It costs around £60,000 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.
DO YOU KNOW THE RULES?
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.
NOT US, BUT NEARBY:
"The Gog": Gog Magog Hills Farm Shop and Cafè
Sitting on the A1307 opposite the turning to Magog Down is the Gog Magog Hills 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!
Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Magog Trust will be held on Saturday 15th October 2016, at 2pm in the Johnson Hall, Stapleford.
The AGM will be preceded by short presentations on “Butterflies on Magog Down” (Barbara Massingham-Stubbs) and “A day on Magog Down” (Jon Gibbs, Conservation Ranger).
Friends and Members are all warmly invited to these presentations and the meeting; only Members will be eligible to vote at the AGM. Proxy voting slips have been sent out; for any queries do get in touch.
Next Working Party
The next Volunteers' working party will be on Wednesday 5th October. The task for the day is as yet to be decided.
Meet at 2 pm in the car park and bring stout gloves.
If you would like to be added to the list of those emailed in advance for confirmation of future sessions, please get in touch.
Bird Group meeting
The Stapleford Bird Group's next monthly walk will be on Saturday 1st October. Meeting in the car park at 8.00am.
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.
EASTER PROMOTION SUCCESS
We also leafleted cars which were not displaying the current “I’m a Friend” sticker (see News item), inviting them to contribute to the upkeep of the site. Parking is at present free, but when current grants finish, a charge will be introduced.
It was a useful awareness-raising exercise which we hope to repeat across the year. We were very pleased to take cash donations of over £100, and to receive a steady flow of new Friend applications subsequently.
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'
Car Park Opening Times
CURRENT: Summer opening:
beg May - late October 8am - 8pm
late October - mid February: 8am - 5pm
mid February - end April 8am - 6pm
Other News Highlights
In July a team from Natural England joined our volunteers to pull Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) from Colin’s Paddock read more...
Parents act as Poo Fairy
Parents organising the school's Fun Run very kindly cleared up stray dog poo from the route read more...
Village Cafe supports the Down
On Sunday 17th April we were pleased to take part in a Stapleford Village Cafe event read more...
Car Stickers launched
We have now sent out smart new self-cling car stickers to all our subscribers read more...
60,000 visits per year
The Magog Trust has been using a car-counter to gather data on how many visitors the Down gets read more...
Rare hilltop re-opens
What some call the "best view in Cambridgeshire" is now accessible again ... read more
Notice to Members
AGM packs sent out
This year's AGM will be held on Saturday 15th October at 2pm in the Johnson Hall, Stapleford.
Postal notices have been sent out to those Members for whom we do not have any email address (now only about a third of the Membership) and an email notice has gone to all other Members.
We look forward to seeing any Members and also Friends who are able to come, and enjoy the two short presentations which will precede the AGM.
Annual Car windscreen stickers
All current Members and Friends will now be entitled to an annual car windscreen sticker declaring "I'm a Friend of Magog Down". These self-cling style stickers leave no residue on your car window, and help us when monitoring the car park to determine how many of the thousands of visitors every month are helping to contribute to the upkeep. (See News)
If you didn't get one in January 2016 and think you should have done, do get in touch before the end of October, so that we can make sure to include you in the 2017 distribution.