Friday, 14 January 2022


 Walsden: Ramsden Lane

It was a fine but cloudy day in a sheltered location for Catherine and Frank H to carry out some investigative work on a 20 year old set of steps.

Work just starting:

The steps rise steeply from Ramsden Lane to reach the path that leads to Ramsden Wood.
Time has taken its toll. Some risers are rotten and others have sagged forwards causing their tread areas to collapse.
Today's plan was to replace the worst of the risers (mainly in the middle section) but with improved spacing and to re-bed the tread area.
It was a very slow, muddy process within a constricted and wet working area.

End of the session

The old steps and all the path higher up (out of picture) have been cleared of debris and leaf mulch.
Three new steps have been constructed to take the place of two old steps. This allowed improvement to the spacing and footfall area of the steps.

In the next session we hope to adjust similarly the lower steps before tackling the top section which is a mish-mash of risers, revetment and stobs!

TODMORDEN: (Langfield Common)

Fred G, Kasher C and Rich J added a new post , moved a finger post to a cow free area and stabilised a post on the walking route to Gaddings, They then repaired a bridge at New Mill Dam.


Blackshaw Head

On a beautiful January day Ken & Kasher replaced a gate on Calderdale Way in Blackshaw Head between the Chapel & Hippins. The new gate was made in CROWS workshop. Thanks to the householder who kindly supplied coffee.

Old gate being removed

New gate  

We investigated three other stiles in the area all of which may need work doing on them in the very near future.

We then moved on to Mankinholes where we had hoped to repair a stile. The short leg and treadboard of this well-used stile were replaced. This stile will need to be revisited as soon as practicable as the side uprights also need to be replaced.

Stile treadboard damaged

Stile treadboard replaced

Wednesday, 12 January 2022


Dark Lane:

Dark Lane, starting from near the bottom of Midgley Road, runs high above Foster Clough to reach Stoney Lane which rises up to Height Road. Ray and Ian S tackled two repair tasks.

Task 1: Dog gate.

The dog gate adjacent to a stile had been damaged. Missing parts were replaced and a new 'lift rail' with grab cord was installed.

The perspective here is deceptive - the gap is much bigger than it appears to be . . . 

. . . and here's the proof!

(N.B. No Lakeland Terrier- Collie mix-breeds were harmed during this photoshoot!)

Task 2: Gate repair

These scraps of timber are the remnants of a gate! 

Ian S is measuring up the gateway width for a gate re-build.

That's the gateway . . . but can the gate be re-created . . . ?

. . . Never in doubt! Gate fitted with closure loop.

Then it was up to Midgley for a survey of some jobs in the Chapel Lane area . . . more of which in the next week or so!

Today's work was funded by local donations to CROWS. Many thanks.

CRAGG VALE - Will Clough

Frank S, Frank H, and Jan L (new volunteer on first session) were working on the path that goes along the North bank of Will Clough up towards New Road. This right-of-way climbs some precarious concrete steps and then follows the crumbling edge of the ravine. 

The main task

This was to install a revetment where the path was collapsing down the steep banking into the stream. 

Start of the session:

Here's where the path was . . . might have been . . . should have been!

A start has been made (or will be once Frank H has stopped leaning on his spade!) on cutting back encroaching vegetation. 

Work in progress:

The path is being widened and levelled in preparation for the revetment.

Good technique and effort from Jan our new volunteer who is on his first session.

End of the session

Three sections of revetment rail have been used and carefully cut to fit neatly at the joining points. A mixture of standard (600 mm) and long (900 mm) stobs have been driven into the ground to anchor the rails.

Minor adjustments to the levelling of the path have been made and the downslope edge has been landscaped

Other tasks:

1. Just beyond the far end of the revetment, the path edge is also tending to slip down the bank, but we managed to widen it by cutting back the heather and honeysuckle, so that revetment would not be necessary. Further work may be needed on this section - a job, perhaps, for next week.

2. Further up the hill several fallen trees or drooping branches were obstructing the path. Here's an example -

Energetic work by Frank S with bow-saw and loppers cleared the the blockage and provided enough brash for habitat piles.

Overall, this was a very satisfying day. Our new volunteer fitted seamlessly into the CROWS work system (good effort, Jan. Thank you) and we were pleased with the high quality end result. An almost impassable section of path is gradually being brought back into use.

Weather conditions permitting, we'll be back next week to continue with these improvements.

Today's work was funded by the Luddenden Foot Ward Forum.