Enjoying the downs with your dog

Respect – Protect – Enjoy

You, and your dog, are welcome on Magog Down, a favourite place of many for walking, running, or quietly sitting to enjoy the environment of this beautiful place.  

We ask that you walk your dog on a lead at all times, except in some designated areas – clearly signposted and marked on the maps on the Noticeboards and can be seen here.

These designated areas, however, are not exclusively for the use of dog walkers and you will be sharing them with other users. 

On-lead areas provide a refuge for those, especially children, who do not wish an uninvited approach from someone else’s four-legged friend. Colin’s Paddock, a conservation area, is closed to dogs at all times as is the Picnic Field leading off the car park.  

Please respect all on-lead signs so that everyone can enjoy their visit to Magog Down. 

During the summer, the grasses across the Down can drop seeds which might be harmful to some dogs. Further information here.

Owners and their dogs enjoying the view from the boardwalk

Countryside Code

Our policy towards owners walking dogs on Magog Down is to consistently follow the advice contained in the Countryside Code which advises dog owners that dogs must be kept under effective control, on a lead or kept in sight and responding to commands.

Whether you’re walking a large dog or a miniature breed, and however calm and friendly the dog is, the Dangerous Dogs Act applies to you.  Under the Act, it’s illegal for a dog to be ‘out of control’ or to bite or attack someone.  The legislation also makes it an offence if a dog makes someone worried that it may injure them.

To ensure owners can maintain control of their dogs, no person should walk more than three dogs. If you walk dogs on a commercial basis, you must request a permit by sending an email to admin@magogtrust.org.uk

Dog waste

Bins for dog waste are provided across the site. The bins are emptied on a regular basis. The position of these bins is marked on the map on the Main Noticeboard and are also shown on this map.  Please remember it is an offence not to clear up after your dog.

Dog exercise areas

Fairfield and Bagfield are two areas, near the car park, where your dog can be exercised, or play, off-lead.  However, they are not for the exclusive use of dog owners and their dogs.  You should still have your dog under control.

Both exercise areas flow into the adjacent woods and the perimeter walk without fence or gate between them. Because of this we do NOT advise using Magog Down for recall training in young dogs, or those having remedial training. 

Picnic tables are provided in both these areas. 

Dogs enjoying the Fairfield off-lead exercise area

How secure will my dog be?

The area put aside for off-lead dog walking is clearly marked and, in the main, follows the perimeter of the site. There is absolutely NO guarantee that the off-lead area is kept secure at all times for dogs of all sizes.  In particular, the path bordering the adjacent arable land is not fenced. Fences become insecure from time to time, so can never be guaranteed. There are two pedestrian gates opening onto the busy A1307, which are not always securely closed by visitors after opening. 

The Magog Trust takes no responsibility for the behaviour of dogs on site.  Dogs are the responsibility of their owners at all times.  Any incidents should be reported to the police. 

Two dogs enjoying one of the off-lead walks on South Down