Basingstoke Conservation Volunteers
Hands-on help for local wildlife

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Calendar of Events - July 2009 to October 2009

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 programme from July 2009 are below. With summer at its peak, we'll be haymaking, ragwort-pulling, repairing fences and fen-cutting in July and August. Then of course comes September, and we're back into the coppicing season.
As if that's not enough excitement, we're off to Brownsea Island in October for this year's residential task. Finally, for something a little different, we'll be helping the locals in Ecchinswell to maintain the village pond.
For the social animals in the group, there's a BBQ, a trip to see Greenham Common's wildlife, pub, games and food evenings and even a day trip to the Wield and Downland Museum.
All the details are below ...

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 info icon to get brief pop-up info on the event.

June 2009
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 icon 15 16 17 icon 18 19 20
21 icon 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 icon 29 30
July 2009
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4
5 icon 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 icon
19 icon 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
August 2009
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 icon 3 4 5 6 7 8 icon
9 icon 10 11 12 icon 13 14 15
16 icon 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 icon 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
September 2009
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 icon 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 icon 21 22 23 24 25 icon 26
27 28 29 30
October 2009
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 icon 3
4 icon 5 6 7 icon 8 9 10 icon
11 icon 12 13 14 icon 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24 icon
25 icon 26 27 28 29 30 31
Colour key : Social Project Meeting Cancelled/moved Residential Project

June 2009
project Sun 14th Ron Ward's Meadow Fence Removal
Just for a change, today we will be removing some fencing on the boundary of this traditionally-run hay meadow in Tadley, now that the hedge-laying carried out over recent years has created a stock-proof barrier for the cattle that graze the site later in the year. This should also be a good opportunity to see the display of wildflowers before the hay is cut.
Contact : on 420818.
meeting Wed 17th Red Lion Pub Committee Meeting
Committee meeting to be held at the Red Lion in Mortimer West End, starting at 8pm. All are welcome.
Please contact on 420818 if you need a lift from Basingstoke.
social Sun 21st Old Winchester Hill Site Visit
Mike will be leading a site visit to Old Winchester Hill. This ancient hill-fort and National Nature Reserve has superb chalk grassland with fabulous wildflowers. A walk around the reserve will be followed by picnic lunch. The aim will be to leave from Basingstoke at 10.15 am. Alternatively, meet in the main car park at Old Winchester Hill (Grid ref SU 648 209) at 11.00 am.
Contact : on 420818 for further details.
project Sun 28th Pamber Forest Fencing
Due to some unforeseen circumstances, it's mid June and we are yet to complete the deer fencing around the largest of last winter's coppice blocks. In July the deer damage will start getting serious and so we would like it finished by then.
Consequently we have decided to move BCV from Headley as shock troops to finish the job off. It will just need about 20 posts knocking in and the wire hanging.
The new meeting point for the task is the Honeymill Bridge Entrance off the A340. It is a very small track just before entering the Tadley 30 mph limit, if coming from Basingstoke. There is plenty of hard-standing inside the Forest to park.
Contact : on 01635 49304.
July 2009
project Sun 5th Pamber Forest Haymaking
The Hampshire Wildlife Trust reserve of Pamber Forest consists of nearly 200Ha of ancient coppice woodland, heathland, wood pasture, stream valleys and flower-rich glades. The site has a reputation for top-quality wildlife stretching back over decades. Following the end of commercial coppicing in the mid-20th century, many aspects of the wildlife started to decline.
However, the adoption of the Forest as a nature reserve has allowed this decline to start to be reversed. A key element of the management is directed towards providing sunny and flower-rich habitats for butterflies. The path of a sewer line laid through the Forest is maintained as a grassy glade with many thistles and other nectar sources. Each summer, a mosaic of areas along the glade are mechanically mowed to prevent the grasses becoming too rank and smothering the flowers.
Today we will be raking up the grass cuttings and piling them up, coincidentally making favoured nesting sites for grass snakes. Please contact the Warden, Graham Dennis (0118 9700155), or the task leader, to find out the meeting place.
Contact : on 07771 805000.
social Sat 18th Mike's house BBQ
We're having a change of venue for the annual summer BBQ this year. Join us at Mike's house in Ecchinswell from 6pm.
Please bring a bottle and something to cook.
Contact : on 01635 268482 for further info.
project Sun 19th Ancell's Farm Ragwort Pulling
The HWT reserve at Ancell's Farm near Fleet is a mosaic of wet heath, acid grassland and rough grazing - all threatened habitat for wildlife in north Hampshire. HWT's Grazing Project ia making great strides in restoring grazing on the reserve as a key element of the future management. In order to do this, ragwort on the site must be controlled as it is poisonous to livestock.
We will be joining the local volunteer group in a major ragwort pull to try and make as big a dent as possible. It is expected that we will finish shortly after lunch, providing an opportunity to look round this unique reserve in its full summer finery.
Contact : on 420818.
August 2009
project Sun 2nd Greywell Moors Summer Work
Greywell Moors is an alkaline fen adjacent to the headwaters of the River Whitewater. Long famed for its rare plants and insects, careful management of the site since about 1990 by the Hampshire Wildlife Trust has saved it from turning completely into Alder woodland. Part of the fen is now grazed, helping to produce a more diverse mosaic of habitats.
In summer, there are a variety of tasks to be carried out. As well as selectively brush-cutting some of the thicker vegetation, we could be doing a little ragwort-pulling, or carrying out some fencing repairs.
Contact : on 01635 49304.
social Sat 8th Greenham Common Wildlife Visit
The Common, once home to cruise missiles, is now managed for wildlife and recreation. At this time of year the old gravel diggings should attract a range of dragonflies. There will also be many wild flowers in bloom.
Meet at the car park next to the old control tower (SU498650) on the north side of the Common at 2pm.
Contact : on 420818 for further info.
project Sun 9nd Headley Gravel Pit Summer Work
Headley Gravel Pit is a HWT reserve known principally for its spring display of Green-Winged Orchids, but is also home to an interesting array of plants of very dry acid grassland, as well as some rather local butterflies such as Grizzled Skipper. Management of the site is aimed at preventing the open ground being swallowed up by birch scrub.
Today, we will be continuing the policy of summer birch-cutting, doing a little haymaking, and removing a rabbit exclosure.
Contact : on 420818.
meeting Wed 12th Dave's House Committee Meeting
It will be held at Dave's house at 8pm. Why not join us and find out what the committee do (or even become a committee member!)
Contact : on 420818 for directions.
social Sun 16th Weald and Downland Museum Outdoor Museum Visit
Another opportunity to see a great museum of bygone times in rural southern England.
Contact : on 420818 for details and to book yourself on the trip.
project Sun 23rd Pamber Forest Fence Repair
Summer is the time that less invasive management work is done so as to minimize the impact on wildlife.
Today we will be carrying out repairs to a section of fencing and adding some water gates if the stream level is low enough. Phone the leader for the meeting point.
Contact : on 01189 700155.
September 2009
project Sun 13th Pamber Forest Coppicing
September sees the restart of the winter coppicing programme in Pamber. In selected plots, the under-storey is cut down to ground level, with a repetition cycle of anything from seven to fifteen years. Historically, this was a means of obtaining the raw material for a wide range of products such a hurdles, tool handles, furniture, clothes pegs or firewood. Coincidentally, the resulting mosaic of different habitats, in varying stages of recovery, and hence having differing levels of light reaching the forest floor, is ideal for a wide range of wildlife.
Restoring the coppice cycle in key areas is a major part of the management plan for Pamber Forest. Today we will be starting a new coppice plot, possibly even one that BCV previously cut over a decade ago.
Phone leader or Graham for the meeting point.
Contact : on 07771 805000.
social Sun 13th Calleva Arms Pub Visit
To celebrate the return of the coppicing season, we'll be decamping to the Calleva Arms pub after the task in Pamber, so we should be there from around 4:30pm.
Contact : on 07771 805000 for more details.
project Sun 20th Pamber Forest Coppicing
Today we will be continuing the work started on this plot last Sunday (see above for details).
Phone leader or Graham for the meeting point.
Contact : on 01635 49304.
October 2009
social Fri 2nd Mike's House Games evening
Mike is hosting a games evening,. Please bring along your favourite game and something to drink. Starting time is 7:30.
Note change of date - was originally 25th September.
Contact : on 01635 268582 for details.
project Sun 4th Pamber Forest Coppicing
Today we will be continuing the work started on this plot in September (click here to see details of the work).
Phone leader or Graham for the meeting point.
Contact : on 01189 700702.
meeting Wed 7th Red Lion Pub, Mortimer West End Committee Meeting
'I never miss a BCV committee Meeting – more exciting than Springwatch' – Chris Packham. At the Red Lion at 8pm. Note: was originally Oct 14th.
Contact : on 01189 700155 for more info.
resi Sat/Sun 10/11th Brownsea Island Rhody Bash
After an absence of three years, we thought it was about time we returned to this idyllic location for our residential task.
Habitats on the island include heathland, woodland and wetland, including the famous Lagoon, where a vast array of wetland birds congregate, especially in autumn. Mammals on the island include Sika Deer and Red Squirrels.
Unfortunately, the island has also been infested with Rhododendron, which is not so good for wildlife. BCV will be helping Dorset Wildlife Trust in their increasingly successful attempts to control this invasive shrub.
We will be staying on the island in The Villa, which has bunk-style accommodation. Please let the leader know by 27th September if you are coming as we will need to take all our provisions with us and so it is vital to have accurate numbers.
Contact : on 420818.
social Sat 24th Elizabeth's House Halloween Dinner Party
This time our famous food evening comes to Elizabeth’s house where the theme is Halloween. Starts at 7pm.
Contact : for more info.
project Sun 25th Ecchinswell Pond Clearance
Ecchinswell village pond is excellent for wildlife, playing host, amongst other things, to a population of Great Crested Newts, one of Britain’s most threatened amphibians. To keep it in good shape, the pond benefits from an annual tidy-up, at a time providing least disturbance to the newts.
Last year, some BCV members helped locals with the clearing out and a good time was had, so it was decided to make it a formal task this year. As an added incentive, there will be 'pond clearance soup' and BBQ sausages at lunch time.
Contact : on 01635 268482.
November 2009
Full details of events from November 2009 onwards will be published in October.
Basingstoke Conservation Volunteers
Hands-on help for local wildlife

BCV Home About BCV Events Programme Latest News Attending a Task Contact BCV
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