Friday 1 December 2023


 It was another beautiful day to be out working on the footpaths and bridleways in our area . . . . as long as you were on the right side of the hill! Always avoid the dark side, we say!

Mick and Gareth were working on Todmorden 144, between Clunter Clough and Rough Stones, in Bottomley. They were trying to control the water which is pouring out of the walls on the side of the track and turning the lane into a complete quagmire. Unfortunately, they were in the shade all day but still managed to install five sections of revetment.

Meanwhile, Catherine and Kasher were ticking off a number of smaller jobs - strangely these were all in the sun! We were adding staples to the treadboards of stiles near Higher Knowl and reinstating marker posts on the bridleway (Todmorden 098) which is also the start of the Todmorden Geology Trail. We also reinstated marker posts across the moor on Todmorden 079.

Today's work on Todmorden 144 was paid for by the residents of the adjacent house. All other works were funded by Little Box Consulting Ltd. Many thanks.

Gareth and Mick assessing the task on Tod 144.

Cutting the 'line' for the first of
five revetments.

The water coming through the wall
is now contained by the revetments.

Marker post at the start of the Geology Trail
being adjusted!

Catherine adding in staples to stile treadboards.

An upright post . . . but there are cattle about!

Wednesday 29 November 2023



Jerry, Nick and Paul were out today working on three different paths in the Old Town area. It was a frosty, cold, yet bright start on the moor edge above Chiserley where we dug out a clogged drainage channel that runs parallel to the footpath from Old Laithe to the Reservoir. We then went on to sort out drainage on the Calderdale Way path that comes up from Hillcroft Cottages to meet a four-way junction on Slack House Lane. After a lunch sitting on the low wall by Wainsgate chapel enjoying the warm sunshine, we moved on to cut back and clean up a narrow walled path that runs between Wainsgate Farm and the Hall.

The work was funded by donations from local residents from the CROWS collection box in Old Town Post Office / shop. Thank you.

Details: The first job entailed cutting out wads of grass and other plants from the drainage channel. Water running off the fields through the heather and onto this path is a perennial problem and ongoing maintenance to dirct the flow of water away from the footpath is essential.

Frosty drainage channel on the right.

Jerry getting stuck in!

Cleared channel.

The second job was more problematic as the path in question had been silted up by recent water ingress. This had raised the level of the path above the turn-by causing  an increased flow of water down the footpath resulting in some erosion. Jerry and Nick dug a new drainage channel to direct water into an already existing channel away from the footpath. Paul cut back a nearby hedge that was encroaching onto the path and cleared out a stone turn-by.

Silted up area.

New drainage channel dug out.

The third job entailed cutting back overhanging foliage and widening the footpath to imptove access.



Overall, it was an enjoyable day working in glorious sunshine to maintain three footpaths in the Old Town area.


On a beautiful, crisp Autumn day Jan and Kasher had two main tasks:

a) cutting back and strimming on Heptonstall 051 (Northwell Lane)

b) strimming to reinstate the correct line of Park Lane (Heptonstall 025), reinstating marker posts and checking on the small boardwalk which goes over the stream.

Today's work has been funded by Heptonstall Parish Council. Many thanks


a)    Northwell Lane, which leads from the centre of Heptonstall, is a well-walked track which is also part of the Calderdale Way. Although much of the vegetation is now dying back, the brambles are still present and threatening to cover the route. By cutting the brambles at this time and again early next year we may prevent the brambles from both sides meeting in the middle! This track gives lovely views into  the valley and across to the frosty fields beyond.

The stocks and waymarker now visible.

The view from the Calderdale Way.

The strimmed track.

Jan doing battle with the brambles.

b) Over the last few years, the line walked for Heptonstall 025 has moved. The route should go between the fence and the stream but the line has moved and people are walking on the wrong side of the stream and into the main section of the field. We have strimmed the correct line and have exposed the boardwalk. However, we will need to come back to replace this small boardwalk and also to reinstate the marker posts to clearly define this route,

The cleared boardwalk . . . which will need replacing!

The correct line of Heptonstall 025 which 
is hard to walk.

The cleared line of the path.


What a day to be a CROW! Blue sky and sunshine, frosty air, no wind.  And the  walkers were out as Angus and Stella worked on this marvellous old path.  It runs from Heptonstall Road up to Hell Hole Rocks, with great views up the valley.  It was once a substantial stone-paved road, but many of the stones have long gone and others are covered with vegetation.  An emerging problem is serious water-scouring after rain, which is starting to undermine the integrity of the path. So our task is to provide some routes for the water to flow off rather than down the path and today we made a start, digging out channels, and widening the path to the side of them to encourage walkers away from the scoured areas.  There is more to do and we'll be back.

Today's work was funded by Heptonstall Parish Council, thank you.

The path


The tools

A great section, widened and cleared of vegetation, 
so that walkers can avoid the new drainage channel
on the right hand side

A similar approach a little lower down, but no stones survive here.


Falling Royd: stile replacement.

On a stunning, cold, Autumn day Ray, Ian S and Frank H applied their combined expertise to re-build a stile on the right-of-way (Hebden Royd 019) that runs from near Falling Royd towards Broadbottom Farm. 

The stile is at the point where rough grazing gives way to a wooded hillside and the work was funded by friends and family of Tim Mihailovik. Many thanks.

The Detail

Although the temperature hovered around 0 degrees C, the combination of a windless day, sheltered location and Autumn sunshine made for ideal working conditions. We even shed a layer or two!

i) The start

The old stile

What's the problem? Mmm! Every step-leg and vertical timber (apart from the left-hand stile post) is rotten. The treadboards are wobbly and the top rail is not as horizontal as it looks!

ii) Work in progress

Old cross-rails removed and
stock fence being re-attached. 

New right-hand side-post being positioned.
Frank looking slightly anxious? . . . .

. . . No! He was just desperate for lunch . . . as was Ian!

New side post and two cross-rails in place.
Step legs undergoing final adjustments.
Is everything aligned properly? . . . 

 . . . Never in doubt! - although you need
eagle-eyes to spot that the bubble
 is exactly central.

iii) The end result.

A neat two-step stile. New left-hand post has diagonal
bracing and the stock fence has been re-attached and
re-tensioned. Yellow tubing covers barbs near the
new post. All rails are horizontal with lamb-proof
spacing and the step legs have been cross-braced
(bracing not visible in picture) for extra stability.

View from the rough grazing side towards
the stile and into the wood. The extra width
of the stile makes it easier to negotiate.