Update on Dam Works at Highams Park Lake from City of London Corporation

by / Friday, 23 January 2015 / Published in News

Dear All

Please find below the latest update regarding works at Highams Park dam.

 Scouts Hut Floodwall

 The reinforced concrete floodwall is complete. It has been almost entirely brick clad, the only outstanding section being near the footbridge which will be completed shortly. Following this coping stones will be installed and the floodwall will be complete.

 Landing Stage

 Repair works to the concrete landing stage on top of the dam have started. These will help the launch of canoes on the lake in the future.


 The new footbridge will be installed in the next few weeks. Repair works have been carried to the existing bridge abutments together with some modifications to accommodate the new, narrower footbridge.

Drawdown structure

 The drawdown structure will enable the water level in the lake to be lowered in an emergency situation and for maintenance purposes. The reinforced concrete inlet and outlet structures have been completed, and the inlet has also been clad in brick. Pipes are being laid and this should be completed in the next fortnight. Following this, the inlet and outlet structures will be fitted with equipment to enable the safe operation of the structure in the future.


 Desilting works have been completed and 5,000m3 of silt have been removed from the northern end of the lake.

 Spillway works

 The spillway works will commence shortly. The spillway will ensure that floodwater flows over the dam safely. The rear slope of the dam will be made less steep and a turf reinforcement material installed, before the slope is seeded. The turf reinforcement material will serve to increase the erosion resistance properties of the grass.

 Following completion of the spillway works, the area will be landscaped: this will include new trees and shrubs, an area of wildflower seeding, together with a new footpath and bike stands and the benches will be reinstated.

 Lakeside Vegetation Management

 Woody vegetation on the banks either side of the dam have been cut back by staff from the City of London. This work was undertaken to allow the installation of special natural fibre (coir) maps that have been planted up with plants appropriate for lake margins. This is part of works requested by the local planning authority.

 Additional Woodland Works at Highams Park

 Coincident with  the Dam works we have two additional work activities being undertaken at Highams Park at the moments.

  • Green Team volunteers from the Epping Forest Centenary Trust are opening up vistas to the lake from the adjacent Highams Park recreation ground. This involves cutting scrub and low growing material and burning up the residue.
  • City of London Arborist Teams are working on the north of the lake to clear competing trees and scrub from around some of the stunning veteran trees growing there. The wet conditions have restricted how much we can achieve at present on this.

 Burst Pipe

 We have fenced off a section of the path on the eastern edge of the lake. This is due to a burst pipe the nature and ownership of which we were initially unaware of. We have now identified the owner as Thames Water and hopefully things will be made good shortly. Our apologies for any inconvenience this causes users.

Geoff Sinclair

Head of Operations

Open Spaces, Epping Forest