Monday, February 18, 2019


Ginny and Rich refurbished one of the Open Access boards by the car park.

Sanding it all down, putting in a new back board, removing the remains of the old doors and coating it all with wood preservative.

Not that informative!!

Ginny with the sander

Ready for the information

The refurbishment of five of these boards was funded by Community Foundation for Calderdale who is working in partnership with RES who operate Todmorden Wind Farm.

On the way home we spotted another board at Widdop Gate which we will add to the list.

The board at Widdop Gate lacking TLC we think

Bernard and Lynda worked on paths overlooking Baitings Dam and Ryburn Reservoir. They cleared an overgrowth of hawthorn and re-sited several waymarks that were in the wrong position.

Needs a good lop

Sorting a finger post

Friday, February 15, 2019


Teams out in two areas today.

Withens Reservoir

Rich and Alistair went up to refurbish the open access board just before the reservoir. The board, installed in 2000 was beginning to rot, the back-board had gone and the information was unreadable.

Looking very neglected
The back-board taken off
 The whole frame was sanded down, a new back board fitted and the fittings sprayed with WD40.

Then we gave it a coat of 'Sikkens' to seal the timber.

The end product ready for information.
The new information panels are being produced (each one with an individual Haiku) and should be ready to install in early March.

The refurbishment of five of these boards was funded by Community Foundation for Calderdale who is working in partnership with RES who operate Todmorden Wind Farm.

Belatedly we came across a photo of the board being installed in 2000

Must have been moved since then

Hardcastle Crags: the path from Hebden Water to Walshaw.

On a day far too mild and sunny for a South Pennine February, the working group split into 'bottom of the path' and 'top of the path' teams. The two teams at the bottom (Frank H working with Gerald and, in close proximity, Lynda working with Nigel) concentrated on path widening, installing marker posts and constructing steps.

Lynda making the path wider, level and safer.

Marker post to guide walkers directly towards . . . Gerald! . . . (and eventually Walshaw!)

Gerald making a pilot hole (in very rocky ground!) for the stob.

Nigel adding some back-fill before the stobs are driven fully in.

Just before lunch: three first-rate steps in place
with just a couple of stobs needing trimming.

After lunch Frank H and Gerald added to their steps shown above.
There is more to do here:- the section of path just below this point is particularly tricky and may require some technical ingenuity!

Meanwhile further up the path towards Walshaw, Eleanor, Ginny and Ian were also constructing steps.

As well as re-setting and painting a marker post at the top.

And then a more rustic version on the bend to encourage people to head in the right direction.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


After unloading and sorting a consignment of timber delivered to the depot by CALVAG, the volunteers split into three teams.

Team 1.

Fred and Graham worked in Callis Wood on sections of the Pennine Way and Pennine Bridleway.
Rescuing  and retrofitting PW signposts:-  one was hung up in a tree!

Wonky Pennine Bridleway sign.
Fred use his 'Green Woodworking' skills to re-peg the sign.

We carried out a similar refurbishment lower down the hill at Callis Bridge.
Work funded by CROWS

Team 2.

Ray and Frank H went up, above Hebden Bridge, to the almost sunny pastures of Old Chamber.

'A stile is an arrangement of steps that allows people but not animals to climb over a fence or wall'.

The OED definition sounds so simple! Here was the problem:-

A dry-stone wall incorporated stone steps with a spacing that allowed even the dimmest of sheep an opportunity to escape into pastures new! In consequence, a wooden stile with some guard rails had been built, partly into the wall, to make the wall-crossing stockproof. This stile was in a state of disrepair and needed replacing.

The following picture shows the stile just after reconstruction work had begun.

Ruined single-step stile with rotten stile uprights and rotten step legs.

The stile really needed to be a two-step stile, although ground conditions imposed a constraint on where uprights and legs could go. However . . . 

Holes already dug for the shorter upright and one set of step legs.
Frank H now working on a 900 mm hole for the longer upright . . .
. . .  or is he just having a rest?

Both uprights and one set of step legs firmly (very!) in place.

Second set of step legs in place. It's a pity the bubble
 in the spirit level is not visible:- you'd be impressed!

Cross-rails and side rails had to be added; the latter needing to be 'tied' into the wall. For these we recycled serviceable sections of timber from the old stile.

Finished stile. Don't be fooled by the background:- all vertical timbers are exactly vertical
 and all horizontal timbers are exactly horizontal . . . and the spirit level was checked before use!

This was an excellent day in mild, nearly-sunny conditions on the 250 m contour. Thanks to Ray and his Landrover, we were able to drive to within 5 m of the job! . . . which makes a massive change from our usual 'long carry'. 

This work was funded, in part, by a donation from the Hebden Bridge 2018 Beer Festival.


Team 3 and feeling like early Spring at last.

Kate, Stella, Dick, Gerald and Stuart improved a narrow, subsiding path running SW from Burlees Lane.  Kate and Stella put in three steps to improve the access from Burlees Lane, Dick and Stuart widened the path in places and supported the crumbling edge with 3 lengths of revetment, Gerald widened lower sections and pruned back the oak, hawthorn and holly which were making passage difficult.
A scramble to get on or off the path.... remedied

Narrow and tight... wider, flat and firm underfoot

More revetment in progress...


....and the finished job...

......much easier to walk

Clearing holly which had almost blocked the path.....

....and had made climbing this stile a prickly ordeal

Monday, February 11, 2019


No photos today as the camera malfunctioned, but at least the weather was better!

Mick, Bernard and Ginny worked on completing the stiles and painting the waymark posts on the job that was rained off on Friday - the path from Harley Wood Farm down to Hippins Clough.

We then reset and painted the posts on the bridleway across Inchfield moor.  Bernard reset them, Ginny painted them and the cows tested them (and may now be blue).

Meanwhile Mick reset 2 finger posts further up the track on Tod 116 and 117.