Birds foot trefoil in Colins Paddock

Top Resources

Car Park Opening Times

CURRENT: Summer opening:
beg May - late October    8am - 8pm

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

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

formdownload_180

Bag it and Bin it!

There are nine bins for dog waste dotted around the site, and these are emptied by our contractor twice a week. The contract does not include picking up "stray" poo from the paths - we rely on responsible owners to bag and bin it themselves.

Courtesy of DogsTrust: "Scooper Hero" poster competition winner

Thank you for taking the time to place your own dog's poo in these bins, and thus helping to keep the paths clear for all visitors.

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'

User Survey Summary

In July 2014 we surveyed visitors one weekday morning between 8am and 10.30am. During this period:

  • 42 visitors (cars) were logged
  • 38 of these were dog walkers
  • all but 2 were regular visitors
  • only 12 of the dog walkers were Members or Friends.

We would like all regular visitors to Magog Down to help contribute to the costs of upkeep by either becoming a Friend or, if they prefer, just making a donation. This form allows you to do either. Thank you.

Flora and Fungi get expert assessment

yellowmignonette_clusteredbellflower_238We were pleased that the Cambridge Natural History Society paid a visit to Magog Down in early August. To read about what species they found, and what this tells them about the quality of our grasslands, read their report here.

Photo shows clustered bellflower and spikes of pale yellow mignonette, in Colin's Paddock. Photo by Bryan Davies, July 2017.

Second Dog Exercise Area now open

dogs_fairfield_250A section of the North Down near to the car park has been newly fenced off in order to create a second area for off-lead exercise for dogs.  For the time being, a short section of the familiar perimeter path nearby will now be closed off to allow recovery.

We hope our many dog walking visitors enjoy this variation, to complement the existing Fair Field area which has become so popular.  Explanatory map and more details in our News article.

Bird Group meeting

The next meeting of the Stapleford Bird Club will be on Saturday 2nd September starting in the car park at 8am

If the weather is very poor, it may be delayed until the next Saturday.
All welcome, sorry no dogs.

Next Working Party

The next Volunteers' working party will be on Wednesday 6th September, 2017. All are welcome who would like to spend a couple of hours in fresh air and good company, doing a bit of physical work to assist in the management of Magog Down. Meet at 2 pm in the car park and bring stout gloves.

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.

Follow the Countryside Code!   Respect – Protect – Enjoy

countrysidecodelogo2Correspondence in the November 2016 edition of Stapleford's Parish magazine prompted us to remind our visitors of the importance of following the Countryside Code when enjoying Magog Down, in particular "keeping dogs under effective control" as the Code says.

Read our full response to this correspondence.

GROUND NESTING BIRDS

skylark_250Skylarks (like the one in this picture) and various other species choose nest sites on the ground, including corn buntings, meadow-pipits, lapwings, plovers, various waders and game birds, Their nests usually consist of mere scrapes or depressions in the ground, sometimes left exposed, sometimes covered by grass or undergrowth.

These nests are, therefore, highly vulnerable to disturbance by humans and dogs, as well as natural prey, and if disturbed will probably be abandondoned – a sad sight. Please take care!

Magog Down has several pairs of skylarks over the downs and at least two pairs of partridges, another ground nesting species, have been spotted. Skylarks tend to choose their nest sites in tussocks of grass anywhere in the fields, while partridges site their nests close to a hedge or bush as a rule; these are usually well concealed.

REMINDER: Magog Down is a Drone-free Zone!

drone180_180Flying of drones (UAV) is not allowed over or from Magog Down unless for a defined project with written authorisation by Governors of the Magog Trust.

Aircraft have always been forbidden, and in June 2015 the rules were updated to specifically exclude drones as well. We ask all visitors to abide by the Rules of the Down at all times. Thank you!
 

Wildflower of the Month

There are many wildflowers to be found growing on Magog Down throughout the year. Do read about them in our Flowers at the Down pages.

marjoram_thumbnail_60_01This month, you will see a lot of Origanum Vulgare, better known as Marjoram.

Other News Highlights

Sponsor the Boardwalk

giftaidappicon_60The Jane's Piece Boardwalk is hailed as a welcome addition, and we invite donations  read more...


Counting Butterflies

commonblues_mating_60Detailed results of the latest butterfly monitoring and method used are now available read more...


Ash Dieback update

ash_dieback_thumbnail_60This disease has swept East to West across Europe, affecting the woods in Magog Down read more...


The Big Scoop

big_scoop_logo_60Volunteers collected un-bagged dog poo, and why you should NOT "Stick and Flick" it here! read more...


Woodland Thinning

woods_for_webagm_square_60Upper Memorial Wood undertook its programmed thinning in January read more...


Countryside Code reminder

countrysidecodelogo2_60In November we reminded visitors about "keeping dogs under effective control" read more...


AGM and talks

barbara_thumbnail_60The well-attended AGM in October included talks by Jon Gibbs our Conservation Ranger, and by Barbara Massingham-Stubbs, who has taken over monitoring the butterflies on Magog Down.

Join us

dogs_fairfield_250

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.
 

NOT US, BUT NEARBY:
"The Gog": 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!