Dogs on Fairfield

Respect ALL On-lead signs -
for the enjoyment of all users

"But there are no sheep in the paddocks at the moment..."

This is a common retort we hear from those challenged for letting their dogs off the lead where signs clearly says otherwise.

uppermem_gate_315The on-lead rules are not just about sheep. On-lead areas provide a reliable refuge where non dog-lovers may for example sit and contemplate the view, without fear of having an unknown, inquisitive canine come and snuffle their knees unexpectedly.

Even if there are no other people around when you enter, PLEASE get in the habit of respecting ALL on-lead signs around this 163-acre, privately owned site. By doing so, you help to increase the enjoyment for all our many different types of visitors.
Thank you.

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.

YOUR DOG MUST BE UNDER EFFECTIVE CONTROL AT ALL TIMES, and on a lead, except in some designated areas.

Clean up after your dog – bins are provided

Dog owners/walkers ARE responsible for their dogs at all times.
As a general rule, even in "off-lead" areas, keep your dog on a lead if you cannot rely on its obedience.

You are very welcome to walk with your dog on the Down.  For the enjoyment of everyone who visits Magog Down and because this lovely place is widely used for recreation and is an area of conservation your dog must be walked on a lead at all times except in some designated areas - those being the perimeter path and the cross-paths as marked on the map, plus the two designated exercise areas near the car park. 

This is part of the rules under which access to this privately owned site is permitted: please abide by these rules, and encourage others using the site to do so too.

- whether you're walking a large dog or a miniature breed, and however calm and friendly the dog is.

Under the Act, it's illegal for a dog to be 'out of control'
 or to bite or attack someone.

The legislation also makes it an offence if a dog
makes someone worried that it may injure them

Two Dog exercise areas

Fair Field is an area fenced off from the North Down which has been specifically made available for exercising dogs off lead: it is between the Car Park and Colin's Wood. A number of dog owners meet there regularly and many friendships have been formed over the years.  In July 2017 a second off-lead exercise area was created on the opposite side of the car park (see News), which has become just as popular; it has been named Bagfield, acknowledging the grant for £2900 received from Tesco 'Bags of Help' which paid for the new fencing and picnic benches.

How secure will my dog be?

The area put aside for off-lead dog walking is clearly marked and in the main follows the perimeter of the site. There is absolutely NO guarantee that the off-lead area is kept secure at all times for dogs of all sizes. In particular, note that the path bordering the adjacent arable land at the bottom of the site [between Villedomer Wood and Vestey Wood] is not fenced; some other fences become insecure from time to time, so can never be guaranteed; and there are two pedestrian gates opening onto the busy A1307 which, despite copious signs, do sometimes seem to get left open.

Also, both exercise areas flow into the adjacent woods and the perimeter walk without fence or gate between them. Because of this we do NOT advise using Magog Down for recall training in young dogs, or those having remedial training.

Who pays for all this?

Magog Down is privately owned and managed by The Magog Trust, a Charitable Company which was set up in 1989 specifically to buy this former farmland as a long term project for conservation and recreation. Annual upkeep costs for the whole site are around £60,000, with income to pay for this coming from various sources, one of which is Member and Friend subscriptions.

We would be delighted if everyone who regularly uses these off-lead facilities will also Become a Friend of Magog Down, and in this way support the upkeep costs with a modest annual subscription. Click to download the application form. (If you prefer just to make a one-off donation, that's also welcome: use the same form.)

If you would like to help spread the word about being a responsible dog walker on Magog Down by becoming a volunteer Dog Warden, please contact us.

Respect – Protect – Enjoy

Our policy towards owners walking dogs on Magog Down is to consistently follow the advice contained in the Countryside Code which advises dog owners as well as other visitors to the Countryside. Dogs must be kept under effective control, and this means that as an owner you:

  • keep your dog on a lead, or
  • keep it in sight at all times, be aware of what it's doing, and be confident that it will return to you promptly on command
  • ensure it does not stray off the path or area where you have right of access.

Special dog rules apply on Magog Down, where we ask you to observe and obey the local signs. If you observe other dog walkers releasing their dogs off-lead where the signage specifies On-Lead, we urge you not to follow suit; instead, set a good example by obeying the signage yourself. Note also that Colin's Paddock is ALWAYS NO DOGS; we will always support any visitors who challenge anyone they see not observing these rules.

Dog waste

Bins for dog waste are provided and do remember it is an offence not to clear up after your dog. The bins are emptied, twice weekly, by whoopsydaisylogo_250Whoopsy Daisy on a contract to Magog Down. The position of these bins is marked on the map on the Main Noticeboard.

Map of the Down

magog_trust_map_453Click on map to view at larger size.
(Opens a Pop-up window; you may have to re-size the new window and zoom in to actually see the map at a larger size!)

User Survey Summary

In July 2014 we surveyed visitors one weekday morning between 8am and 10.30am. During this period:

  • 42 visitors (cars) were logged
  • 38 of these were dog walkers
  • all but 2 were regular visitors
  • only 12 of the dog walkers were Members or Friends.

We would like all regular visitors to Magog Down to help contribute to the costs of upkeep by either becoming a Friend or, if they prefer, just making a donation. This form allows you to do either. Thank you.


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!