Wednesday, 19 February 2020


Stephenson House

A team of Fred, Ray and Frank H continued with work on the public footpath leading down from Stephenson House by installing a short section of revetment and constructing a stile.

The revetment:

Not a 'Guess Whose Wellie?' competition but
a picture of the gap needing revetment.

Cutting the revetment so it will be a snug fit
to both the boardwalk and the existing revetment.

Anchoring 'stobs' being hammered in place.

Revetment being aligned.

The Stile.

The stile to be refurbished had steps and cross-rails that were sound but rotten side-uprights, missing side rails and badly strung fencing.

Frank H ... either getting down to it
or getting up from it!

Early stage of work:- holes for stile
uprights being prepared.

View of nearly completed stile
from down-slope side.
View of nearly completed stile
from up-slope side.

As well as the basic stile construction shown, we installed heavier duty fence posts on either side, added rails to one side, built-in a 'dog-gap', affixed waymark disks (including a 'no cycling' reminder for wayward mountain bikers!) and re-tensioned the stock fencing (shows best on picture above right).
There is a little more work to do here:- an additional side rail would be useful along with a minor amount of landscaping ... then it's construction of a suitable stream crossing on this delightful path which features in one of the 'Children's Walks from the Village'.

Today's work, to make this route safer and more accessible, was funded by Huddersfield University (Ted Hughes Walks), Mytholmroyd Walkers' Action and individual donations.

DRAINAGE Repair Work from Flood Damage -Gang 2

Dick, Richard, Nick and Paul worked on repairing drainage channels on two sites: Calderdale Way up from Shawcroft Hill Cottages and a Link Path from Old Laithe to Old Town Reservoir.

Alongside this we checked out the famous Dodd Naze steps and discovered that they had survived the flood waters intact!

This drainage channel was blocked by a quantity of stone debris causing the banks to flood and return the area to a boggy, waterlogged plain. The channel was dug out and strengthened.

The 4 photos below show the work completed on the link path from Old Laithe to Old Town Reservoir. This path becomes a river, from run off from the fields and common land above, when torrential rain / flood waters impact. Again, stone debris from the recent flood waters had severely blocked the channels causing a damming effect on the footpath. Work involved clearing the drainage channels and freeing up the excess water on the path.

 Further work to be done on this path in the future ... once it's dried out!

Both the Wadsworth jobs funded by a donation from the proceeds of the Wadsworth Camera Group calendar.

Monday, 17 February 2020


Bernard, Eleanor, Ginny, Graham, Lynda and Rich completed Friday's work on the path below Ryburn Valley High School.

Lynda and Eleanor waymarked the section of path to Dean Lane and cut back some brambles around the school playing fields. Still muddy, but at least the path is now clear. Needs more attention to brambles along the path edge to prevent future obstruction

Graham and Bernard completed moving the path.

A nice easy path to use
 Rich and Ginny cleared the rest of the steps and the setted path up to the school.

A mulch-covered path with brambles and ivy growing in it
Cleared all the way down and brambles cut back

Graham, Bernard , Eleanor and Lynda then went down to the riverside path in Ripponden to check flood damage and do some mud clearing and drainage.

Pretoria Bridge over the River Ryburn had flooded during Storm Ciara . It was covered in compacted mud and debris, probably from several storms.

Clear all the way across now and back to the original metal. For good measure, a stone was moved into position at the roadside end of the bridge and a drainage channel dug ( not shown here!) to try and prevent debris being driven onto the bridge.
 Funded by Tesco Bags for Help.


Billie, Stella and Ian worked on a drainage problem on the Ted Hughes trail between Sunny Bank and Lumb Falls.
This is where we were working
The existing drainage channel next to the path was severely blocked with vegetation and stones that have been washed down during storms. As a consequence, the water in the channel overtops and spreads out on the path making it wet, muddy and slippery.

At the top near Sunny Bank water was spread all over the path
We set to work at the top digging a new channel to redirect the flow and we built up the sides of the existing channel to prevent water flowing onto the path. 

Creating a small dam
Digging out a new section of channel

Water drained away from the path

Channel blocked with vegetation

Further down the path where the channel is hidden by vegetation, we dug out the sedge and deepened the channel, lowering the water below path level, to prevent seepage onto the path.

We had to be careful not to disturb the frogs

Before - digging out and raising the bank

Cleared section ...

... but there's still more to do another time

This work was funded by Huddersfield University Ted Hughes Yorkshire Trails project

Friday, 14 February 2020


Bernard, Ginny, Mo and Rich worked on a stretch of one of the Sowerby Walks around the Villages.

Bernard and Mo started by clearing a stile off Pinfold Lane which leads up to the path to Sowerby Castle, cleared a couple of weeks ago.
An unusual stile emerged:-  not clearly signed.

Rich and Ginny headed down to Brockwell (getting lost on the way!) and, later on, were joined by Bernard and Mo. We were working on the lower path on the map below.

Although the path is locally well used by people from the school and dog walkers, it is not waymarked and would be very difficult for anyone else to find. Several waymarks were put up along the route so others can now discover this delightful route.

The first job was to remove encroaching holly, laurel and tree saplings.

Path all clear

Another cleared section

Section of path scraped of mulch
A section of path with a bad slope on it (worse than it looks!).

Same section widened and levelled
There was a long section that was sloping and very slippery, so we decided to re-align the path so it followed its original route.

Work in progress

Stone steps at the end all cleared
The bad news is that we spotted Himalayan Balsam already seeding. We knew it was around on this path, but this is early to be seeding. We are contemplating putting up a notice, encouraging people to pull up the balsam as they walk by.

We haven't finished leveling the path. There are more steps to clear and some waymarking to do. We will be back on Monday .

Work funded by Sowerby Residents Association who were funded by Tesco Bags for Help.


Meanwhile Catherine and Frank S were at Shackleton on the path running down towards Hardcastle Crags. The stile where the path enters the woods had a broken top rail, and so we replaced it, added a grab rail, and cleared the steps in front.

We then cleared the stones that had fallen onto the path from the walls each side and uncovered some lovely old cobbles. Finally we painted a yellow top on the finger post at the other side of Shackleton and cleared the brambles and nettles from the gap stile in the wall.

This work is funded by Huddersfield University 'Discovering Ted Hughes Yorkshire' trails project.


Nigel and Ian installed six white-top way mark posts along the Ted Hughes trail between Midgley Moor, Churn Milk Joan, and Heights Road. Whilst we were putting in one of the posts, a group from Huddersfield University walked past following the Mytholmroyd Ted Hughes Trail and were very complimentary about all the work CROWS had been doing getting the trail ready for the launch of the trails in March.

Although we didn't encounter any rain until we had almost finished, strong winds made it difficult to hammer in the posts with the bar.  One post looks much like another so just a couple of photos of the new posts.

This work is funded by Huddersfield University 'Discovering Ted Hughes Yorkshire' trails project.