Friday, 9 April 2021


 The path from Heptonstall Road down to the lane that leads to Hebden Hey has been previously cleaned off and the drains cleared out to manage the water coming down the hillside.

Today a team of six (Ray, Stella, Ken, RJ, Fred and Rich) started to tackle the badly scoured path leading down from the lane to the Blue Pig.

The aim is to reduce erosion whilst making the route usable for horse riders, mountain bikers, runners  and walkers - quite a challenge! After consulting Jan Gibson at Calderdale Highways we have agreed a plan ... all we have to do is implement it!  

Problem 1

The drop from the road is difficult for both horses and walkers so we needed to put in three long steps.


Steps secured and filling-in started (one more step may be needed)

The steps will need further filling and leveling next week, but already they are looking good. Red tape and signage is in place as a hazard warning for descending bikers.

Problem 2 

The 24 inch step is not good for anyone so four wide steps have been put in (1 more to go) and will need filling-in. 

High steps removed and replaced with 4 wider but lower steps. Hazard tape installed until we can finish the work next week. One person working with 4 supervisors is an unusual CROWS practice!

Problem 3

Another high step, to be dealt with next week using the same treatment.

Problem 4

The fallen tree had been felled some time ago and then sawed up and the pieces being placed in the side channel. The result was that the water left the channel and got under the setts and ripped lots of them out. The aim of today was to remove the tree and begin to dig out the drain. Hopefully this will leave the remaining setts intact.

Tree removed and beginning of drain dug out.

The next stage is to dig out the drain to the bottom and then Calderdale Council will get contractors in to put in a stone turnby drain at the bottom to get water off the path. 

Work funded by Calderdale Council Highways and donations to CROWS, and helped by practical support from the landowner. 

Thanks to all the kind remarks from the many users who had to negotiate their way around our working and apologies to the two horse riders who had to turn back.

TODMORDEN: Daisy Bank Clough

 Daisy Bank Clough: the steps part 1

Once again we had a cool but sunny day in this secluded corner of the Upper Calder Valley. The task was for Mo and Frank H to start building steps upwards from the footbridge that CROWS installed last week.

This is how matters were originally:

Above left shows the state of the ground immediately after stepping off the southern end of the footbridge. Above right shows the continuation of the 'path' up towards the moor.

Some time later ...

The area just off the footbridge has been levelled, a side revetment installed and the surface stabilised.

Beyond, four steps are now in place to lead the walker in a sweeping curve up the banking.

Fitting the revetment was the tricky part of the work as sub-surface stonework of an old bridge limited the depth to which stobs could be driven. How CROWS got round this problem is a trade secret!

There are more steps to construct but these should be relatively straightforward and we hope the whole flight will be sturdy and aesthetically pleasing.

Meanwhile Mick C and Catherine C, as well as acting as aggregate sherpas (many thanks), continued preparatory work for steps beyond the northern end of the footbridge and sorted out a drainage problem.

This work was funded by donations to CROWS who would also like to thank the owners of Daisy Bank Barn for the help with parking, the loan of wheelbarrows and the supply of aggregate. Their very comfortable accommodation 'pods' should be completed by the end of May and offer an attractive holiday option for guests who wish to enjoy the peaceful seclusion of the South Pennines.

More step tales next week!

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

CHISERLEY: above Old Laithe

 Old Laithe: Revetment work

Paul, Ian S and Frank H continued the task of trying to improve the footpath and drainage on the right-of-way above Old Laithe.

Here is the original condition of the path.

This moorland path has been heavily eroded. 

The plan is to create a drainage channel down the left-hand side and improve the path (such as it is!) on the right-hand side.

Today's task was to add to the two sections of revetment that were installed in mid March.


Above: Start of the session - revetment rails being aligned then anchored with stobs.

The ground conditions were stony so driving pilot holes for stobs was difficult . . . . and energy sapping! 

Eventually however, we anchored each revetment section with 4 stobs and packed the rail, as needed, both on the path side and underneath. 

Meanwhile, further up the right-of -way, in a strenuous solo effort, Ian sorted out a troublesome section of the path that needed only a short length of revetment but an extensive amount of digging out and levelling.

By the end of what was a cold but pleasantly sunny day we were pleased to have made a difference! The path has been widened, its surface improved and its edge protected from collapse by a revetment which forms one side of a drainage channel for South Pennine downpours.

Today's work on this popular path was funded by Wadsworth Parish Council.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

RIPPONDEN - Gig Mill - Ryburn Dam

Lynda and Eleanor returned to finish cutting back the brambles and holly at the start of the path at the Ryburn Dam end. It was good to see the path that we had worked on the previous week .......



 .............. had substantially dried out. Bernard had the great idea of scattering some grass seed on the mud 'levee' to stabilise it . Next time we're passing we'll definitely do that.


Meanwhile there was some holly and brambles to tackle .......

All done for this year. It's a path that needs maintaining regularly to prevent it deteriorating.A small boardwalk will need replacing next year.

This work was kindly funded by a grant from Ripponden Parish Council

Monday, 5 April 2021

TODMORDEN: Daisy Bank Clough

 Daisy Bank Clough:

i) Preparatory work for steps.

At the start of the day the temperature was hovering around freezing but Mick and Frank H, engaged in energetic work in a sheltered location, soon warmed up and had to shed a layer or two!

Here's the situation:

This is the path leading up from the southern end of the footbridge that we constructed last week

The 'path' heads up towards a marker pole which is just visible at the top of the slope but the right-hand edge is in danger of collapsing down the steep banking into the Clough.

As the picture shows, the plan is to cut the path  back into the left-hand side of the banking and then install steps.

The cutting back has been done and the spoil used to consolidated the weaker right-hand side of the banking.
Approximate positions for risers and tread platforms have been fashioned.

Meanwhile at the northern end of the footbridge, Mick was similarly preparing the ground for a few steps that will lead up to a small stile.

Unfortunately no pictures are available of his strenuous efforts (sorry, Mick) but this is the peaceful view that he was able to admire for most of the day.

Step-builders from CROWS will finish these jobs in the next few weeks.

ii) Basic boardwalk

Towards the end of the session, we re-stablised a short 'boardwalk' across a boggy patch.

The basic timber for the boardwalk was already there so after levelling-up the bearers and planks, we drove home four stobs and secured all-round:- stobs nailed to planks and planks nailed to bearers.

It is now a safe, stable 'crossing' in what is a very marshy area!