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Forge Dam restoration project awarded £247,000 in funding

Restoration work at Forge Dam

The Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund is giving over £247,000 to Sheffield’s Forge Dam restoration project. 

The heavily silted mill pond at Forge Dam will be rejuvenated as a result of the funding and is one of 90 nationally to have been awarded a grant from the second round of the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund which aims to boost green jobs and nature recovery. It is estimated that the Fund will enable over 2,500 jobs to be created or retained across England.

The Council’s Parks and Countryside Service, working in partnership with Friends of Porter Valley (FoPV), will spend the money restoring the millpond, improving access, increasing engagement and education opportunities and supporting FoPV’s volunteering efforts which are helping more people connect with nature.

Starting this autumn, the project will carefully remove and re-profile decades of silt, creating a mosaic of deep and shallow water, and reducing the over-dominance of the island. Some of the silt will be re-used to soften the pond’s vertical concrete banks creating a more wildlife-friendly profile.

Working with environmental specialists, the project will provide a twin pronged nature-based solution to reduce future sediment in the valley. Firstly, slowing the flow of the Porter as it approaches Forge Dam, utilising natural flood management techniques such as leaky dams and scrapes into the neighbouring wet woodland. Secondly, by the sensitive installation a natural porous barrier to encourage the main flow of the Porter over the weir. This will, in effect, become a new section of river bank.

Cllr Alison Teal, Executive Member for Sustainable Neighbourhoods, Wellbeing, Parks and Leisure said:

“We are delighted about the announcement of this funding and we look forward to working together to achieve all of these improvements. Ponds provide some of our earliest & most iconic nature experiences - feeding ducks, or glimpsing a kingfisher and yet are one of our most threatened habitats. This project will deliver benefits for people and wildlife and show how access to our precious blue-green spaces can support both our physical and mental well-being.”

Ann le Sage, Chair of the Friends of Porter Valley said:

“We are so pleased Forge Dam has been chosen for support from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. By matching our fund- raising, the grant means that the work that we have planned for so many years can finally become a reality.”

This good news comes after it was announced back in January 2021 that the Friends Group had raised £261,000 for the project, with Sheffield City Council committing a further £66,000. 

The project is being managed by Sheffield City Council Parks and Countryside Service. For more information contact