Julie Marson, MP for Hertford and Stortford, recently visited habitat restoration works along the River Beane that runs through Hertford.
Ms Marson met Darsha Gill, Area Director for Hertfordshire and North London, and Ben Radbone, Biodiversity and Geomorphology Team Leader, from the Environment Agency at the River Beane to learn more about the project.
This includes adding in-channel berms (woody structures), the removal of the concrete river bank wall and a small weir at the northern end of the site and expanding the wetland scrapes on the marsh.
A further project is also underway to stabilise and formalise the breached weir at the southern end of Waterford Marsh. The Environment Agency is currently working to procure a consultant to complete the detailed design proposals for these works and estimate construction will take place in 2024.
The River Beane is a chalk stream, characterised by shallow waters and in-channel vegetation. The southeast of England is one of the few places in the world where this habitat is found.
Commenting, Ms Marson said:
“It was great to visit works along the River Beane and learn more about their progress.
“Our area is fortunate to be home to so many beautiful chalk streams like this one and looking after them is of utmost importance. We must continue to do everything we can to protect them.”
Darsha Gill, Area Director for the Environment Agency also said:
“Our partnership work with the Countryside Management Services team from Herts County Council, has produced fantastic habitat restoration works on the River Beane. The in-channel and floodplain restoration works has created space to help fish, aquatic plants and invertebrates to thrive.
“England is home to 85% of the world’s chalk streams and the problems facing chalk streams, like the River Beane, are complicated and expensive to solve as many of our chalk streams are in the most densely populated parts of the country.
“Their future depends on partnership work, and this is a great example where we have come together to improve one of our precious chalk streams”.