Basingstoke Conservation Volunteers
Hands-on help for local wildlife

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Calendar of Events - October 2010 to February 2011

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.

This year's Winter programme marks a small change of emphasis in our social programme. We will still be organizing group activities as before, but we also hope to make our social activity a bit more dynamic, so that we can respond, for example, to suitable weather, at short notice and quickly arrange an event somewhere. To help with this, we now have our very own Facebook page - the idea here is that if someone plans an activity that they think other members might enjoy, they add it to the Facebook page and everyone gets to hear about it. This will help take some of the strain off the committee, who currently have to plan all the events and commit to running them at the agreed time. To access the Facebook page, please contact or , giving them the email address that you use on Facebook; they will then arrange for an invitation to join the group to be sent to you.

Most BCV members think of the winter season as the prime time for conservation activities. Disturbance to wildlife is as small as it can be and the leaves are off the trees, making progress that much quicker when coppicing or scrub bashing. Add the pleasures of a lovely fire on a cold, crisp day, and you've got a conservationist's version of a great day in the countryside.
Pamber Forest features heavily in the new programme, but not before trips to a new site in Sherbourne St John and the HWT Ancell's Farm and Hook Common reserves. From December onwards, the Pamber coppicing programme takes centre stage, but there's still room for a trip to Long Valley and Headley Gravel Pit. If cutting and burning is your thing, this winter's activities will be right up your street!
On the social side, we've decided to take a break from the BCV Christmas meal, and instead we're planning a curry night in February. For those that mourn the loss of the Christmas meal, we've added a Quiz night at the winter solstice, with the plan to bring along Christmas nibbles and give the whole evening a Chrstmas / Winter Solstice theme. The traditional New Year walk retains its place in the annual calendar, and this time we plan to explore the HWT "Living Landscape" area around the Loddon Valley.
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.

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
November 2010
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 icon 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 icon 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 icon 29 30
December 2010
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 icon 13 icon 14 15 16 17 18
19 icon 20 21 22 icon 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
January 2010
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 icon 4 5 6 7 8
9 icon 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 icon 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 icon 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
February 2011
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 icon 3 4 5
6 icon 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 icon 14 15 16 17 18 19 icon
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 icon 28
Colour key : Social Project Meeting Cancelled/moved Residential Project Multiple

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
project Sun 7th Sherbourne Meadow Scrub Clearance
This is a new site to BCV. It is a privately-owned, wet meadow and HWT are advising the landowner on managing it to improve its wildlife value.
Numbers on this task will need to be controlled to avoid damage to the meadow, so it is essential that volunteers contact the leader before the task, who will also be able to advise you on the meeting place and parking arrangements.
Contact : on 01256 420818.
project Sun 21st Ancell's Farm Gorse Coppicing
No, that's not a typo in the title, we really will be coppicing gorse bushes at this HWT reserve near Fleet! The gorse, which is found across the open, heathy areas, is thin and leggy, and by coppicing it, we hope to encourage a more dense regrowth, which should be more suitable for nesting birds.
In addition, we'll be clearing trees along the line of a ditch, opening it up for aquatic plant species such as water crowfoot, yellow-flag iris and yellow loosestrife, and insects such as dragonflies and damselflies. There's a chance to take away cuttings for use as fire-wood for those that burn wood at home.
Meet at the field-gate into the reserve on Ancell’s Road at SU823557.
Contact : on 01635 268482.
project Sun 28th Hook Common Scrub Bash
Hook Common is a wildlife-rich area of heathland, grassland and woodland, notable for its rare heathland plants, butterflies, fungi and reptiles.
Today we'll be continuing the task of removing the scrub that's attempting to invade the heathland.
Contact the leader for details of the meeting point.
Contact : on 01635 49304.
December 2010
project Sun 12th Pamber Forest Coppicing
After a break from working at Pamber during November, this is the first of two consecutive Sundays here in the lead up to the Christmas break.
Pamber Forest consists of 200 hectares of ancient woodland, situated near Tadley. In association with Silchester Common, it forms an important complex of heathland, woodland and wetland habitats. Traditionally managed as coppice-woodland to provide material for local woodcraft industry, from the 1950s it grew increasingly shady as coppicing declined. Since 1978 it has been managed as a local nature reserve, with the rides opened up, coppice plots cut in the stream-valleys and some areas grazed as wood pasture.
Today, and next Sunday, we will be continuing the winter coppicing programme.
Details of the meeting point may vary, so phone the leader before the task for latest information.
Contact : on 07538 699068.
meeting Mon 13th Dave J's House Committee Meeting
Starting at 7:30pm, we'll be discussing the current programme of events and organizing the background activities that keep BCV ticking on. Everyone welcome as always.
Contact on 420818 if you need directions.
project Sun 19th Pamber Forest Coppicing
Today's work will be a continuation of that started last Sunday.
Details of the meeting point may vary, so phone the leader before the task for latest information.
Contact : on 01189 700155.
social Wed 22nd Mike's House Seasonal Quiz
Our last event of the year is a light-hearted quiz night at Mike's house, starting at 7:30pm.
Given the time of year, the quiz will have an optional Christmas / Solstice theme, and will also involve some Christmas food. The idea is for everyone to contribute - both in bringing along 20 or so questions (each person will be quiz-master for one round) and also some food and drink to share.
Please contact Mike in advance, to allow some planning on the food front - we don't want everyone to bring along the same stuff (unless they're all mince pies, of course ;)
Contact : on 01635 268482.
January 2011
social Mon 3rd North Hants New Year Walk
Come and join us for some much needed exercise after our Christmas excesses. The walk will somewhere in the Loddon Valley area with (hopefully) optional pub lunch to follow. More details will be available nearer the time.
Contact : on 01635 49304.
project Sun 9th Pamber Forest Coppicing
Back to Pamber Forest for the first task of the new year.
We'll be continuing the coppicing programme started during autumn.
Details of the meeting point may vary, so phone the leader before the task for latest information.
Contact : on 01635 268482.
project Sun 16th Newnham Pond Typha Removal
This is a bonus task - added at the last minute following a request for help by HWT.
Today, weather and pond condition permitting, we will be working to improve Newnham Pond, which is home to a colony of great crested newts. Because of the presence of the newts, the maintenance season is short and restricted to the winter months, to minimize the risk of harming the newts.
The task is to remove some of the typha which is rather taking over.
Contact : on 01256 420818.
project Sun 23rd Pamber Forest Coppicing
It's Pamber again, but there is something new for this task. It's Barry's first time as a leader, so please come along to give him your support and help make it a success!
Details of the meeting point may vary, so phone the leader before the task for latest information.
Contact : on 07971 036166.
February 2011
Full details of the programme from February 2011 onwards will be published soon ...
meeting Wed 2nd Red Lion Committee Meeting
Starting at 7:30pm, we'll be planning the next programme of events. All welcome.
Contact on 420818.
project Sun 6th Long Valley Scrub Bash
After dedicating our efforts on Pamber Forest during December and January, it's high time that we had a change of scene. For this task, we're heading east from Basingstoke to Fleet, to work on the HWT reserve at Long Valley, which is a smallish section of an enormous SSSI which covers in excess of 800 hectares of heathland and acidic grasslands. The reserve has good numbers of breeding Dartford warblers, nightjars and woodlark, all of which are now extremely rare and threatened heathland birds.
Today's task is to clear, and then burn, some dense birch, willow and gorse scrub which has regenerated over the years. By clearing the scrub we are maintaining the conditions needed by the above birds to breed successfully. It is quite likely that today's task will be wet underfoot, so please wear wellies.
Meet in the lay-by on southern side of Aldershot Road at SU 824 525, west of the Forester's Pub.
Contact : on 01256 420818.
project Sun 13th Pamber Forest Coppicing
Back to Pamber for another coppicing task. Hopefully by this time we'll have most of the coppicing done and there may even be some early signs of Spring in the air.
Please contact the leader to confirm the meeting point.
Contact : on 07771 805000.
social Sat 19th Basingstoke Curry Night
Come and join us for a Curry Night at The Spice in Basingstoke. We’ll need to know numbers in advance to make a booking, so please contact Dave by Sunday 13th to let him know you want to go.
Contact : on 01256 420818.
project Sun 27th Headley Gravel Pit Scrub bash
Headley gravel pit is an HWT reserve bordering the village of Headley, between Kingsclere and Newbury. The reserve is renowned for its springtime display of green-winged orchids, but is also home to many other threatened species, such as the grizzled and dingy skipper butterflies.
We'll be scrub bashing in the transitional area between the grassland and woodland, where we cut on rotation for structural diversity and to prevent encroachment onto the grassland area.
If there's time, we will also open up a glade in the wooded area to the west of the reserve, with the aim of restoring grassland that was present there in the recent past.
If you are driving to the reserve, it's safest to park on Ashford Hill Road in Headley and then walk north-west along the A339 to the reserve entrance (on the left) at SU 512628.
Contact : on 07848 007947.
March 2011
Full details of the programme from March 2011 onwards will be published in February 2011 ...
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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