Friday, 26 June 2020


This week CROWS have been doing in-house tasks - mainly tool sorting and maintenance. We have hopes of tackling outdoor work once the revised social distancing of 1 metre + (or 39.37 inches + for the metrically challenged) comes into effect.

Meanwhile, wildlife continues to be hungry:

Woodpecker: Halifax.
"Yummy! My favourite nuts."
(Photo courtesy of AC)

Bullfinch: Halifax.
"Yummy! Now I've finished this feeder,
 I''ll start on the next one!"
(Photo courtesy of AC)

Sparrowhawk: Halifax.
"Yummy ... double yummy ..."
(Photo courtesy of AC)

More next month.

Friday, 19 June 2020


CROWS outdoor work has been minimal although mention should be made of Mo and Ginny who, in an enthusiastic cull, have had a dramatic effect on the invasive spread of Balsam in Nutclough Woods.

... Meanwhile back at the depot in Mytholmroyd, tool maintenance, timber cutting and storage have been the main activities.

Sample of planes and chisels- all now
with very sharp blades 
Supply of stobs, risers and crosstreads, all ready to go!
Work in progress :- sorting the storage!

Allegedly it's the Summer solstice tomorrow! We should get blue skies. In anticipation, here's what has been called a 'pangram' or an 'abecedarian'. Both words had to be looked up! Neither, however, quite describes the challenge - that of writing a 26-word piece of prose or verse with the words in alphabetical order ...


Azure blue cloudless days -
Every flower growing high.
Insects jittering, knocking lightly, 
Muted noise of pastures quiet.
Rivers sluggish, trickling under
Verdant woodland, xylocarpous* ...
... Year's zenith!

(*means 'bearing woody fruit')

Mmm! Perhaps it's time for some heads and tails pictures ...

Badger foraging.
(photo courtesy of GR)
They promised me sand ...
... by the sea ... at Blackpool ... 
... What do I get? ...
... a field in the South Pennines!
(photo courtesy of LH)
        Deer on the run!
       (photo courtesy of GR)

More next week!

Friday, 12 June 2020


At the moment, not much outdoor work is being done by CROWS but indoors we have been busy -  discussing, planning and cutting timber. Here are some pictures of life in the depot - it's a markerpost afternoon!

1.5 m markerposts. Some ready for top
'shaping', some ready for painting.
Post on the 'operating table' ready for its
 top to be shaped ... but look at the wall
behind. All those jobsheets piling up ...
... and that's only half of them!

And it's into the 'paint shop' for the finishing touches.

All work is closely supervised. Although CROW
 is quite generous as regards quality control! 

Meanwhile in outdoor Calderdale, life gets on with what it does best: - sitting, growing and thinking about eating!

Kestrel. Startled fledgling
 in an old barn.

Deer in urban Halifax!
(photo courtesy of AC)


Cottongrass in Noah Dale

More next week - by which time it will definitely be summer!

Friday, 5 June 2020


Lockdown is gradually being eased but, with a social distancing of 2 m still in place, the type of jobs that CROWS can do is limited. We are, however, devising a strategy to let us work safely within the current guidance.

A small group of CROWS have been looking at equipment storage. Reasonably sharp minds have been sent into gibbering meltdown by trying to grapple with dimensions, materials, styles, quality, essential add-ons, extra add-ons and further add-ons - factors that all combine to generate an end-price that would make many a Yorkshireman (or woman) anxiously clutch their wallets!

Meanwhile, in The Upper Calder Valley, rural footpaths are being well used .... although the concepts of groups of 6, same household, 2 m, no litter and no cycling, seem, by some, to be dimly understood!

However, wildlife (and life not so wild) is flourishing. Here are a few photos:

"Nothing like a little snack!"
 Heron at Copley.  (Photo courtesy of WG)

"Now, am I a Llama or an Alpaca? It's a question I'm often
asked ... but no-one's ever told me the answer!"

"Just what I was going to say!"

More next week!

Sunday, 31 May 2020

NUTCLOUGH WOODS Balsam bashing on our bottoms

Unable to do our usual CROWS work, Ginny and Mo have been pulling up the Balsam in Nutclough Woods for several weeks now. It is easy to work at a distance from each other. We can walk to the site and  bring our own tools. Mo is determined to rid the Clough of Balsam, possibly the only such clough in the valley. We were joined by Rich on Saturday- all of us social distancing. The patch is more than big enough. We might even achieve our aims this season. CROWS website has a section on how to remove the Balsam.

 In the meantime the other jobs pile up.