Wednesday, June 12, 2019


Team 1:

Bernard, Dick and Rich went up to Blake Dean to put in some revetment where the path had collapsed.

Unloading on the side of Widdop Road: luckily no traffic
The path was very narrow with a very steep slope below
Work in progress
 Behind the scenes Rich was scavenging bits of stone to fill in behind the revetment

After we finished- plenty wide enough
Richard J and Gerald worked on widening the path down to Hebble Hole, in Colden Clough

Bottom section nearly finished
Having widened the path, it is now possible to see where and how to put in several new and replacement steps on this route. We hope to complete these by the Summer Holidays.

Team 2:

Fred, Ray and Frank H went to 'The Hanging Gardens of Hangingroyd' for a penultimate session on a set of steps up a steep bank. It had rained heavily overnight so slippery surfaces were the order of the day!
This is where we started a week or so ago:

Picture 1: Steep banking that has old steps in it (look closely!)
but in need of something more substantial.
Today's work consisted of realigning the revetment installed last week (Frank H:- 'not quite happy with that!'), constructing steps, cutting back the banking, and adding further revetment - some for steps and some to prevent path-edge collapse. The following pictures show work in progress:

Same banking as in picture 1!

Fred and Ray in action!
Same as . . . but a bit less action!

Work still to do comprises:- about four more steps (for the slope in the picture above left); further path-edge revetment (donated by a neighbour - many thanks) and then a general tidy-up with some landscaping. All to be revealed next week!

And ... we've not had a parody for a while, so instead of the Eton Boating Song we have ...

 The CROWS Digging Song

Jolly digging weather,
With drizzle in the breeze,
Mud off the spade-end,
Drips off the trees ...
Dig, dig together
The mud is over our knees
Dig, dig together,
Our leader we have to please!

{with apologies to William Johnson, a master at Eton, who wrote the lyrics, and to Captain Algernon Drummond who, whilst serving with The Rifle Brigade in India, composed the music for the Eton Boating Song (1863)}

Monday, June 10, 2019


Bernard, Lynda, Heidi and Ginny returned to the Causey path on the Calderdale Way as it climbs from Cragg Road towards Sowerby.  It must be many years since the stones, which are in very good condition, saw the light of day.  They were buried under billberries next to the path which was in use.

It's a very satisfying job uncovering them after so long.

And a hard morning's work gave a very pleasing result.

looking up
looking down

Cutting back laurel near the start of the path exposed still more stones.

Work funded by CROWS

Friday, June 7, 2019


Several teams out today.

Nigel and Ian went up to Blackshawhead - eventually! - a lorry was stuck on Mytholm steeps so it took while to get there! At the aptly named "Back of Behind", we repaired a stile which had been found on the "There and Back" walk number 6 along footpath 51 (Blackshaw). It basically lacked a treadboard and was engulfed in nettles so needed rescuing and restoring with a few minor branches of a tree removed.

Is it vertical?

The finished product with a helpful stone step added on the lower side

We then moved down the slope and inserted a marker post which was duly adorned with a yellow top (no photo). Finally we continued to highlight a few other stiles with yellow tops in this rather confusing area of footpaths.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019


Another sunny Wednesday ideal for outdoor work in interesting corners of Calderdale.

Team 1: The Hanging Gardens of Hangingroyd

Frank H and Ray continued the task from last week. These pictures show the starting point for the day:

The proposed direction for the steps. Remains of old  steps
 just visible up a very steep slope which crumbles away to
the left. It's even steeper than it looks!

Top of last week's steps with approximate
'cut outs' for the next three steps.

The aim was to put in three steps and then negotiate the steep slope with a 'zig-zag' of two straight sections of steps. On a crumbling steep surface, revetment secured with long stobs was judged to be a possible solution. These pictures show how the day progressed:

Three steps added. 
Revetment in place ready for
a sequence of steps.

The next stage will be to insert steps between the revetments, add further revetment to 'zag' right towards the relatively level ground at the top of picture and then tidy-up and improve the landscaping!
Overall an absorbing day with much discussion on how to cope with the steep slope . . . . we expect more of the same next week!

Team 2 responded to a report of rotted steps on the path through Lee Mill Woods above the Bowling Club - yes, more steps!
Mo and Bernard replaced the three rotted steps - pics below. Gerald and Stella engaged in general path-fettling, cutting back brambles and re-packing with stone various gaps under the steps at the stream crossing which had been washed out by flood water (tho' no pics of these reconstructions).  This is a well-used path and several local dog-walkers passed us today.

This work has been funded by the National Trust.

....and rotting

Now reinstated....

...with pride!

Monday, June 3, 2019


A lovely job today - and in the sunshine.  Bernard, Lynda, Ginny and Heidi (joining us for the first time) worked on the Calderdale Way as it leaves Cragg Road in the Sowerby direction.  The ancient Causey path had completely disappeared in some places and was only just visible in others.

Sometimes disappearing under trees.

But after much scraping  and sawing we cleared a whole line to replace the path which had developed beside them.

But there's still plenty more for next week!

Bernard also erected a post to mark the turning which had been very easy to miss.

No funding as yet.