Paddocks in late July

Top Resources

Car Park Opening Times

CURRENT: Winter opening:
late October - mid February:  8am - 5pm

Spring opening:
mid February - end April      8am - 6pm

Summer opening:
beg May - late October    8am - 8pm

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Annual Car windscreen stickers

All current Members and Friends are entitled to an annual car windscreen sticker declaring "I'm a Friend of Magog Down". These stickers have been helping us when we monitor the car park to determine how many of the thousands of visitors every month actually contribute to the upkeep (the answer is: very few!)

The current 2018-19 stickers will entitle holders to free parking when charging starts. Do get in touch if you think you should have one but have not received it, or have lost it.

Bag it and Bin it!

There are ten bins for dog waste dotted around the site, and these are emptied by our contractor twice a week. The contract does not include picking up "stray" poo from the paths - we rely on responsible owners to bag and bin it themselves.

Courtesy of DogsTrust: "Scooper Hero" poster competition winner

Thank you for taking the time to place your own dog's poo in these bins, and thus helping to keep the paths clear for all visitors.

25 years on - how it began

The project started in 1989 when the land came on the market; the price of the land was £327,000. The Magog Trust was formed, and purchased the land in September 1989; it then initiated a programme of reclamation and development for long term conservation and recreation.
... Now, with average annual expenditure in the region of £90,000, continued support is required so that the work goes on...For much more on the history and background, go to 'About'

DO YOU KNOW THE RULES?

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So many people make regular use of the free Permissive Open Access on Magog Down, it is easy to forget that the whole area is privately owned, and access is permitted only within certain rules.

Why not read through the Rules of the Down before your next visit? (And see more detail here about recent changes). We also now maintain an FAQ to help in answering some common queries.

An update for new Friend applicants

We've had a huge response to our leafleting campaign which has seen a band of Volunteers meeting and greeting in the car park since 30th November, and leafleting cars to advise about the imminent parking charges. It's great to realise how many people visit Magog Down often enough to want to become Friends, and we are working our way through all the applications in the order received. Nearly 50 letters with car stickers have already been posted out in the first week of December, with a similar number still in the processing queue.

If you have emailed in and not heard back PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM!
We're responding promptly to all the emails we get, but we know that often our replies get filtered out so do check in your Junk folder. Failing that, you can always call us: 07774 084595 and leave a message, we will get back to you.

Car Parking Charges to be introduced VERY SOON

Do you know that:

  • Magog Down is run by a Charity – The Magog Trust
  • It costs around £50,000 a year to maintain

How many contribute to the costs of running and maintaining it? Friends and Members do, and their commitment is important to the charity.

  • To ensure its future we need the support of all visitors.

To encourage everyone who uses the Magog Down to pay towards these costs, the Trustees have decided to introduce a charge for car parking, except for Friends and Members. The parking charge will be £3 a day.

Look out for further information confirming the date of introduction, expected to be around mid December.autumn_woods_bench_453

Magog Down – a unique area for restoration and conservation

The Magog Down is an area for restoration, conservation and informal recreation on the Gog Magog Hills just south of the boundary of the City of Cambridge, off the A1307 road to Linton and on Haverhill Road, Stapleford.

Magog Down is owned and managed by the Magog Trust who bought it in 1989. It covers 163.5 acres of previously intensively farmed arable land. It is freely open to all, all year round.

It has two meadows sown with wild flowers and grasses native to chalk grassland. Six woods, planted between 1990 and 1992, with 24,000 native British trees. It is seeing the return of ground-nesting birds, like the skylark, and native flowering plants like the cowslip...read more

A community space for all to enjoy

Some of the activities enjoyed at the Magog Down include:

  • Fun for all the family - From flying kites and picnics in the summer to the toboggan runs of winter, the Down is just the place for a family day out all year round
  • Health & recreation - Whether out for a stroll, a walk with the dog or a slightly more energetic jog, the rolling fields and stunning views make this the perfect setting.
  • Flora and fauna - With a wealth of native trees, shrubs, meadow grasses, flowers and associated wild life, this restoration area is a must whether you are a keen amateur or a seasoned enthusiast.
  • Agricultural use - About one-third of the land is farmed under a standard arable crop rotation by contractors. Sheep are grazed in the paddocks on the South Down. Part of the site is managed under Entry Level Stewardship and part under Higher Level Stewardship under the guidance of Natural England.This helps in the overall aim of the project - to recreate a chalk grassland typical of more than a century ago.

Jane's Piece Boardwalk:  "What an improvement!"

In January 2017 a 27-metre long section of Boardwalk was laid along the permissive path known as "Jane's Piece". It was such a success that before the end of 2017 we istalled a further 60-metre length.  The total cost of materials and installation so far is a little over £15,000, and we are inviting donations to Sponsor the existing boards (they work out at £40 each!) and to raise further funds to extend the walk along the remainder of the chalk bank.boardwalk_jan2017_scaled_250

One of our Friends who visits regularly and has kindly donated was most enthusiastic about what an improvement it's made, saying: 
"On numerous occasions I have seen people having difficulty with the rough and sometimes slippery terrain and think this new installation will make it safer and more accessible."

As well as improving access, the boardwalk will prevent further damage to the chalk ground beneath it, thus protecting the precious flora in the bank next to it.

Any donations, large or small, are welcome. You can use our generic form and just mark your donation "Boardwalk" OR you can Donate via CAF if you want to pay by card or Direct Debit. Thank you!

Bags of Help at Tesco

Great news we have been rewarded our grant request of £2,900 in order set up this additional in terms of fencing, gates and seating. On top of this there will be annual costs of grass cutting and dog bin emptying.

Thank you for your support.

During January and February we were one of three charities looking to receive money from the local "Bags of Help" scheme. Supporters voted for us using their blue tokens in any of the Tesco stores in and around Cambridge. tescobagshelpsmaller
See more about the project in this News item. We will now finish the project with the installation of a couple of picnic benches and some notices.

We Showcase Your Photos

pasqueflower_anthonytwist_closeup_250We're always delighted to receive pictures taken on and from Magog Down.

Last Spring one of our Friends has spotted this Pasque Flower among the plentiful Cowslips on North Down. Our Your Photos page in the Gallery is there to showcase some of the pictures from our visitors. If you'd like to send in any you have taken, you can use the dedicated email address:  
photos@magogtrust.org.uk

We can't promise to use them all, and we do rely on you kindly allowing us to use them for free. We will always credit you by name, unless of course you tell us that you don't want that.  Maximum size we use for the website is 1000 pixels wide.

Follow us on Twitter

larrybird2_60We now have a Twitter account, you can follow us there for news and updates.

Next Working Party

The next Volunteers' working party will (probably) be on Wednesday 2nd January, 2019 - subject to confirmation - led by Rangers Claire and Nick Beale. Task as yet to be decided.  All Welcome!

Meet at 2 pm in the car park and bring stout boots and gloves.

Other News Highlights

First Snow for five years

snow_10dec_thumb_60December 2017 brought the first sledging opportunity since January 2013 read more...


Sponsor the Boardwalk

giftaidappicon_60The Jane's Piece Boardwalk is hailed as a welcome addition, and we invite donations  read more...


Counting Butterflies

commonblues_mating_60Detailed results of the latest butterfly monitoring and method used are now available read more...


Ash Dieback update

ash_dieback_thumbnail_60This disease has swept East to West across Europe, affecting the woods in Magog Down read more...


The Big Scoop

big_scoop_logo_60Volunteers collected un-bagged dog poo, and why you should NOT "Stick and Flick" it here! read more...

Waitrose Community Matters

Thanks for your support in the  "Green Token" scheme in the Waitrose Trumpington branch for the month of April 2018.

We have received a cheque for £413waitrosecmlogo_180
Thanks to all who took part to help

Join us

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It costs around £50,000 per year to maintain the accessible parts of Magog Down, including the Ranger service, twice-weekly dog-bin emptying, regular grass cutting, fence and gate repairs, and forestry activities (not counting the cost of farming our arable section).

Grants and investment income do not fully meet these costs, so the Magog Trust looks for additional support from each visitor to the Down. Please become a Friend to help us look after this special piece of countryside, year after year.
 

REMINDER: Magog Down is a Drone-free Zone!

drone180_180Flying of drones (UAV) is not allowed over or from Magog Down unless for a defined project with written authorisation by Governors of the Magog Trust.

Aircraft have always been forbidden, and in June 2015 the rules were updated to specifically exclude drones as well. We ask all visitors to abide by the Rules of the Down at all times. Thank you!
 

NOT US, BUT NEARBY:
"The Gog": Farm Shop and Cafè

Sitting on the A1307 opposite the turning to Magog Down is The Gog Farm Shop and café where you are welcome to have a rest and a drink.

This neighbouring business is totally separate from Magog Down, despite Google sometimes conflating the two!

Privacy Policy

Do check out our Privacy Policy here for the details regarding how we process personal information.