Winter Sunset from the Down

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With effect from Tuesday, 24th March 2020, following the Prime Minister's broadcast on Monday evening, and the strict instruction to stay at home and avoid gatherings, the Trustees have reluctantly decided the car park must remain closed during this period.

DO NOT PARK IN THE ENTRANCE! Access is required for maintenance.








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". The latest stickers now allow holders to park for free (charging started in January 2019). See our News item for details of which car stickers are valid.

Do get in touch if you think you should have one but have not received it, or have lost it. New car stickers are now issued on renewal: so if you pay by Standing Order or Direct Debit in January, say, you can expect to receive your new sticker in the second half of February (and that will be valid for 12 months).

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.



So many people make regular use of the 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.

UPDATED Announcement re coronavirus (COVID-19)

The car park to Magog Down is now closed, with effect from Tuesday 24th March 2020. The site remains open for access by foot or bicycle (please park your bicycle sensibly and then walk around the site).

Police guidance is clear that people should not be travelling by car to take their exercise away from home during these unprecedented times. This is supported by the Kennel Club. We recommend that our many hundreds of regular visitors take this opportunity while the streets are so quiet to enjoy exploring your local area: greet your neighbours (at a safe distance!), look around you and admire the architecture, and observe what flora and fauna is emerging in your street.

Essential maintenance work at Magog Down continues, so the entrance must be left clear at all times. Thank you.

Next Working Party: CANCELLED

The next Volunteers' working party was scheduled for  Wednesday 1st April, 2020 - led by Rangers Claire and Nick Beale. Sadly because of the Covid-19 outbreak, this cannot now take place. We hope to resume these monthly first-Wednesday sessions as soon as the situation allows.

Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

coronavirus_thumb_60Policy on car park closure during COVID-19 outbreak

In these difficult times, our health and well being needs to be supported and by making good use of our open spaces on Magog Down, you can enjoy exercise for both body and soul.

Reluctantly, as an outcome of the statement made by the Prime Minister on 23rd March, the Trustees of The Magog Trust took the decision to close the car park to Magog Down with immediate effect, in order to reduce the chances of social interaction which are outwith the conditions outlined in his statement.

Stay at Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.

Thank you to the very many who have acknowledged the closure of the Car Park at Magog Down and made other arrangements. Many of us are missing its open spaces. Sadly there are some who have found it difficult to change normal habits, particularly when it comes to exercising dogs. They may wish to follow the advice given by the Kennel Club:

When taking your dog out, no one should be making unessential journeys, so don’t travel in your car to walk your dog, and avoid others, staying at least two metres (around three steps) away.

It is also advisable that dogs are exercised on lead to prevent them going close to other people – as this could lead to owners needing to come into close contact with others. Wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you get back from your dog walk and try not to pet other people’s dogs.

Locals who are able to reach Magog Down on foot or by bicycle*: enjoy your visit, respect others visiting the site, keeping strictly to the government advice on social distancing:  maintain a distance of at least 2m (that's about 6ft) from anyone who is not in your household group.

The Trustees are most grateful to the continuing support of our volunteers and contractors during this difficult period. Maintenance work at Magog Down continues as needed, which is why it is imperative that people DO NOT BLOCK THE ENTRANCE by parking in it. Thank you.

27th March 2020

*Cycling within the site is NOT allowed, of course, but you are welcome to lock up your bike and then enjoy a walk.

Flower of the Month

March's highlighted plant is Coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara


Just when winter is at its hardest and it seems that spring will never come, some sun will encourage the buds to open.

Find it on the bank in the car park opposite the first gate onto the North Down, nearest Fairfield. It will also be scattered across Bagfield. The flowers close up towards evening when would-be pollinators are not on the wing.

Photo by Claire Beale.

Read more about this flower...


skylark_250Skylarks (like the one in this picture) and various other species choose nest sites on the ground, including corn buntings, meadow-pipits, lapwings, plovers, various waders and game birds, Their nests usually consist of mere scrapes or depressions in the ground, sometimes left exposed, sometimes covered by grass or undergrowth.

These nests are, therefore, highly vulnerable to disturbance by humans and dogs, as well as natural prey, and if disturbed will probably be abandondoned – a sad sight. Please take care!

Magog Down has several pairs of skylarks over the downs and at least two pairs of partridges, another ground nesting species, have been spotted. Skylarks tend to choose their nest sites in tussocks of grass anywhere in the fields, while partridges site their nests close to a hedge or bush as a rule; these are usually well concealed.

We Showcase Your Photos

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

In springtime one of our Friends 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:

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.

Seen something suspicious?

Any unusual or suspicious behavour you encounter when visiting Magog Down should be reported to the Police.

Call 999 if you are reporting a crime that is in progress or if someone is in immediate danger.

Call 101 to report crimes that are not an emergency. The local policing team is Sawston [link goes to their contacts page].

Join us


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.

Follow us on Twitter

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

Bird Club on Saturday 4th April under review

The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday 4th April, meeting in the car park at the earlier time of 8am; walks last about 2 hours.

Given the fast-moving situation of the Covid-19 outbreak, we will review the situation as to whether this can still safely take place, and confirm either way as soon as possible.

Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

Other News Highlights

Soggy "Sunday Stroll"

20190728_sunday_stroll_1_238Rangers Claire and Nick led walkers on a guided tour of Magog Down despite inclement weather read more...

Lost and Found policy

lostproperty_60In response to Cambs Police's revised policy, we have updated our own  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...

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 Trustees 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!

Privacy Policy

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