History of Snakemoor Nature Reserve

A map of the Parish of Haddenham in 1820 shows Snakemoor as part of an arable field called Snake Moore Furlong. The sloping field adjacent to Snakemoor that can be seen when facing the pond, was identified as an uncultivated area called Snake Moore Common. This was named Snakemoor Green on the 1881 reconstruction map of Haddenham Parish before enclosure.

The Common would have been part of a ‘long common’ that followed the watercourse. It would have been well grazed with livestock under control according to the custom of the open field system.

It is possible that the rare Snakeshead Fritillary grew on this common and may explain why the area is called Snakemoor.

The early maps show a route out of the village following the line of the ditch. It is thought that this ancient route was one of the principal thoroughfares through parish.

Between 1937 and 1969 the land was used for the first Haddenham Sewage Works. The concrete track leading into Snakemoor is a reminder of this time.

woodland floor with white flowers

In 1970 Aylesbury District Council created a tree nursery. This was eventually abandoned and became overgrown and out of control. Straight lines of trees such as the Ash, Sycamore and Horse Chestnut are evidence of this earlier tree nursery.

In 1987 volunteers started to create a natural recreational area.

A pond was designed and created by Stewart Sloan in 1993.

In 1999 English Nature designated the site to be a Local Nature Reserve.

In 2002 Haddenham Parish Council purchased a lease for 125 years to ensure the land is maintained as nature reserve.