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

Cutting the Grass on Magog Down

The grass cutting programme on the North Down of Magog Down attempts to imitate the short, lightly grazed turf of traditional chalk grassland and meet the needs of ground nesting birds such as Skylarks, who prefer longer grass in which to build their nests as this offers greater protection to the chicks from predators such as Kestrels. Long grass also helps to protect small mammals when foraging for food. On the other hand, many species of chalkland flowers thrive best in a short turf as on the South Downs.

To achieve both objectives, the North Down was divided into four quadrants from the central marker post, with each quadrant then divided into three, rather like segments of an orange. One segment of each quadrant is cut each year. The North Down is a shallow bowl and this pattern ensures that the influences of aspect and slope are maintained throughout the three year cycle in each area.
Insects also have preferences in habitat with some preferring to remain near the soil surface but other such as spiders having their webs higher to catch flying insects. The closeness of the differing grass lengths to their nests aids the Skylarks when foraging for food.
The 2012 Breeding Bird Survey recorded 11 of the 12 Skylark nests present were in the long grass with the other in the medium grass. Grass growth was poor in 2012 and the longer areas clearly gave more protection to the young. 
July 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.