to share. If it gets cold, rainy or dark we'll head to a pub nearby.

            • Contact: Chris
            Sunday 10 Aug 2014 – Grass Raking at St Mary's Fields, Kidlington, Oxfordshire
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            • Leader: Andy Mo
            • Driver: Phil Hunter
            Sunday 17 Aug 2014 – Reed Cutting at Iffley Island, Oxford
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            • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
            • Driver: Ed Polehampton
            Sunday 24 Aug 2014 – Path Erosion Revetments at Shotover Country Park, Oxford
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            • Leader: Phil Hunter
            • Driver: Jo Gay
            Sunday 31 Aug 2014 – Meadow Raking at Woodstock Water Meadows
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            • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
            • Driver: Phil Hunter
            Tuesday 2 Sep 2014 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

            • Contact: Ed
            Sunday 7 Sep 2014 – Reserve Maintainance at Aston Rowant NNR, South Oxfordshire
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            Another of our monthly visits to our most regular work site: a National Nature Reserve on the Chiltern escarpment just above the Ridgeway footpath. On a clear day there are extensive views across Aylesbury Vale past, and sometimes over, the red kites that cruise the updrafts. Today's task will involve some late summer scrub clearance: exact details will be announced nearer the time via the OCV email list.

            • Leader: Tim Howard
            • Driver: Ray Hitchins
            Tuesday 9 Sep 2014 – Pizza and Beer Social 7pm at The White Rabbit

            Come and join us for some for delicious hand-made pizza at this pub in central Oxford. They also serve fine ales and bar snacks, of which dough balls with chocolate sauce comes particularly recommended by the social secretary. Meet at 7pm for food or join us any time afterwards. You don't have to have be a regular volunteer to come to a social - everyone is equally welcome.

            • Contact: Chris
            Sunday 14 Sep 2014 – Reserve Maintenance at Crecy Hill LWS, Tackley, Oxfordshire
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            • Leader: Chris Skepper
            • Driver: John Worth
            Sunday 21 Sep 2014 – Grassland maintenance at Shill Brook, Carterton
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            • Leader: Andy Mo
            • Driver: Tim Howard
            Saturday 27 Sep 2014 – Reserve Maintenance at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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            • Leader: Andy Mo
            • Driver: Chris Skepper
            Sunday 28 Sep 2014 – Waterway Maintenance at The Waterways, North Oxford
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            • Leader: Phil Hunter
            • Driver: Jo Gay
            Sunday 5 Oct 2014 – Fen Raking 1 at Lye Valley, Oxford
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            • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
            • Driver: John Worth
            Tuesday 7 Oct 2014 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

            • Contact: Ed
            Saturday 11 Oct 2014 – Reserve Maintenance at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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            • Leader: Phil Hunter
            • Driver: Chris Skepper
            Sunday 12 Oct 2014 – Fen Raking 2 at Lye Valley, Oxford
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            • Leader: Tim Bletsoe
            • Driver: Ed Polehampton
            Friday 17 Oct 2014 -
            Sunday 19 Oct 2014 – Woodland Work and Otter Holt Construction at Norfolk
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            A chance to visit beautiful and wildlife rich Norfolk. We will be working in a privately owned garden/nature reserve belonging to one of our volunteers who has recently moved to the area. 500 trees have been planted under an arrangement with the Woodland Trust and they need careful scrub clearance around them to stop them being choked by scrub before they reach a height where they will cope on their own. There is also a plan to build an otter holt to give a much-needed extra home to these aquatic creatures. Accommodation will be sleeping bags on the floor, but there will be showers, heating and food available. The plan is to leave on Friday night and come back on Sunday evening, which will give us some time on Sunday to see the Norfolk coast.

            • Leader: Chris Skepper
            • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
            Thursday 23 Oct 2014 – Crepes at Bookbinders pub, Jericho
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            Come and enjoy some delicious crepes at this pub in Jericho, which describes itself as "Oxford's Best Kept Secret Since 1869". There's also a special offer on beer on Thursdays: 9 pints for the price of 10, or possibly the other way round, I can't remember. It sounds a lot but you don't have to drink them all yourself. You don't have to be a regular volunteer to come to a social: we're always happy to see old faces and new ones.

            • Contact: Chris
            Sunday 26 Oct 2014 – Fencing & Kissing Gates at Cothill National Nature Reserve
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            • Leader: Phil Hunter
            • Driver: Tim Bletsoe
            Sunday 2 Nov 2014 – Hedge and Pond Work at Kirtlington Parish, North Oxfordshire
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            • Leader: Andy Mo
            • Driver: Paul Clarke
            Tuesday 4 Nov 2014 – Committee Meeting 8-9pm at Oxford Town 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, please feel free to join us. Alternatively, we'll be in Far from the Madding Crowd from about 9pm.

            • Contact: Ed
            Saturday 8 Nov 2014 – Reserve Maintenance at Trap Grounds, Oxford
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            • Leader: Phil Hunter
            • Driver: Chris Skepper