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?
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.
NOT US, BUT NEARBY:
Gog Magog Hills
Farm Shop and Cafè
Sitting 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!
GROUND NESTING BIRDS
Skylarks (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.
Bird Group meeting
The Stapleford Bird Group's next monthly walk will be on Saturday 6th August. Meeting in the car park at 8.00am.
EASTER PROMOTION SUCCESS
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 to receive a steady flow of new Friend applications subsequently.
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: Summer opening:
beg May - late October 8am - 8pm
late October - mid February: 8am - 5pm
mid February - end April 8am - 6pm
Tell us what you think
We'd like to hear about your experience at Magog Down. Please email us.
Village Cafe supports the Down
On Sunday 17th April we were pleased to take part in a Stapleford Village Cafe event read more...
February is called the “hungry gap”, when food suitable for specialist farmland birds is hard to find read more...
Car Stickers launched
We have now sent out smart new self-cling car stickers to all our subscribers read more...
60,000 visits per year
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
What some call the "best view in Cambridgeshire" is now accessible again ... read more
Barnes copse planted
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
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.