The local area has been grassland probably since prehistoric times and was famous for extensive sheep walks until well into the 19th century. There are records of sheep grazing back to the 13th century. Enclosure in 1812 resulted in a progressive change of land use from grassland to arable crops, although sheep never disappeared entirely. The Farmland page tells you more about how the land is farmed today.
Clunch pits dug into the chalk landscape are a common feature in this part of South Cambridgeshire. The extracted clunch was used locally as a building material. There was a large quarry on Little Trees Hill and Stapleford Parish Pit adjoins the site. The latter was used until the 1930s. Following restoration, this pit is now a haven for wildlife and flowers, including many chalk indicator species.
Trust Management & Finances
As mentioned above, The Magog Trust is a registered charity (established in 1989). Its overriding objective and principal activity is the restoration and subsequent conservation of its land at Magog Down to chalk pasture and woodland, which is open to the public for access and recreation.
A group of Trustee Directors meet regularly to oversee and manage the affairs of the Trust. There is one part-time member of staff who is responsible for day-to-day administration of the charity. All work on the land is carried out by contractors or by volunteers.
The annual running costs are around £75,000. Income to cover these costs comes from various sources – Friends’ subscriptions, car parking fees, farming, land grants and income from the investment fund.
Further information on the charity and its finances (including access to the latest Annual Report and Accounts) are available by clicking the link below.