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 was held on Saturday 15th October 2016. The AGM was preceded by short presentations on “Butterflies on Magog Down” (Barbara Massingham-Stubbs) and “A day on Magog Down” (Jon Gibbs, Conservation Ranger). See News items for more about these.
The mandatory business of the AGM itself then followed. The Magog Trust is the Charitable Company which owns and manages Magog Down. Total income for the year to March 2016 was £81,910 - a reduction of 7% on the previous year's income, while expenditure had reduced by 14% compared to last year, being £73,653 for the year to March 2016.
The Magog Trust has no employees; much of the work on the land is done by various contractors, with administration also being provided as a contracted service. The six Governors carry out all their management oversight tasks on a voluntary basis, and the Chairman noted that they always welcome any additional people who would like to join the team.
Next Working Party
The next Volunteers' working party will be on Wednesday 2nd November.
Meet at 2 pm in the car park and bring stout gloves.
The task for the day is yet to be decided; the group will be led by our Conservation Ranger, Jon Gibbs, and as ever all are welcome who would like to spend a couple of hours in fresh air and good company, doing a bit of physical work to assist in the management of the Down.
If you would like to be added to the list of those emailed in advance for confirmation and a reminder of future sessions, please get in touch.
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.
New Trustees welcome
Are you interested in securing the future of this fragile landscape? Consider becoming a Trustee!
We are looking for able local people interested in what we are trying to achieve with the restoration of intensively farmed arable land to traditional chalk grassland. The Board of Governors needs to have people with a wide range of knowledge and skills to inform our discussions and decisions.
Collectively we need working knowledge of current environmental issues, finance, land management and relevant legal requirements. Governors do not have to be experts in any of these subjects as we can and do seek professional advice from experts. We need people able to give time to helping the Trust and its small army of volunteers without whom we would be able to achieve very little.
Car Park Opening Times
Note: Lock-up time changes THIS FRIDAY
UNTIL THURSDAY 27TH OCTOBER: Summer opening:
beg May - late October 8am - 8pm
FROM FRIDAY 28TH OCTOBER: Winter opening:
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 distribution
This year's AGM was held on Saturday 15th October at 2pm in the Johnson Hall, Stapleford.
Postal notices were sent out in September, only to those Members for whom we do not have any email address (now only about a third of the Membership) and an email notice went to all other Members.
If any Friends or Members think they received neither email nor postal notice of this, do get in touch so that we can check we have your details recorded correctly.
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.