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  • Writer's pictureMike

Forge Dam Update - Sep 21

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

As many of you spotted from the news, the restoration will receive a boost of £247,000 from DEFRA's Green Recovery fund. This is wonderful and our complex project to improve the water management, greenspace and habitats can confidently go ahead. Heavy works will probably start late October to early November.

And moreover we now have some artists' impressions of what Forge Dam will look like after the desilting, recontouring of the brook above and the dam depths, and installation of a green wall to steer the flow of the Porter. From the annotations you can see the intention to use really green methods.

1. Silt trap to be retained, but with more regular maintenance.

2. Proposal for reducing silt loading from the wet woodland.

Not taking place during these works to allow further investigation into the impact on the ground flora in the wet woodland. This remains a future option, following completion of a more detailed habitat management plan.

3. Reed bed managed to trap river silt.

4. Important flora to be relocated for the duration of works and then returned with help of FoPV volunteers.

5. The vertical concrete edges will be softened to increase the Dam’s wildlife friendliness, by re-using some of the silt from other parts of the pond. The silt will be kept in place by alder and willow faggots harvested from woodland management work on site.

6. The current island will be reduced in scale and re-shaped to benefit a wider range of wildlife. Overall island to occupy about 25% of the pond area. Some trees will be removed to reducing shading, but others will be retained.

7. A new porous “river bank” will be created to guide more of the flow of the Porter over the spill way. The “new bank” will be made from the root balls and intertwined branches of a small group of self-set alder trees growing nearby, secured into the bottom of the pond (See 11). This will reduce future silting of the pond as well as providing new habitat for the Dam’s wildlife.

8. The Porter Brook channel will be deepened and reprofiled to create a more efficient flow velocity over the spillway – so that it acts more like a natural river again.

9. Access improvements will happen after the pond works are finished and will include repairs to the tarmac path around pond and gravel surfaced link to the bridleway.

10. Tree branches and trunks, including some which have needed to be felled because of ash die back, will be used to create “leaky dams” as part of natural flood management “slowing the flow”.

11. Stand of self-set alder trees to be used for naturalised bank creation (See 7). Area to be put back to meadow after the works.

12. Site compound, silt handling and transportation of approximately 5000m3 off site. Works access to the pond proposed via the bridleway. Access for visitors along the footpath not expected to be affected. (Subject to final confirmation). Works will be weather dependant and expected to last 9 – 12 weeks.

Access to Forge Dam and the Café

Obviously there will be a few weeks of disruption with heavy vehicles moving between the processing area and the dam. This will involve closing the bridleway whilst the works are taking place which will possibly affect some members. However we hope this minor inconvenience will not be problematic as the main path will still be in use.

Access to Forge Dam cafe will not be affected you will be glad to hear! Public briefings and Q/A opportunities are being scheduled (and the Fulwood Fete on Sunday 5 September was a useful dry run).

Our website, Local signs, and other lines of communication, are all now being worked on. There is much detail to explain, especially on the plans to manage the brook upstream and improve the habitat once desilting has finished.


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