Although the "save the acre of woodland" project was unsuccessful when the group was outbid at auction, HCS went on to start a programme of surveying the local parish consisting of two-thirds fenland and one-third higher land. After assessing what wildlife and habitat was to be found, an environmental action plan for both wildlife and people was presented to Haddenham Parish Council, which also includes Aldreth, who agreed, and took it on board.
The first joint undertaking, also with Cambs County Council involvement was to plant trees in an area of about one-and-a-half acres to the west of the village in Hillrow Fen.
Concurrently with that, and with agreement of the Holy Trinity Parish Church Council, a wildlife area was established in the now unused Old Burial Ground in Church Lane to include a butterfly garden and wildflower section.
A series of wide ranging winter talks from October to April was instituted with various summer events to follow. A current list of these can be found by clicking on ‘Programme & Volunteering’ in the top menu.
After producing a booklet entitled, Flora and Fauna of Haddenham, about the wildlife of the village, we went on to carry out two major programmes. The first was the publication of The Birds of Haddenham which included a checklist, habitat description and history of all known birds until 1995 that had appeared in the 6-square-mile parish. The book was generally received very well.
The second major event was creating 9 acres of woodland next to the Old West River in the fen near to Aldreth, a hamlet south of Haddenham village. As HCS is not constituted to own property, the Woodland Trust agreed to take ownership of the land if we raised the money for its purchase. All parishioners became involved in fund-raising after a well attended Parish Open Meeting was held to gauge reaction. We raised £25,000 by local donations, grants from Haddenham Parish Council, East Cambs District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, and grants from the Forestry Commission. The venture also included gaining second place in Anglia Water’s annual ‘Caring for the environment’ competition - a contribution of £7,000 towards the £25,000 raised. The Nine-acre Wood was planted in 1995 with the help of over 200 volunteers and is now growing very well and visited by many people from a wide area.
Following these events HCS has gone on to carry out many other important programmes, including the erection of bird and bat boxes in many places around the parish.