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.
The previous few Annual Reviews can be downloaded here:
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.
Ragwort Pulling: 18th July
On the hottest day of the year so far, a team from Natural England along with a small band of Magog volunteers pulled Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) from Colin’s Paddock on Magog Down.
Ragwort is a native species of the British Isles. It is a specified weed under the Weeds Act 1959. It contains toxins which can have debilitating or fatal consequences, if eaten by horses and other grazing animals. Ragwort is less likely to be rejected by stock if dried and contamination of forage (hay, haylage and silage) is a particular problem. Ragwort, as a native plant, is very important for wildlife in the UK: it supports a wide variety of invertebrates and is a major nectar source for many insects. It is a natural component of many types of unimproved grassland and is used by some invertebrate species that have conservation needs. However it is necessary to prevent its spreading to fields used for the production of forage.
Despite pulling quantities of the weed, there was still more to be done by our regular Monthly Working Party who meet on the first Wednesday of the month. See our Volunteering page for more about that.
The Monthly Working Party on Wednesday 3rd August made excellent further progress, and some were so keen that they agreed to come back the following week. So there will be what is hoped to be a final Ragwort Pulling session on Wednesday 10th August. Meet at 2 pm in the car park and bring stout gloves, along with a drink.
Up until 2011 we produced a twice-yearly Newsletter, and you can still download copies of some of these here:
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.