Image - photograph of The Withey Beds

Join the Friends of The Withey Beds

The Withey Beds is a Local Nature Reserve in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. It is one of the few remaining wetlands in Hertfordshire, offering a variety of habitats and supporting some fascinating plants and animals including birds and insects characteristic of swamp and fen. It is managed by Three Rivers District Council and the Countryside Management Service, with the help of The Friends of The Withey Beds (who welcome new members).

“Withey Bed” is an old English term used to describe the growing of different species of willow for coppicing. Such beds formed an important part of local village economies, supplying poles for basketwork, thatching, firewood and many other uses.

Today, The Withey Beds is still managed using traditional techniques. The rotational coppicing of willow preserves the character of the site, and grazing with cattle, or cutting and removing vegetation within the field, help to halt encroaching scrub, and allow wildlife to continue to flourish.

Download our leaflet (pdf)


Autumn 2023 – We regret to inform members and visitors that the Withey Beds boardwalk is currently closed due to a fallen tree damaging access at the western end of the structure. The FoWB management team are in discussions with Three Rivers District Council regarding repairs and we will update this site as we get more information.

FoWB Management Team

Image - logo of the Friends of The Withey Beds Image - logo of Three Rivers District Council Image - logo of the Countryside Management Service