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Forge Dam Update - 21 Oct 21

Rejuvenating Forge Dam

For the past 10 years, the Friends of Porter Valley have fundraised and campaigned tirelessly for Forge Dam to be de-silted. As anyone who is a regular visitor to Forge Dam will know, the pond has shrunk year on year and if action isn’t taken soon it will be lost – like so many of the millponds in the Porter Valley. Ponds are one of our most threatened habitats, so the works will not only make Forge Dam look better but will also make a significant contribution to protecting the area’s biodiversity.

FoPV and the Council’s Parks and Countryside Service successfully doubled up the funds by applying for a matched grant from the UK government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. Local councillors were also able to award funding from the Ward Pot and community infrastructure levy, allowing us to appoint experienced and award winning environmental engineering specialists Sanctus Ltd to design and carry out the works.

Pond Works

Subject to final consents, we are planning for the pond works to start before the end of October. The main works will last 9-12 weeks depending on the weather. (For safety reasons work can’t proceed during high water periods). We have already rescued fish from the pond in readiness for the works and prepared the path diversions.

Inevitably the work will involve some noise and disruption and we would like to apologise in advance for this. We have worked closely with the Council’s Rights of Way Service to keep closures and diversions to the minimum necessary to ensure everyone’s safety - as follows:

  • Bridleway (SHE 517) will be closed for the duration of the works to allow safe access for dumpers and excavators to the pond.

  • A temporary diversion from SHE 517 to Quiet Lane will operate via the Whitely Woods Trail footpath (SHE 48).

  • The diversion uses the footpath link which traverses the slope from the bridleway and will involve a managed crossing point with the works traffic.

Access Improvements

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund grant also allows us to make access improvements around Forge Dam. These works will then follow on from the completion of the pond de-silting and will include repairs to the tarmac path around the pond as this is badly deteriorated, with scope for additional improvement to be prioritised in consultation this autumn with FoPV and Local Access Forum members. Whilst this will involve some further disruption in spring next year, the improvements will provide a better experience for all user groups.

The concept plan shows the proposals which will include work to reduce the rate at which Forge Dam silts up in the future. The project team is very happy to talk to anyone interested in finding out more about the works – whether groups or individuals.

For further information, please email putting Forge Dam in the subject line.

Please note: the concept plan gives a broad indication of works taking place, but is not a scaled or precise design drawing.


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