Thursday, April 18, 2019

Colden Paths

Richard, Graham, Fred and Paul.
A fallen tree blocking a gateway near Land Farm, Colden was sorted.
The team then moved to Rodmer Clough checking the state of the footbridge and sorting a couple of drainage problems.

Fallen Beech tree blocking path was removed.

Bridge checked and drainage problem solved.

Streamside path eroded, will need attention in future to prevent slipping into the water.

Calder Valley
West Yorkshire light today is as clear as Arles,
the hills are cobalt blue and
although it is cold in the wind
sun in the valley brings a smell of pines.

Glyn Hughes

Wednesday, April 17, 2019


Several small teams out today completing small jobs before the afternoon meetings.

Team 1: Frank H and Ray.

It was a steps and posts morning! Firstly, a section of last week's work to complete.

Work in progress: Step at Midgehole
with riser and stobs in place.
Nearly finished: nailing done, tread
in-filled and the approach graded.

Secondly, a waymark post to re-install.

Waymark post: seems OK
at first glance ... but ...

...  not in deeply enough! 60 cm is a recommended
minimum; 70 cm makes it really secure.

Solution? Dig the post out - easy to do as it was not packed-in particularly firmly! - and re-embed it.

Finished installation: deeper in the ground, T-piece
of timber (not visible) at the very bottom to act as
a 'deadman', in-fill rammed in very (very!) firmly,
and ... most importantly ... the post is vertical!

As a final task, a new waymark post was placed where a path crossed the 'Heptonstall bypass'. This was really difficult ground, but ...

Post in place: A shadow is cast. We could have made
 it into a complete sundial but the shadow was pointing
towards lunchtime!

It was a pleasant morning session working under the trees in the dappled sunlight.

"And see the peaceful trees extend
Their myriad leaves in leisured dance -
They bear the weight of sky and cloud
Upon the fountain of their veins."
{Kathleen Raine (1908-2003): Envoi}

It was encouraging to get thanks and positive comments, in passing, from locals and holiday visitors alike; several promised a donation towards our work in the Upper Calder Valley. Today's work in this area, however, was funded by National Trust (Hardcastle Crags).

Team 2:  Ian, Mo and Stella worked on trying to eradicate Himalayan Balsam  in Nutclough Woods. 

This is a good time of year for this job as the plants are only small seedlings and easy to lift. And if you are lucky you are accompanied, as we were, by sunshine and the sounds of running water and birdsong.

It is important  to remove only the Balsam seedlings and not other plants........

These are Himalayan Balsam seedlings....

...and these.

And this is a foxglove - to be left alone!

So is this.

Now you see the seedlings.... you don't

....and again, here they are....

....and now removed.

We cleared this slope in about an hour and a half.
We came away with three full carrier bags.  It's important not to put it on the compost or into landfill or watercourses as this will only help the Balsam to spread. Letting it dry out and then burning it could be an option.  And these celandines are what have grown back on a patch which was cleared previously.

It would be great if people walking in Nutclough would spend a few minutes carrying on this work, we will be back, but many hands.....
Work funded by CROWS.

TEAM 3 of Richard, Ken and Fred went up to Colden to remove a tree across the path to Land Farm. Work funded by CROWS.

TEAM 4 of Alastair and Gerald went up to Lower Limb in Cragg Vale to look at a waymarking problem reported by Calderdale Highways. There was no easy way of resolving the problems as there were several issues. We will report back to Highways. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019


CROWS were in attendance today at the Celebration to mark the repair and refurbishment of the historic bridge at Hebble Hole which was damaged by a falling tree last year.
A display of photo's and information about the project along with a timelapse video was on show at the New Delight Pub. The Bridge and Scaffolding contractor were present and were thanked on site by the Mayors of Heptonstall and Blackshaw Parish Councils.
Jan Gibson from Calderdale Highways pulled the whole project together with funding from the Council, Natural England (Pennine Way) Peak and Northern Footpaths Group.
The much loved bridge looks great once again, well done to all who have been involved including CROWS who have improved the Pennine Way and other paths leading the the bridge.
Speech Time

CROWS meet up with Jan

Morris Team perform by the river.

'Its a Wrap' Jan.

Friday, April 12, 2019


1 team out today, all of whom were tasked with waymarking the path over from Dukes Cut towards Blackshaw Head village which passes through a very boggy and ill-defined area near Moss Hall Slades. The team consisted of Mick, Ken, Eleanor, Lynda, Peter, Frank S and Nigel and all were charged with inserting numerous waymark posts and applying yellow painted tops. Some minor repairs to stiles were also carried out.

Needless to say it was imperative to choose a nice sunny day for working at such altitude and Mick had ordered just the right sort of weather, apart from a rather biting wind.

Ken just happened to have a pair of step ladders in his van which came in very handy to gain a bit of extra height, although balancing on the boggy rough ground was not easy.

Eleanor applying an artistic touch to the marker posts.

Work funded by Calderdale Council Highways

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


Four teams out today at 'Here and Back!', Gaddings, Midgehole and Widdop Road.

'Here and Back' is a publication by Geoff Boswell - 8 great walks between Todmorden and Hebden Bridge. The routes have been re-published in the form of 4 Dinky Maps - available from local Visitor Centres.

Team 1: 
Paul and Rich surveyed Walk 7 via Cross Stone, Great Rock, Blackshawhead and Heptonstall.
We put up 30 waymarks, did a lot of snipping of vegetation and identified ten jobs that need doing including several stiles that are on their last legs.