More than 50 people took advantage of the sensational spring weather to celebrate the opening of Greensforge Sailing Club’s new waterfront, which is giving local people of all abilities better access to the water and boats, on Sunday (9 April).

The £26,000 project to improve the mooring frontage in front of the clubhouse at Calf Heath Reservoir, whilst also adding a ramp to make the club more easily accessible, has re-invigorated Greensforge SC. Funding for the project came from The Veolia Environmental Trust, who awarded £20,900 through the Landfill Communities Fund, with the club making up the rest.

With Greensforge once again opening its doors to invite anyone to try sailing for free on Sunday 14 May as part of the national RYA Push The Boat Out ‘have-a-go’ festival of sailing, Ian Cooper, Training Principal and Trustee, says the club is rejuvenated.

“The improved mooring facilities and disabled access to the clubhouse will see sailing continue through another 40 years at Calf Heath Reservoir,” he explains. “That will see a lot of families enjoying sailing at the club for generations to come. We are grateful to so many people, not least The Veolia Environmental Trust, for recognising the value of what we do in the community and supporting this project.

“So many people still don’t think sailing is for them, but we are proof it really is something everyone can enjoy. A whole family can join the club for just £100 a year, and we have club boats, some that can be sailed by one person or others two or more, for members to use so you don’t need to own one.”

As well as new visitors to Greensforge, the waterfront opening also saw the 1st Blackfords Sea Scouts, the club’s long-standing Scouting member group, sailing both Topper and Topaz class dinghies as well as getting afloat with their kayaks. The improved facilities are not only benefitting the club, as the waterfront is enjoyed by Blackfords Angling Society, dog walkers, bird watchers and is open to the public.

Jayne Harvey, Greensforge Commodore, continued: “It was so wonderful seeing so many people at the club and enjoying being out on the water in such incredible weather. Greensforge may be a small club but through this project everyone has shown again how when we all muck in together we can achieve big things. I cannot thank Veolia and our dedicated club volunteers enough for making this happen.”

In addition to The Veolia Environmental Trust, the club is also grateful to contractors, Rothen Group, who installed the piling, and Boningale Landscapers, who refashioned the terracing.

Paul Taylor, Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust added: “We are pleased to have been able to help this important project. I hope the improvements mean people of all ages and abilities can continue to enjoy sailing on the reservoir for many years to come.”

If you want to Push The Boat Out at Greensforge next month, the Open Day runs from 10am-4pm, so grab a towel and some old trainers you don’t mind getting wet, and sail into summer. 

Greensforge SC is a recognised RYA Training Centre, meaning it conforms to the highest standards of quality and safety, so all the equipment you need will be provided with refreshments available too. Find out how you can get involved at www.greensforge.org