Basingstoke Conservation Volunteers
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Calendar of Events until January 2005

It is a good idea to contact the organizer or task leader of the events before attending so that we can cater for numbers and arrange lifts if needed. All telephone numbers are Basingstoke area (01256) unless the code is given. Meet at 10 am at the project site or at the toolshed at 9.30, unless other times are given. The numbers are OS grid references of the meet up point for the projects. Some of the sites are difficult to find, so if it's your first visit to a site, we'd recommend meeting us at the toolshed and then following the leader (who should know where he/she is going!) to the site.
Details in red are changes from the programme published in the newsletter.

Details of the October 2004 to January 2005 programme are below. We're now back into the "High Season" for conservation work, so there's plenty of work to get stuck into - from the familiar coppicing work at Pamber to reed-bed maintenance at Fleet Pond. There's also plenty of scrub bashing too, and, after many years, we're returning to North Warnborough to do some coppicing. Star billing must go to the residential task on Brownsea Island though - always a good week-end.
On the social side, we've aranged a mixture of outdoor and indoor events, so there should be something for everyone. Events include a New Year walk, a pub quiz, the Christmas meal and a games evening as well as regular committee meetings.
The tables below give a quick overview of when events are happening - click on the month name in a table's header to jump to details of events happening during that month, or click on the date to jump straight to details of that event. Hover your mouse over the icon to get brief pop-up info on the event.

October 2004
101112131415,16 &
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005

Colour key : Social project Meeting

project Sun 10th Burghclere RailwayScrub Clearance
We first visited this site on the line of the old Newbury to Winchester railway earlier in the year. Where the former line crosses the outcrop of the chalk, there are several areas of trackside that hold diverse ranges of chalk grasland plants, making the line as a whole a SINC, or Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. The quality of some of these areas is now threatened by encroaching scrub and our first visit involved clearing hawthorn and dogwood from a section of cutting. We will be returning twice this winter to extend this work to other areas. Meet at Grid Ref. SU 476593.
Leader : on 420818.

meeting Mon 11th Russ and Anna'sCommittee Meeting
Contact for further details.

project Fri 15th - Sun 17th Brownsea IslandAutumn Residential
This will be our third visit to Dorset Wildlife Trust's premier site on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour. The 'natural' vegetation of the island is heathland with scattered pine and patches of deciduous woodland, but large areas are overrun with Rhododendron. DWT have been working hard on their part of the island (the rest is National Trust) to push back the Rhodies and our work this weekend will be to continue that task. As well as bashing Rhodies we will be able to see Red Squirrels, watch waders on the lagoon and maybe even glimpse the elusive Golden Pheasants. We will be staying in the "Villa" and will have to take all our supplies over by boat. Note that due to the need to catch the last ferry to the island, we will need to leave for Poole during the afternoon. Return will be mid-afternoon on Sunday. Please note all bookings for this trip will need to have been made with Graham by the end of the first week in October. Due to the need to book ferries etc we will be unable to accept late requests.
Please contact on 01189 700155 for more details or to book your place!

social Sun 24th Four Horseshoes PubPub Quiz
Join us at the Four Horseshoes pub in Sherfield-on-Loddon from 8pm. After our brilliant success last time, we'll be hoping for more spoils of victory. Contact on 326339 for further details.

project Sun 31st Bartley HeathHeathland Clearance
Bartley Heath near Hook was a familiar work site in the early days of BCV as we cleared vast swathes of birch and oak saplings that had almost entirely smothered the heathland vegetation. Eventually, HWT were able to fence the site and restore grazing, since when it has improved immensely, looking for all the world like a corner of the New Forest. However, there are still some areas where birch regrowth has got away again and we will be tackling some of these today.
Leader : on 01635 49304.

project Sun 7th Fleet PondReedbed Maintenance
One of the largest areas of freshwater in this part of Hampshire, Fleet Pond is a magnet for birdlife and a refuge for a wide range of aquatic plants and insects. Since being dammed as a fishpond in medieval times, the pond has suffered fluctuating fortunes and water levels. Most recently, it is threatened by sediment running off from the army ranges nearby. The extensive reedbeds are in danger of drying out as alder and willow scrub gets a hold. On this visit we will be continuing the work of cutting scrub in one of the reedbeds. Note that wellies are highly recommended for this task (waders available for the adventurous). Meet at the Countryside Workshop, Old Pump House Close, off Kenilworth Rd, Grid Ref SU 820546.
Leader : on 326339.

project Sun 14th Pamber ForestCoppicing
Pamber Forest is an area of ancient semi-natural woodland varying from oak and chestnut on drier ground to oak, ash, maple and willow in the damper stream valleys. Its continuity of existence means that it has a very diverse fauna and flora, with the insect life being of particular importance. One reason for this was the tradition of coppicing that was carried out over many generations. Each winter the understory would be cut back in a small area of the wood in order to provide raw materials for a range of uses such as tool handles, hurdle-making, bean poles and so on. Subsequently the cut 'stools' would resprout, putting on as much as six feet of growth in a year. After a period of eight to fifteen years the plot or 'coupe' would once again be ready to be harvested. As different coupes were cut in successive years, a mosaic of habitats built up that was beneficial to wildlife. Coppicing died out in the middle of the last century but was recommenced when the Forest became a nature reserve. Although much of the cutting is now done by contractors, there are still areas where BCV can help out. This winter we will be spending several Sundays coppicing an area and using the cut material to form a dead hedge to prevent deer from eating the regrowth.
Leader : on 07771 805000.

social Fri 19th Mike's HouseGames Evening
Winter's looming, so time to be indoors for another of our always-popular games evenings. Join us at Mike's around 8pm. Please bring along some nibbles and something to drink, as well any games that you'd like to play.
Contact on 326339 for further details.

project Sun 28th Pamber ForestCoppicing
See Sun 14 November for work details.
Leader : on 329398.

project Sun 5th Old Burghclere Lime PitsScrub Clearance
This former lime quarry to the south of Newbury is a regular winter work-site for BCV. Since closing as a going concern, the chalky ground has been cololnised by the lime-loving plants of chalk grassland, such as Wild Thyme, Yellowort, Eyebright and so on. The bowl-like nature of the pit also forms a sun-trap that is much favoured by a range of insect life. During the winter, we will be helping to push back invading scrub which is threatening to overrun the short turf and shade out the grassland plants. Meet at Grid Ref. SU 470574
Leader : on 474934.

meeting Mon 6th Dave J'sCommittee Meeting
Contact on 420818 for further details. All welcome as always.

social Sat 11th Dave J's HouseChistmas Meal
To be held at Dave J's house, this is starting at 6.30pm and will be the latest in a long line of very successful Christmas meals. Please come and join us at what will surely be a splendid affair, to which we will all bring a food contribution. Dave will organise who will be bringing what. Please DO NOT just turn upů need to book a place.
Contact on 420818 well in advance for further details.

project Sun 19th Pamber ForestCoppicing
This will be the traditional pre-Christmas bash, with festive grub at lunchtime. See Sun 14 November for work details.
Leader : on 420818.

social Sun 2nd Near BasingstokeNew Year Walk
Blow all those cobwebs away by joining us for a walk. It will be approximately 5 miles, with a pub lunch included. Start time is 10am and it will be in the Basingstoke area.
Contact on 420818 for further details.

project Sun 9th Burghclere RailwayScrub Clearance
See Sun 10 October for work details.
Leader : on 326339.

meeting Wed 12th Red LionCommittee Meeting
Join us at the Red Lion Pub in Mortimer West End to enjoy a drink or two and to plan the Spring 2005 events-programme.
Contact on 326339 for further details.

project Sun 16th Pamber ForestCoppicing
See Sun 14 November for work details.
Leader : on 01635 49304.

project Sun 30th North Warnborough GreenCoppicing
Like Bartley Heath, this wetland meadow was a site familiar to BCV in the distant past as we regularly convened for the hay-cut at the end of the summer. Again, with the establishment of grazing, our work became superfluous (the cows do a much better job!). However, the display of marsh orchids in the spring/early summer is once more a sight to behold. We return on this occasion to tackle some sycamore seedlings and maybe also a little tree-felling. We will be joining with the local Bartley/North Warnborough HWT volunteers for the day.
Leader : on 474934.

Details of events from February 2005 onwards will be published towards the end of January 2005.