River Beane set for major restoration work to improve chalk stream health

Affinity Water are to restore the River Beane

Work on the River Beane at Watton at Stone is set to be completed next Spring. - Credit: Google Maps

The River Beane is to undergo major restoration work as part of a drive to improve the health of Herts chalk streams and help wildlife thrive again. 

Set to be completed next spring, work by Affinity Water will take place at Walkern Road in Watton at Stone and The Beane Woodhall in Stapleford, with the water company spending just under £1 million on five projects, including work to the Upper Lea and Gade rivers. 

“We are aiming to improve the ecological health of our rivers as part of our Revitalising Chalk Streams programme,” said Affinity Water’s senior asset manager, David Watts. 

“Our ambition is to improve river health and create favourable conditions allowing certain fish species, wildlife and plants back into these rivers. 

“The COVID-19 lockdowns have shown us all how important the natural environment is to local communities, as families enjoy walking by our rivers and communing with nature.” 

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A tributary of the River Lea, the Beane runs from Sandon to Hertford, and the chalk stream represents a globally rare habitat, with just 240 of them in England. 

Affinity Water were keen to thank customers who have reduced their water usage as part of their Save Our Streams campaign, which will help improve the health of rivers alongside the company’s restoration work. 

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“I want to thank our customers for getting behind us to reduce their water abstraction,” said head of external communications, Kevin Barton. 

“We launched it in May this year and already over 90,000 people have signed up to reduce their water use through receiving tailored advice and practical help from Affinity Water.  

“I would urge those who haven’t yet visited it to do so and learn how they can reduce the use of water in their homes. 

“A reduction in abstraction means more water is left in the environment, contributing towards the protection of globally rare chalk streams which provide important habitats for numerous species in our local communities, from shrimps, dragonflies and brown trout, to water voles, kingfishers and otters.” 

You can find out more about Affinity Water’s river restoration programmes by clicking here.

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