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.
The Big Scoop
A group of concerned supporters and regular visitors to Magog Down are planning to hold a "Big Scoop" clean up exercise prior to the Easter weekend, to clear the site of un-picked-up dog poo.
These volunteers hope to raise awareness of the importance of every dog walker picking up after their own dog, and encouraging responsible dog walking on Magog Down.
DO Bag it and Bin it!
Why not Stick and Flick on Magog Down?
On such a small site a build up will affect the soil composition and smell awful, plus there is nothing worse than hitting a pile whilst strimming as it sprays everywhere, or kneeling in it whilst cutting scrub or coppicing a hedgerow - as our Ranger, Jon Gibbs, reports from grim experience!
What do the Forestry Commission say?
The Forestry Commission's own "Dog Code" only actually advocates "Stick and Flick" for remote areas. What they say otherwise, which we fully agree with is:
Never leave poo where people walk, play or picnic.
Bag it AND put it in a bin on site or at home.
This applies completely to every part of the 163-acre site that is Magog Down, where there are plenty of bins provided, and the bins are frequently emptied.
Where are the dog bins? Who empties them?
We have ten dog poo bins on site, and nine of these are situated on the third of the site nearest to the car park - as marked on our site map. A contractor called Whoopsy Daisy visits twice a week to empty these bins; on some visits they will leave one or two of the bins, but no bin is ever left for more than one week between emptyings.
There is an additional bin at the far end of Villedomer wood, next to the South end of Field Walk, and that one is currently emptied by our Ranger when he is on site. All the dog waste collected from these bins is then bagged and left by the site entrance for the weekly collection by South Cambs District Council. Even at the far end of the site, you are never more than a little over half a mile from the nearest poo bin, so there is no excuse for either failing to bag it, or failing to take the bag away.
The total cost for Dog Waste collection is a little over £4000 annually, or put another way it costs about £12 per day, every day of the year. Having a group of volunteers willing to search out and collect up un-bagged dog poo is, by contrast, priceless!
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.