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With annual expenditure now around £90,000 required to maintain the Magog Down including resourcing the Ranger Service, Dog-Bin Emptying, Farming and Forestry activities as well as administration, the Magog Trust is reliant on support from each visitor to the Down as well as grants, donations and income investment. Please become a Friend to help us look after this special piece of countryside.
A Magog Trust Milestone
The Magog Trust is approaching its 25th Anniversary this year and it's a good opportunity to reflect on some of the milestones that have been achieved. What was once a farmer’s field has become a favourite place to walk, run, fly a kite, have a picnic or just enjoy the countryside. As if in celebration, a Pyrimidal Orchid (right) has flowered for the first time in all those years.
Perimeter woodlands and hedges screen noise from the roads enhancing a peaceful environment. The remaining area is managed in three sections: the lower is managed for arable crops whilst both the South and North slopes around the hill are managed to encourage the rare chalk plants that have survived over the previous century of arable farming. Sheep graze on the South whilst the North is cut in July/August. Both areas are abuzz with bees, butterflies and moths every summer. The costs of farming this diverse site are high and the Magog Trust does not receive any funding from local authorities. The European Agri-Environment schemes provide some income as grants and this scheme sets a high standard for the management of the land.
Woodland areas are supported with grants from the Forestry Commission, and are managed under their guidance. This provides a rich understory giving a good habitat for birds, small mammals and insects, and a section of the arable field is to be developed for winter bird feeding.
The aim of The Magog Trust is to ensure that the 163 acres of Magog Down continue to meet the needs of both conservation and informal recreation for a high number of visitors. We know that up to 18,000 cars visit the Down every year which equates to about 40,000 visits. This popularity is a testament to the work of The Magog Trustees and all the volunteers who have created this stunning area since 1989. The Trust recognises that the increasing numbers of houses being built in the Cambridge area will add to the footfall on Magog Down, and the costs of protecting it. We ask for your help in contributing to the running of this beautiful community asset by becoming a Friend.
With the help of a large number of volunteers, hedges are managed, new ones planted, paths cut and hay mown. The rabbit fencing, originally installed to protect the young trees, has recently been replaced to continue the provision of an off-lead dog walk of over 2 miles, and also to protect the sheep. The Trust spends nearly £5000 a year to provide and empty bins for dog waste.
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
May 1st - October 25th 8am - 8pm
Notice to Members
The Annual General Meeting of the Magog Trust will be held on 11th October 2014. Formal notice of the meeting, including a proxy vote slip, can be found here.
Friends are also very welcome to attend the AGM; they will not have voting rights.
Easter bird count
At Easter we asked visitors to help us by recording all the various species of birds they saw on their walks ... read more
New Hedge and Trees
The planting of a new hedge across the site was completed on 19th February... read more
Why does it cost so much?
Our incoming Treasurer explains in this article where our money comes from and how much we have to spend... read more
Cutting the Grass
The grass cutting programme on the North Down of Magog Down attempts to imitate the short, lightly grazed turf of traditional chalk grassland...read more
2013 Bird Survey Report
The second report of a long term survey of birds breeding on Magog Down is now available... read more