Basingstoke Conservation Volunteers
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Calendar of Events - July to October 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.

Summer is here (yes. we're actually having a summer this year!) so for the next couple of months activity is based around fencing or haymaking. Come September though, and we'll be back into the coppicing and scrub-bashing season. Our weekend residential task this autumn will be held at Lavington Common / Plantation, high in the West Sussex Downs, where we'll be helping to maintain the heathland there.
On the social side we have walks, a fungus foray, pub visits and a food evening lined up.
Full details 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.

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

July 2010
project Sun 11th Headley Gravel Pit Haymaking and scrub bashing
This little known reserve is best known for its spectacular display of green-winged orchids in late spring, but it is also home to many other threatened species of wildlife, such as the dingy and grizzled skipper butterflies.
Today's task will be a combination of stacking cut-grass and cutting down the birch and blackthorn scrub that is forever trying to colonise the more open central area of the reserve.
If you are driving to the reserve, it's safest to park on Ashford Hill Road in Headley and then walk along the A339 to the reserve entrance at SU512628.
Contact : on 01189 700155.
social Wed 21st Ladle Hill Evening Walk / Pub
Join us for an evening walk on Ladle Hill, west of Kingsclere. It will only be short stroll of a couple of miles or so, but the views are wonderful and there should be some interesting flowers to see on the hill fort.
After the walk we'll stop off at a pub - probably The Swan in Kingsclere, but we can decide that on the evening.
Directions: There's parking at SU 492 566 where the footpath crosses the road. Drive up the scarp slope heading south on the road from Ecchinswell; as you come out of the woods and the road flattens out, there is plenty of parking space.
We'll be starting from the meeting point at 7:30pm.
Contact : on 01635 49304.
project Sun 25th Pamber Forest Fencing
Pamber Forest is a 200 hectare SSSI, consisting largely of ancient coppice woodland, but with patches of heathland, wood pasture and flower-rich glades. We like to think of it as our "home" reserve. At this time of year, there should be plenty of butterflies on the wing, including the impressive silver-washed fritillaries, which are abundant in the Forest.
This task will be held near to Bowmont's Brook and we'll be completing the construction of a deer-exclosure fence around one of the coupes that we coppiced last winter.
We'll be meeting up at the Burney Bit entrance.
Contact : on 07538 699068.
August 2010
social Sun 1st Calleva Arms Pub Evening
Hopefully the weather will be fine, allowing us to spend the evening in the garden at the Calleva Arms Pub in Silchester. Some of us will have a meal there too, but this is obviously optional.
We plan to meet at the pub at around 6pm.
meeting Wed 4th Mike's House Committee meeting
Join us at Mike's house in Ecchinswell for our mid-programme meeting, which we use to take stock of how the current programme is progressing and generally discuss future plans.
Please note starting time - meetings will begin at 7:30 from now on.
Contact : on 01635 268482 for more info.
social Sat 7th Graham's House BBQ
Graham is hosting our annual Summer BBQ at his house in Mortimer West End, starting at 5pm.
Please bring along your own food to go on the BBQ and something to share with everyone else.
Contact : on 01189 700155 for more info.
project Sun 8th Foxlease Meadow Fencing
The Foxlease / Minley Meadow reserve is a very complicated system of small and irregular fields that have been grazed for over 400 years by farmers and commoners. The fields were originally marked by ditches and banks, some of which can still be seen on the site even now, and the livestock was shepherded to ensure it did not stray into a neighbour's field.
To ensure these flower rich meadows are sufficiently grazed during the spring and summer, a sizeable livestock herd is required to eat all of the grass and scrub that grows there. The problem with having this large herd is that somewhere is then needed for it to spend the winter, when food is obviously more scarce. Winter "layback" fields, where the grass is left uncut and ungrazed all year, are used for this purpose.
This task will involve helping the Grazing Project create a new layback, either by clearing a new fence line or installing the fence in a line already cleared.
Contact : on 01635 268482.
project Sun 22nd Pamber Forest Fencing
Today's task is based in the meadows near to Bowmont's Brook in the Forest.
If the meadows are to be retained, it is essential that they are cut every year - either by the grazing of stock or by grass cutting. If this is not done, they will eventually return to woodland, resulting in the loss of this habitat. As these meadows are not part of the grazing zone within the Forest, the grass needs to be cut and stacked, which is where we come in.
Contact the leader shortly before the project to confirm the meeting point for this task.
Contact : on 01635 49304.
September 2010
social Sun 5th Chilterns Walk & Pub
The Rising Sun at Witheridge Hill is a delightful pub buried in the Chilterns to the north of Reading. Join us for a short walk in the morning followed by lunch at this secluded spot. Meeting point/travel arrangements to be advised nearer the event. Planned meeting time is 9:30.
Contact : on 01635 268482.
project Sun 12th Pamber Forest Coppicing
It's the first coppicing task of the season, so it's time to loosen up the sawing- and axing-arms and swing into action. For those not familiar with coppicing, it is the traditional process of cutting back the under-storey in the woods at regular intervals, usually every 8-15 years. This maximises the amount of useful wood produced and has the fortunate side-effect of resulting in a mosaic of different habitats through the cycle, allowing the specialist woodland flora and fauna to flourish.
Please contact the leader for details of the meeting point.
Contact : on 07771 805000.
project Sun 26th Long Valley Heath Birch and Willow bash
As part of HWT's on-going management of the MoD training area in Fleet, this task will be clearing an area of heavily scrubbed heathland to benefit ground nesting birds and heathland flora and fauna. Neighbouring hills give good vistas of the local heathy landscape and Farnborough runway (which is right overhead) - so bring your binoculars :)
We'll be clearing dense birch, willow and bramble scrub from a compartment and burning all of the arisings. Other groups will have been on site in the preceeding week, so there should be hot coals and fire sites all ready and waiting for us to use.
Note: This is a change from the originally published task.
Contact : on 420818.
October 2010
social Sat 2nd Dave J's House Food evening
Dave is hosting this food evening at his house in Basingstoke, and the theme for this one is "Local Food", ideally something home grown, but if not, home made! Please contact Dave in advance to let him know that you'll be there. Starts at 7pm.
Contact : on 420818 for details.
project Sun 3rd Noar Hill Scrub Bash
This wonderful site, full of humps and hollows as a result of medieval chalk mining, is home to a superb array of wildflowers, including many species of orchid. As you'd expect, lots of flowers also bring in lots of butterflies, including the Duke Of Burgundy, whose caterpillars feed on the abundant Cowslips on the reserve.
Most of the site is grazed to maintain it in top condition, but some areas still need some human intervention to check the inevitable creep of scrub where grazing is not possible. This is today's task.
Contact : on 07848 007947.
meeting Wed 6th Red Lion Pub Committee Meeting
It's time to plan the programme of events for the upcoming winter season, so why not join us and pass on your ideas. Meet at the Red Lion Pub in Mortimer West End at 7:30pm.
project Fri 8th - Sun 10th Lavington Common Resi Task
Event cancelled! Please contact Paul for more details if required.
For this year's residential task, we're heading off to the West Sussex Downs. We'll be working for the National Trust, who manage Lavington Common and Plantation, a fine area of lowland heath.
The exact details of the work will be decided a little nearer the time, but it will involve some sort of scrub bash to keep the invading species at bay.
Contact : on 01635 49304.
social Sat 16th Newtown Common Fungus Foray
Dave will lead us on a search for fungus on Newtown Common, a mixed woodland and heathland area just south of Newbury, starting at 2:30pm.
Contact : on 420818 for meeting arrangements and more details.
project Sun 24th Pamber Forest Coppicing
Today we're continuing the winter coppicing programme in Pamber Forest.
For those not familiar with coppicing, it is the traditional process of cutting back the under-storey in the woods at regular intervals, usually every 8-15 years. This maximises the amount of useful wood produced and has the fortunate side-effect of resulting in a mosaic of different habitats through the cycle, allowing the specialist woodland flora and fauna to flourish.
Please contact the leader for details of the meeting point.
Contact : on 01189 700155.
November 2010
Full details of the programme from November onwards will be published In October ...
Basingstoke Conservation Volunteers
Hands-on help for local wildlife

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