Friday, 16 April 2021

TODMORDEN: Daisy Bank Clough

Daisy Bank Clough: The steps part 2 

What a delightful location! Full sun all day in a peaceful, sheltered setting for Graham L and Frank H to embark on some step building. We were joined for part of the morning by Mick in a sort of benign overseer role before he departed to seek out even more work in the remoter regions of Calderdale.

This is the stage we had reached last week.

The area immediately beyond the footbridge has been consolidated and four steps are in place to start the flight up the banking.

Partway through the day - six more steps have been added and some in-filling and consolidation of the tread areas has started.

The right-hand edge of the steps is softer ground so long stobs were used. 

The left-hand edge was much more stony so energetic work with the bar to make pilot holes and drive home the stobs, was needed.

Towards the end of the day - more steps have been added and all the tread areas filled-in. By next week the in-fill should have settled and will be topped up.

Three or four more steps and some edging work should compete this flight before attention can be turned to the steps needed at the other end of the footbridge.

Today's work was funded by donations to CROWS.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

MIDGLEY: Stile at Ferney Lee Farm

 Ferney Lee Farm

A fair, fine and increasingly sunny day for Paul and Frank H to reconstruct a stile on the right-of-way that passes through Ferney Lee.

Here's the situation shortly after work had started:

Original site of stile with step and cross-rails missing. 

Right-hand upright is completely rotten at the base so the stock fence and barbed wire lack tension!

Left-hand upright is out of alignment and doubling as a straining post. Unfortunately, it is unbraced so the stock fence and barbed wire are slack.

Some time and one brew of tea with biscuits later, we have:

View from down-slope side of stile:

Stile side-uprights are in place - one short (lhs) and one taller (rhs).

Straining posts for stock fence are in place. Left-hand straining post has diagonal brace. Right-hand straining post will have brace fitted once Paul has finished his lunch!

At the end of the session this was how the work had progressed:

Two-step stile with dog gap to lower right.

Both straining posts are now braced with diagonals. 
It is not possible to see in the picture, but on both sides of the fence, the long and short step legs are tethered together with a strip of 25 mm thickness rail. This adds significant strength to the whole structure but requires painstaking alignment.
Three of the cross-rails are nailed to the straining posts and to the side-uprights. This also improves structural stability.

This was a long day but Paul and Frank were pleased that the job met the criteria of being - safe, secure, functional, durable and aesthetically pleasing. The stock fence and barbed wire have yet to be tensioned and fixed but that will be done when CROWS tackle other jobs on this delightful path.

Today's work was funded by the landowner who also provided a second brew of tea with biscuits . . .  we will be back!

CALDERDALE WAY, Midgehole: Day 3

 Only five CROWS out today to build the bottom steps, infill all the steps and create the mountain bike bypasses.

Top steps all sorted and a clearer route for mountain bikers to use. 

A couple of bikers tried out the route -  OK!

The next set of steps were infilled and a biking route put in to avoid the steps

The gravel will eventually tone down

The bottom set of steps were built to replace a 24 inch drop

Not a good step for any kind of user!


New steps built

The completed steps, again with a bypass route for bikers

While we waited for the gravel to arrive, we made a start on widening the riverside path so that we can install wooden revetment at a later date.

Overall, three good days of hard work but very rewarding. Our aim was to reduce the water damage to this important path and make improvements so it caters for all users.

This work was funded by Calderdale Highways and donations to CROWS.

Three weary CROWS at the end of the day!

Monday, 12 April 2021



A very muddy job today for Mick, Ian and Mo. A causey path crosses a small stream that had spread out to create deep mud for the poor walker to navigate.


We set about creating a wooden channel for the water to run through. We slipped and slid but
(luckily!) nobody fell in! We then banked up the channel on either side with earth and stone to try to ensure that the path will stay clear whatever the water flow. 

The finished product looked good - well it will once all the mud on either side has dried out! However, we were all absolutely filthy so had to strip our outer clothes before driving home. 
One interesting event - whilst eating lunch, a ginger coloured bee with an impressive proboscis and long wings joined us. We had never seen one before. We are still investigating . . . and no we didn't take a picture. It was photo-shy and flew off just before Mo pressed the button!.

Work funded by Todmorden Town Council. 


Same crew as last Friday on another great sunny day.

 Roadside steps

Three installed, but we needed to put in one extra.

The new steps make a good lunch spot

End of the day - bottom step needs filling


The steps were 'top dressed' with MOT which should set rock hard. It looks a bit 'shouty' but it will dull with time and the Pennine weather.

Steep step

Extra step put in and all the steps were infilled and a couple of mountain bikers tested the steps bypass.

Small amount of work left to do on bike bypass

Broken stone step

One of the steps was missing and we discovered it in the undergrowth 

Something about rolling a stone uphill!

Step reinstated and secured - now waiting to be back-filled

The drain

The drain is now all dug out, we just need a good downpour to test it.

That was a lot of shovelling!

Calderdale Highways will connect the drain with a stone cross drain.

Day 3 will be next Wednesday when we hope to construct the lower steps and finish the infill. 

This work was funded by Calderdale Highways and donations to CROWS.