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It costs around £60,000 per year to maintain the accessible parts of Magog Down, including the Ranger service, twice-weekly dog-bin emptying, regular grass cutting, fence and gate repairs, and forestry activities (not counting the cost of farming our arable section).

Grants and investment income do not fully meet these costs, so the Magog Trust looks for additional support from each visitor to the Down. Please become a Friend to help us look after this special piece of countryside, year after year.
 

DO YOU KNOW THE RULES?

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So many people make regular use of the free Permissive Open Access on Magog Down, it is easy to forget that the whole area is privately owned, and access is permitted only within certain rules.

The Governors of The Magog Trust have recently reviewed the Regulations applying to the use of Magog Down by the public, and have made a couple of changes in response to recent issues (more detail here).

Why not read through the Rules of the Down before your next visit? We have also recently compiled an FAQ to help in answering some common queries.

NOT US, BUT NEARBY:
Gog Magog Hills
Farm Shop and Cafè

cartshedSitting on the A1307 opposite the turning to Magog Down is the Gog Magog Hills Farm Shop and café where you are welcome to have a rest and a drink.

This neighbouring business is totally separate from Magog Down, despite Google sometimes conflating the two!

Next Scheduled Working Party

The next Volunteers' working party is scheduled for Wednesday, 4th May, at the usual time of 2pm on Magog Down.  Specific task/s as yet to be confirmed - probably making a start on pulling up scrub on the North Down.

If you would like to be added to the list of those emailed in advance for confirmation of future sessions, please get in touch. 

EASTER WEEKEND ON MAGOG DOWN

formdownload_180Over the long weekend of 25th to 28th March, the Governors and other volunteers took turns to meet and greet visitors in the Car park – inviting donations and raising awareness of the Friend scheme.

We also leafleted cars which were not displaying the current  “I’m a Friend” sticker (see News item), inviting them to contribute to the upkeep of the site. Parking is at present free, but when current grants finish, a charge will be introduced.

It was a useful awareness-raising exercise which we hope to repeat across the year. We were very pleased to take cash donations of over £100, and are seeing a steady flow of new Friend applications.

Celebratory Plaques coming soon

noticeboard_crop_238The new Information Board near the car park area on Magog Down was completed in 2015, giving extra space to display information about the Trust and about what is happening on Magog Down.  This replaced the previous smaller board which had been damaged by fire and was weathering badly.

We will also use the reverse side of this new Information Board as a space where celebratory plaques can be placed, as a special way to mark a person remembered or to hold a happy memory.  This is in response to many such requests we get for memorials, which can no longer be granted for individual trees, nor for new benches around the site.

One standard size of brass plaque will be available: 75mm wide by 50mm high.
The plaques will be securely fixed to the reverse of the Information Board. Engraving of up to four lines will be included in the price, which will be in the region of £150.

If you are interested in buying a celebratory plaque as a special way to mark a person remembered or to hold a happy memory, please get in touch
 

Magog Down – a unique area for restoration and conservation

The Magog Down is an area for restoration, conservation and informal recreation on the Gog Magog Hills just south of the boundary of the City of Cambridge, off the A1307 road to Linton and on Haverhill Road, Stapleford.

Magog Down is owned and managed by the Magog Trust who bought it in 1989. It covers 163.5 acres of previously intensively farmed arable land. It is freely open to all, all year round.

It has two meadows sown with wild flowers and grasses native to chalk grassland. Six woods, planted between 1990 and 1992, with 24,000 native British trees. It is seeing the return of ground-nesting birds, like the skylark, and native flowering plants like the cowslip...read more

A community space for all to enjoy

Some of the activities enjoyed at the Magog Down include:

  • Fun for all the family - From flying kites and picnics in the summer to the toboggan runs of winter, the Down is just the place for a family day out all year round
  • Health & recreation - Whether out for a stroll, a walk with the dog or a slightly more energetic jog, the rolling fields and stunning views make this the perfect setting.
  • Flora and fauna - With a wealth of native trees, shrubs, meadow grasses, flowers and associated wild life, this restoration area is a must whether you are a keen amateur or a seasoned enthusiast.
  • Agricultural use - About one-third of the land is farmed under a standard arable crop rotation by contractors. Sheep are grazed in the paddocks on the South Down. Part of the site is managed under Entry Level Stewardship and part under Higher Level Stewardship under the guidance of Natural England.This helps in the overall aim of the project - to recreate a chalk grassland typical of more than a century ago.

25 years on - how it began

The project started in 1989 when the land came on the market; the price of the land was £327,000. The Magog Trust was formed, and purchased the land in September 1989; it then initiated a programme of reclamation and development for long term conservation and recreation.
... Now, with average annual expenditure in the region of £90,000, continued support is required so that the work goes on...For much more on the history and background, go to 'About'

Car Park Opening Times

CURRENT: Spring  opening:
mid February - end April      8am - 6pm

FROM NEXT WEEK: Summer opening:
beg May - late October    8am - 8pm

Winter opening:
late October - mid February:  8am - 5pm

News Highlights

Wintering Birds

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February is called the “hungry gap”, when food suitable for specialist farmland birds is hard to find  read more...


Car Stickers launched

sticker_square_60We have now sent out smart new self-cling car stickers to all our subscribers  read more...


Feature on the Robin

robin_lowres_square_60Is this your favourite bird? Learn about its habits and history in this article  read more...


60,000 visits per year

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The Magog Trust has been using a car-counter to gather data on how many visitors the Down gets read more...


Rare hilltop re-opens

googlemapimage_colinsbank_60What some call the "best view in Cambridgeshire" is now accessible again ... read more


Barnes copse planted

25_60 A new copse of trees on the South Down bears the name of the Barnes family, acknowledging their contribution at the outset of The Magog Trust ... read more


Orchid marks milestone

spotted_orchid_sqr_60In July 2014 a Pyramidal Orchid flowered for the first time in the 25 year history of Magog Down... read more

Notice to Members

AGM Notice to Members

Do we have your correct contact details?

The Annual General Meeting of the Magog Trust was held on 10th October 2015. Notice of the meeting went by email on 26th September to all Members and Friends whose email addresses we hold, and by post to all other Members.

Please contact us if you think you missed this message as we may have your wrong address!

ALSO: did you respond about a car sticker?

If we sent you a postal AGM notice and did not hear back from you about wanting a new-style car sticker, then you will not have been sent one in our January mailshot. Just get in touch if you now wish to rectify this.