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What’s Next for Forge Dam?

It has been lovely to see people’s photos of the millpond in the sunshine shared over the last few weeks. There is still lots more to be done at Forge Dam, so we wanted to share a few things to know about the next steps of the project…


The bridleway is now open and useable, but the finished surface has not yet been added. This will be the last thing to happen, in case the other works disrupt the surface. 100 metres of hedge will be planted in the Autumn where sections of fencing were removed, providing new wildlife habitat.

Memorial Benches

We would like to apologise to anyone who has a memorial bench that they have not been able to use over the period of work. These will be put out again very soon, although will need to be moved again temporarily during the path resurfacing in September (see below). We appreciate your understanding.

The row of memorial benches on the Dam embankment at Forge Dam
Memorial Benches

Installation of an adjustable control mechanism (penstock) at the millrace

The team from Sanctus will be back for a few days in July to install an adjustable control mechanism to control the volume of water going down the millrace at the back of the café where Thomas Boulsover had his workshop.

Please note:

We will need to close the section of footpath either side of the millrace for 2 days to complete these works and will temporarily lower the water level by about a metre.

Please look out for notices on site when we have confirmed which days these will be.

A picture showing water running through the mill race at the back of the cafe at Forge Dam where the water wheel was located in Thomas Boulsover's time.
The Millrace where the control penstock will be installed

Repair of Collapsed Section of Wall

We are finalising approvals to get the section of footpath where the wall collapsed repaired. We hope the contractors will be able to make a start on this in early July before the school summer holidays. Water levels will need to be lowered slightly to allow the contractors access to the repair, and the work is expected to take 2 -3 weeks - after which we will finally be able to re-open the north bank footpath.

A picture showing the collapsed section of footpath on the north bank of Forge Dam.
The area of wall to be repaired

Additional Path and Accessibility Improvements

The final phase of works will be to resurface the path around the millpond, this will include replacing the handrail near the café and removing the redundant white gate at the top of the ramp. As these works will inevitably mean more disruption and a rolling programme of path closures, we won’t begin them until September - after the school summer holidays.

A picture showing the footpath up the Dam Embankment with its old handrails at Forge Dam.
The handrails near the café which will be improved in September.

General Conservation Tasks

You will spot the yellow Hi Vis of the conservation volunteers tackling the Himalayan Balsam as they do every summer... it is a recurring invasion in the wet woodland.


We hope this answers any questions you may have, but feel free to get in touch if there is anything else you would like to know – please email with ‘Forge Dam’ in the subject headline.


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