Basingstoke Conservation Volunteers
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Calendar of Events until May 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 - you should also be able to contact the leader during the 2 days leading up to the task on the leader's mobile phone (the number is in the newsletter). Meet at 10am 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 January to May 2005 programme are below. For those of you who like something new, we have a couple of sites new to BCV to work on - Aldermaston Gravel Pit (a new BBOWT reserve) and Snelsmore Common. The old favourites are there too, with plenty of tasks at Pamber Forest, and we're also returning to Great Binfields Copse after a lengthy break.
On the social side, there are plenty of events planned too - the details will be appearing here shortly.


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.

January 2005
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1
2 345678
9 1011 12 131415
16 171819202122
23242526272829
30 31
February 2005
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
12345
6 789101112
13141516171819
20 212223242526
27 28
March 2005
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1234 5
6789101112
13 141516171819
20 212223242526
2728293031
April 2005
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
12
3 456789
10 111213141516
17 181920212223
24 25 2627282930
May 2005
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1 234567
8 910111213 14
15161718192021
22 232425262728
293031

Colour key : Social project Meeting


January
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.

February
project Sun 6th Great Binfields CopseRide Widening
This substantial area of woodland, situated to the south of the A33, was surveyed by BCV on behalf of Basingstoke Council a few years ago. Although part of the site has subsequently been lost to development, some good habitat still remains. The wood is a mix of broad-leaf and conifer, some clearly planted while other parts are more natural. We identified over 40 Ancient Woodland Indicator plants, a very healthly total. During the surveying we also recorded a few woodland butterflies and as part of Basingstoke Council's Community Woodlands scheme we will undertake some ride widening in the hope of encouraging them further.
Leader : on 326339.

project Sun 20th Old Burghclere Lime PitsFencing
This former industrial site south of Newbury has matured very quickly into a chalkland reserve of considerable wildlife interest. The steep sides of the pit act as a perfect suntrap that is ideal for butterflies, including the scarce Small Blue. The flower-rich turf is kept short by the attentions of the local rabbit populations. Unfortunately, since the fencing of the rim of the pit to keep the rabbits off the surrounding fields, grazing pressure within has been greatly increased to the detriment of the flora. BCV has previously participated in the construction of exclosures to protect key areas. Some changes are now to be made which involve the removal of some exclosures and the construction of new, larger ones. Meet at Grid Ref. SU 470574
Leader : on 01189 700155.

project Sun 27th Pamber ForestCoppicing
The 200ha of Pamber Forest lie just to the north of Basingstoke. Formerly part of the royal Forest of Windsor, the woodland varies from oak and chestnut with a heathy understory on higher ground, to a more diverse and lush vegetation in the stream valleys. Pamber was long famed for its insects, largely as a result of the practice of coppicing that was carried out up until the early 20th century. The result of the felling of small patches of woodland on a regular cycle of around 10 years led to a mosaic of habitats with widely varying light levels. Such diversity was extremely beneficial to many plants and to the insects dependent on them. The small poles produced were put to a wide variety of uses, but this industry declined in the last century and Pamber, like many coppice woods, became overgrown. Over the past 20 years, under the management of the Englefield estate and, more recently, the Hampshire Wildlife Trust, a coppice programme has been restarted and is beginning to bear fruit. This winter, we have been coppicing an area in the north of the Forest and using the material to build a dead hedge. Depending on progress so far, we may be finishing this plot, or starting work on another.
Leader : on 420818.

social/meet Mon 28th Pub Quiz and Committee MeetingRed Lion, Mortimer West End
Start time is at 8pm at the Red Lion Pub in Mortimer West End. Come and join us for an evening at Graham's local and enjoy the quiz and committee meeting. All welcome.
Contact : on 01189 700155.

March
social Sat 5th Games EveningDave J's house
This is another chance to have a fun packed evening! Please bring some nibbles and something to drink. Start time is 7:30pm and the venue is Dave J's house.
Contact : on 420818.

project Sun 13th Aldermaston Gravel PitsAccess Construction
This new site for BCV is being converted to a nature reserve for the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) as gravel extraction is gradually phased out. The site is not yet open to the public and there is much access improvement to be done. We will be helping with this work, either laying out footpaths or building boardwalks. Meet at entrance on the A340 near the Butt Inn (Grid ref SU599668).
Leader : on 326339.

project Sun 20th Pamber ForestCoppicing
We will be finishing up our coppicing work for this winter. We have been coppicing an area in the north of the Forest and using the material to build a dead hedge. Depending on progress so far, we may be finishing this plot, or starting work on another.
Leader : on 01635 49304.

April
social Sun 3rd Bike Ridefrom Silchester Common
Dave J is origanising this event, starting at 10am prompt on Silchester Common and running through some 40 miles to the charming Pot Kiln pub at Frilsham.
Contact : on 420818.

project Sun 10th Snelsmore CommonHeathland Restoration
This 100 hectare site just beyond Newbury attracted national attention as the site of attempts to block the building of the Newbury bypass. Although some land was ultimately lost, the bulk of the site remains and consists of heathland with valley mires and some woodland. Much heathland restoration has taken place on the site in recent years, the results of which are now apparent. Following the felling of secondary woodland, heather is regrowing and the site is now grazed to prevent scrub returning. On this task we will either be helping to restore footpaths or removing some willow and birch scrub from one of the valley mires (where the cattle and ponies find it hard to reach). Please note that parts of this site can be very wet so wellies may be advisable.
Leader : on 420818.

project Sun 17th Pamber ForestFencing
While BCV spend the winter at Pamber coppicing on a small scale, a larger area is usually cleared by contractors, which then requires fencing to protect the regrowth from deer grazing. This year, the 2 hectare plot is in Upper Inhams Copse, a relatively new addition to the north-east side of the reserve. This will be a good introduction for those who have not seen the area before.
Leader : on 329398.

meeting Mon 25th Committee MeeetingRed Lion, Mortimer West End
Starting at 8pm. It'll be time to plan the summer's events, so come along and have your say. Every welcome.
Contact : on 326339.

May
social Sun 1st WalkMystery Location
Celebrate May Day with a walk in our local countryside, hopefully with some fine Spring weather. As usual, the walk will be no more than 10 miles, with a pub stop at lunchtime. Expected start time is 10am.
Contact : on 326339.

project Sun 8th Pamber ForestFencing
While BCV spend the winter at Pamber coppicing on a small scale, a larger area is usually cleared by contractors, which then requires fencing to protect the regrowth from deer grazing. This year, the 2 hectare plot is in Upper Inhams Copse, a relatively new addition to the north-east side of the reserve. This will be a good introduction for those who have not seen the area before.
Leader : on 01635 49304.

social Sat 14th BirdwatchingKeyhaven
Just for a change, we thought we'd go birdwatching at a time of year when there's a reasonable chance of not getting freezing cold! We've been unlucky (to say the least) with the weather on previous visits to Keyhaven, so it's time we had a fine day on which to enjoy all that the Lymington and Keyhaven Nature Reserve has to offer.
Note that the newsletter has the wrong date for this event (March 12).
Contact : on 01189 700155 for more details.

project Sun 22nd Pamber ForestFencing
While BCV spend the winter at Pamber coppicing on a small scale, a larger area is usually cleared by contractors, which then requires fencing to protect the regrowth from deer grazing. This year, the 2 hectare plot is in Upper Inhams Copse, a relatively new addition to the north-east side of the reserve. This will be a good introduction for those who have not seen the area before.
Leader : on 474934.

June 2005 onwards
Details of events from June 2005 onwards will be published towards the end of May 2005.