Basingstoke Conservation Volunteers
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Calendar of Events - October 2009 to February 2010

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 October 2009 are below. The days are getting shorter, but this is the time of year for the conservers to move into top gear. Coppicing takes centre stage for the autumn and winter months, and we'll be working chiefly at Pamber Forest and Inham's Copse. We'll also be bashing scrub at Ancell's Farm and Bartley Heath to the south and east of Basingstoke.
Social events include the Christmas meal, a quiz night and several outdoor trips, including a New Year walk and a birdwatching trip to the south coast.


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.

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
November 2009
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 icon 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 icon 16 17 18 19 20 21 icon
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 icon 30
December 2009
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 icon 3 4 5
6 icon 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 icon
20 icon 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31
January 2010
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2
3 icon 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 icon 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 icon 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 icon
February 2010
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 icon
7 8 9 10 icon 11 12 13
14 icon 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 icon 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 icon
Colour key : Social Project Meeting Cancelled/moved Residential Project

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
project Sun 1st Pamber Forest Coppicing
We like to think of Pamber Forest as our 'home' reserve. It consists of nearly 200 hectares of ancient coppice woodland, heathland, wood pasture, stream valleys and flower-rich glades and is managed by the Hampshire Wildlife Trust. Like most other areas of ancient woodland, its wildlife-value declined along with the coppicing industry when it became uneconomic around the middle of the 20th century. As less and less coppicing was carried out, the specialist woodland flora went into a steep decline, resulting in the loss of both the flowers and all the invertebrates that depend upon them.
Fortunately, the forest was adopted as a nature reserve and active management, including the reinstatement of a coppicing programme, has been able to reverse the decline and restore some of the forest's lost glory.
Today we will be continuing the coppicing programme that began so well in September. Please contact the task leader to find out the meeting place and let him know that you will be there.
Contact : on 01635 49304.
social Sun 1st Calleva Arms Pub visit
After spending a day coppicing at Pamber, we'll meet up for a sociable drink at the Calleva Arms in Silchester. Exact time depends on when the task finishes, but we should be there around 4:15.
Contact : on 01635 49304 in advance or 07966 824089 on the day.
project Sun 15th Ancell's Farm Gorse Bash
As part of the restoration of this HWT reserve near Fleet, BCV will be bashing some of the gorse found here. The reserve is a mixture of wet heath, acid grassland and rough grazing - all habitats that are in increasingly short supply and therefore need to be protected.
Ancell's Farm is managed as part of The Trust's Grazing Project, with the animals' activities producing the ideal conditions for these habitats' specialist species. Once the gorse is removed, the wildlife will hopefully recolonize the cleared area, bringing more of the reserve into a favourable condition.
Contact : on 420818.
social Sat 21st Tina's House Quiz evening
Tina is hosting a quiz evening. The plan is for everyone to bring along 20 questions on any subject of their choice and to then act as quiz-master for one round. We'll then tally up the total for all rounds to find out the overall winner.
Note that points gained for each round will be determined by ranking, not on the number of correct answers - thus avoiding the temptation for anyone to make their round full of stinkers :).
Starting time is 7pm.
Contact : .
project Sun 29th Bartley Heath Scrub Bash
When BCV first visited Bartley Heath 20 years or so ago, we saw a very different scene from that you see today. After many years of neglect, it was mostly covered in scrub and just a few areas of heathland clung on as the trees encroached more and more. Since then though, under the management of the Hampshire Wildlife Trust, the site has been transformed, with BCV playing a significant part in this recovery.
The improvement started with lots of volunteers clearing vast amounts of the invasive scrub. This, along with the installation of fencing, allowed the introduction of a grazing programme, which has produced a wonderful wet heath.
The animals can't do everything though - some areas need a helping hand from volunteers, and this is where BCV continues to step into the breach.
Contact : on 07848 007947.
December 2009
meeting Wed 2nd Mike's House Committee Meeting
Time for the mid-programme committee meeting, to be held at Mike’s house. This one is usually relatively short with less business to attend to, allowing time for a more social atmosphere and the chance to discuss any wider issues. Everyone welcome!
Contact : on 01635 268482 for more info.
project Sun 6th Ancell's Farm Gorse Bash
As part of the restoration of this HWT reserve near Fleet, BCV will be bashing some of the gorse found here. The reserve is a mixture of wet heath, acid grassland and rough grazing - all habitats that are in increasingly short supply and therefore need to be protected.
Ancell's Farm is managed as part of The Trust's Grazing Project, with the animals' activities producing the ideal conditions for these habitats' specialist species. Once the gorse is removed, the wildlife will hopefully recolonize the cleared area, bringing more of the reserve into a favourable condition.
Today we will be continuing the work started on 15th of November.
Contact : on 01635 268482.
social Sat 19th Dave's House Christmas Meal
Dave is hosting the now traditional BCV Christmas blow-out. Diets go to the wall as a gourmet selection of home made food gets consumed, with everyone contributing towards the feast.
Contact Dave well in advance to book in and arrange what you will take. No last minute bookings please!
Feasting begins around 6pm.
Contact : on 420818.
project Sun 20th Pamber Forest Coppicing
It's the shortest Sunday of the year, and BCV will mark the Winter Solstice with our traditional pre-Christmas task at Pamber Forest. We'll be working in one of the "heathy" areas of the forest - either continuing the programme of opening up the areas being returned to heath or coppicing somewhere in the vicinity.
Either way, don't miss your chance to get the 'greenest' Christmas Tree available anywhere - and it won't cost you a penny. All you have to do is find a Scots Pine that fits the bill, cut it down and take it home! What better way to work off the excesses of last night's Christmas meal?
In addition to all that, this is also our last task of the noughties - so let's see them out in style!
Contact : on 01189 700155.
January 2010
social Sun 3rd Woolmer Forest New Year Walk
Dave J has the privilege of leading BCV's first event of the new decade. Yes, it really is 2010!
We'll be walking in the Woolmer Forest area - a great way to start the year and blow away the cobwebs after the excesses of the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
We'll be meeting up at 10am. The meeting point will be provided a little nearer the time.
Contact : on 420818 for more details.
project Sun 10th Upper Inham's Copse Coppicing
Inham's Copse adjoins Pamber Forest at its north-eastern extreme and is now also managed by the Hampshire Wildlife Trust. It consists mainly of mixed oak woodland, but there is also a large damp-meadow with a sizeable pond. Our first task of the new decade is to continue the coppicing programme that has been reinstated since The Trust acquired the Copse.
Due to the weather conditions, this task may be cancelled. Please contact the leader before attending!
Contact : on 01635 49304.
social Sun 24th South Coast Bird watching
If you don't know a black tailed godwit from a redshank, but would like to, then this is your chance.
Mike is leading this trip to see some of the millions of wildfowl and waders that flock to England's south coast every winter to escape the frozen north.
The exact location and timing depend on the weather, so won't be decided more than a few days in advance, but we'll probably be meeting up at around 9am to head off to the south.
Contact : on 01635 268482 for more details and the meeting up plans.
project Sun 31st Pamber Forest Coppicing
Today we'll be continuing the work described on 1st November - click here for details. Phone the leader for the meeting point and to tell him that you'll be there.
Contact : on 07771 805000.
February 2010
social Sat 6th Lynn's House Themed Food evening
Lynn is the latest in a long list of people who have kindly agreed to open their doors to host a BCV food night. The idea is for everyone to bring along some (hopefully) home-made food for all to share.
Lynn's chosen theme is Surf 'n' Turf and we'll be meeting up at 7pm.
Please contact Lynn for directions, more details and to let her know what you will bring (we don't want everyone to turn up with the same food!).
Contact : on 01256 811439.
meeting Wed 10th Red Lion Committee Meeting
It's time to plan the March-June programme - if you have some ideas, then please join us at the Red Lion Pub in Mortimer West End
POSTPONED! New date to be confirmed shortly.
Contact : on 01189 700155 for more info.
project Sun 14th Upper Inham's Copse Coppicing
Today we'll be continuing the coppicing begun in January (see '10th January' above for details).
Contact : on 420818.
project Sun 21st Pamber Forest Coppicing
Spring is getting closer and closer and this is the last coppicing task of this programme, so come along and enjoy the early signs of Pamber awakening from its Winter rest.
Today we'll be continuing the work described on 1st November - click here for details. Phone the leader for the meeting point and to tell him that you'll be there.
Contact : on 01189 700155.
project Sun 28th Bartley Heath Scrub Bash
Last, but by no means least in this programme of events, is a return trip to Bartley Heath to bash some more of the invasive scrub that is always trying to smother the heathland.
Join Mike and his team doing this vital work on an internationally important habitat-type.
See 29th November for more details.
Contact : on 01635 268482.
March 2010
Full details of events for March 2010 onwards will be published towards the end of February.
Basingstoke Conservation Volunteers
Hands-on help for local wildlife

BCV Home About BCV Events Programme Latest News Attending a Task Contact BCV
Join Up! Conservation Links Sites directory Archive Members' Area Random Info