Annual Reviews

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:

2018 Annual Review

2017 Annual Review

2016 Annual Review

2015 Annual Review

2014 Annual Review

2013 Annual Review

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.

If you would like to become a Friend, you can read more on our Join Us page, and then complete the application form.

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News from the Down prev  :  next

Grassland Habitat Creation

20 years ago the North Down was sown with a mix of wild flowers and grasses.

Many will remember the masses of Ox-eye Daisy and Red Fescue in the Spring. This was cut 3 or 4 times a year to encourage strong growth of the grass and to help slowly reduce the fertility of the original arable field. This was followed by 4 years of forage harvesting to help reduce the fertility further and encourage the wild flower species. As a result species such as Kidney Vetch, Small Scabious, Bird’s-foot Trefoil and Ladies Bedstraw, none of which were sown, now appear in large numbers. Recently Wild Basil, Dwarf thistle and Musk Mallow have appeared. Last autumn one of the small waxcaps, initially red/orange then blackening, appeared in several areas of the North Down.

Recently this approach has been modified to cut on a tri-annual basis to encourage habitats for insects such as ants, beetles, grasshoppers and spiders. It is important that a mosaic of differing vegetation height and densities develop to accommodate as many different species as possible. The decision to cut in segments is because it allows for the slopes and aspects of the North Down and increases the range of insect habitats that will develop. Some species like the warm chalky slopes of Little Trees Hill with thin vegetation cover and others thrive in the denser grasses on the deeper soils at the bottom of the slopes.
Birds and small mammals also benefit from this three year cycle as they often have young in nests at the time of cutting but some loss is regrettably unavoidable. Food plants of moths and butterflies and their caterpillars such as 5 and 6 Spot Burnet moths, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Small Skippers and Marbled White are also preserved.


August 2011

Old Newsletters

Up until 2011 we produced a twice-yearly Newsletter, and you can still download copies of some of these here:

pdf_logo_smallSpring/Summer 2011

pdf_logo_smallAutumn/Winter 2010

Spring 2010

Autumn/Winter 2009

Spring 2009

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.

We would love every regular visitor to Magog Down to help support its upkeep by becoming a Friend. Read more on our Join Us page, and then complete the application form.