Reserves and honeypots
Waterford Marsh, just to the south of the village of Waterford, is an attractive area where the river meanders through what once was a substantial wetland area. Over the years the marsh has been drained, losing many of its characteristic wetland species. However, it remains an attractive site with good access to the river itself. It is a popular spot for picnics and families on a hot summer weekend! The site is managed by the Countryside Management Service. For more information please click here.
Roadside parking is available at the north end of the site. Alternatively the site can be accessed from Waterford Heath – see below.
Waterford Heath is a former sand and gravel quarry adjacent to the river just north of Hertford. After quarrying ceased on the site in the early 1990s, work was undertaken to restore it to create a 'community nature park'. It contains a range of habitats including grassland, scrub, plantation woodland and a small area of ancient, semi-natural woodland. It is a HMWT reserve.
Hartham Common is a large public open space close to the centre of Hertford. The Beane flows along the western and northern sides of the Common, making it a great palce to easily see the river. The Rivers Lea and Rib also border the site. The Common has some great sports facilities in and around it - football, bowls, rugby, tenning, fishing, canoeing and kayaking facilities are all available. There is also a large, fenced playground fro younger visitors, and a skatepark.
With a few exceptions, most of the Beane is accessible on foot.
A public footpath runs next to the river from near its source at Cromer to the Whitehall pumping station, just to the southeast of Aston. The river then runs through the private Frogmore Estate, where there is no public access.
In Watton-at-Stone, the river can be accessed by a footpath leading from Mill Lane to the main road, where you must leave it again as it runs through the private Woodhall Estate.
The Hertfordshire Way, a long distance footpath, runs next to the Beane between Woodhall Park just north of Stapleford, and Hertford.
A regular train service connects Stevenage, Watton-at-Stone and Hertford North. This can be used if you want to do a one-way walk along the Beane from Watton to Hertford.