Christopher South stands down as President of The Magog Trust

In February 1989, Christopher South wrote in the Cambridge Evening News

“ We all must have our dreams….. The scene for my fantasy is a large field at the top of the Gog Magog Hills just outside Cambridge. These acres are for sale… In my dream I buy that historic hilltop; I plant a small mixed forest there”

This dream came true.  In October 2022, Christopher stepped down from his role as President of The Magog Trust, the Charity that was formed to buy this land.

Local interest was sparked following his comment in the 1989 article, and the local vicar, and chairman of Stapleford Parish Council along with the journalist, were founder members of The Magog Trust formed in September 1989.  The purchase was supported with a grant from SCDC, along with others from local bodies, together with an even larger interest free loan from businessman Edmund Vestey, brokered by Christopher.

Through Christopher’s journalist contacts and the Cambridge Evening News, a public appeal was launched for the purchase of ‘GOGs’ nominal pieces of land, which received universal support.  A bank overdraft of £170,000 remained which was paid off over the coming years with continuing public support and extensive fund raising.  This of course was all in the days before ‘crowd funding’.

Christopher remained as a Trustee till 2008, seeing the land evolve into the beautiful countryside the public now have access to.  Conservation and restoration to chalk grassland was always part of Christopher’s vision and today he delights in re-appearance of rare chalkland flora, including the purple anemone called Pulsatilla vulgaris.  The Charity invited him to become their President on his retiral as a Trustee.

We will always hold a debt of gratitude to Christopher for his vision for that parcel of Cambridgeshire hillside.  It is for us, and future generations, to cherish and take care of Magog Down.