Annual Reviews

Each year we now produce an 'Annual Review' for Friends and Members, which incorporates a summary of our formal Year-end Report, plus what we hope are some interesting highlights of the year in question.

Previous Annual Reviews can be downloaded here:

2020 Annual Review

2019 Annual Review

2018 Annual Review

2017 Annual Review

2016 Annual Review

2015 Annual Review

2014 Annual Review

2013 Annual Review

Members and Friends are sent these annual reviews as soon as they are produced each summer, and have an opportunity to attend our AGM each October and raise any issues.

If you would like to become a Friend, you can read more on our Join Us page, and then complete the application form.


News from the Down prev  :  next

Management of Magog Down

From recent correspondence coming into our mailbox, it appears that a number of visitors, some of them Friends or Members, have concerns about the management of Magog Down. This gives us an opportunity to explain how it is organised.

The land is privately owned by the Magog Trust. It is managed by a small unpaid group, using volunteers and contractors to carry out maintenance on the land. One income stream is subscriptions of Members and Friends; another is our farm income under the Common Agricultural Policy which has a number of schedules attached stipulating as to how and when certain tasks can be carried out. Our resources are limited and tasks are carried out within these schedules when our contractors and volunteers are available. This year has been exceptional in giving weather conditions resulting in much growth early and late in the season, reflected not only on our site but also on others and even road verges.  In some cases, contractors' machinery is struggling to cope with the volume of growth.  

  • Rangers' service - Our ranger patrols operate spasmodically every day of the week on Magog Down and the Trust contracts this service from CPPF at an annual charge of around £14,000. 
  • Grass cutting - Within the agri-environment scheme under which we farm the Magog Down, restrictions are made on the period during which we are allowed to cut the grass; these are set primarily to allow flowering plants to set seed. The period for cutting is between 15th July and 31st August; exceptionally extensions can be requested. We are always dependent on the availability of contractors. 
  • Path cutting - We have a regular schedule of path cutting to which we aim to keep, though governed by the availability of contractors. As I write, the growth of Mugwort, Artemesia vulgaris has been particularly vigorous.  Costs of path cutting are around £1300 annually – equivalent to the subscriptions of nearly 100 Friends.
  • Hay from the North Down has to be dumped as it continues to be contaminated by dog faeces, despite our many notices reminding dog owners that this is an offence. This eliminates use of the hay as animal fodder. However, it creates a vibrant habitat for fungi.
  • Chipping programme for paths for the winter months will recommence in October. This task, like all others on Magog Down, has a cost attached - £450, despite much of this hard manual labour being carried out by volunteers and using free wood chips.
Magog Down is an area for quiet recreation and conservation and is not managed as a public or country park – it is a corner of the Cambridgeshire countryside to which the public has access. 
The restoration, from arable field to flower rich chalk grassland, is a long-term project and changes to access and the route of paths will take place over the years, while the project matures and develops. Many appreciate this wonderful spot which only twenty years ago was inaccessible to members of the public.
If you would like to contribute to the upkeep of Magog Down, become a Friend.

20th September 2013

Old Newsletters

Up until 2011 we produced a twice-yearly Newsletter, and you can still download copies of some of these here:

pdf_logo_smallSpring/Summer 2011

pdf_logo_smallAutumn/Winter 2010

Spring 2010

Autumn/Winter 2009

Spring 2009

In 2011 the re-designed website was launched, and so the decision was taken to stop producing these Newsletters, and instead to use this website as the main means of communication for news and articles of interest.

This move away from a regular Newsletter meant that more of the Members' and Friends' subscriptions could be spent directly on the costs of upkeep and husbandry on the Down.

We would love every regular visitor to Magog Down to help support its upkeep by becoming a Friend. Read more on our Join Us page, and then complete the application form.