Forge Dam Proposals
The 'Forge Dam Heritage & Habitat Improvement Project' is a partnership of the Friends of the Porter Valley, Sheffield City Council, and other interested parties. Its purpose is to restore the dam as an amenity for the people of Sheffield, and as a wildlife habitat.
Our plans include:
Clearing trees and shrubs from the spillway and dam wall. This may be unpopular, but we will keep the public informed so that they will understand that the work is necessary to protect the structure of the dam so that it may last for another 250 years.
Reducing the size of the island, and removing the trees, as this was the most popular option (as opposed to removing the island completely, or leaving it as it is) when we conducted a public consultation.
Many people remember the rowing boats, which used to be on Forge Dam, with great affection. However there are NO plans to return these as part of these proposals.
Reducing the amount of silt reaching the dam, by building a 'training' wall along the original brook route to encourage through flow. Also working with landowners upstream. However, the major part of the project, and most costly, will be removing the silt currently in the dam which will have to wait until the funds have been fully raised.
Forge Dam Works
In January 2021 the Council approved the restoration proposals, including:
'silt removal, the insertion of a discreet wall to direct the brook over the spillway and address the longstanding problem of silting, and the creation of an attractive open body of water with a variety of depths, a reconfigured island and planting on perimeter banks in order to improve the habitat for wildlife'.
Practical desilting is now planned to start in the autumn of 2021 and in the intermediate months the practical foundations for the restoration will be laid, meaning that a partnership agreement will be signed by both parties, FoPV will donate £267,000 to the Council, specifications and tenders for the various specialist works will be issued, and the habitat improvement plans will be drawn up.
In May, ‘Sanctus Ltd‘, an environmental engineering specialist was appointed. Their team has excellent relevant experience of projects like ours, were named the Best Green Business in the 2020 Business Leaders Awards and will deliver the restoration through to completion. We still expect the major works to start autumn/winter subject to sufficient funding, and any rerouting of paths will be signposted 12 weeks ahead of that date. So more news to come!
The formal scope of works can be downloaded here