Saturday 18 November 2023

TODMORDEN - Swineshead Clough and Doghouse Lane

 There were two Todmorden teams out today - a beautiful autumn day.

1) Ken and David were replacing a stile off Doghouse Road on Tod 107.

2) Catherine, Neil M and Kasher were clearing steps and sorting out drainage alongside Swineshead Clough (on Tod 209). This path goes steeply uphill from near Shade School to Lumbutts Road near Lower Swineshead Farm.

Today's work has been funded by Little Box Consulting Ltd. Many thanks.


Team 1) The initial survey suggested that the uprights on this stile, which is where a sunken track emerges into a field, needed replacing. However, as is often the case, once dismantling work was started, other defects appeared!

This stile was some distance from the road so both teams carried timbers and tools to the site before Ken and David were left with the task of digging out the rotten uprights and installing the new. 

This was not without its difficulties! The original stile was built on the footings of an old wall and much excavation of stone was needed before the uprights could be embedded to an acceptable depth. 

Additional work entailed renewing all the cross-rails, replacing one of the step legs, adding a new lower treadboard and stabilising the adjacent fence. The new stile mimics the style of the old stile and should be sheep and lamb proof.

The stile at the start of the day.
Not as stable as it looks!

Ken and David sorting out the cross-rails.

The end result. 

Team 2) Team 2 returned to Tod 09 which runs parallel to Swineshead Clough. We last visited this path in October 2022 when the steps were buried under overgrowth and the stream had escaped from its banks! The remedial work done then has lasted quite well so that today's clearing of  the steps and drainage routes was not such a marathon task. 

This is a beautiful route but, it has to be said, one which is easier to walk up than to walk down!

The steps at the start of the day.
These were totally clear 12 months ago!

Catherine sorting major and minor drainage issues.

Neil M clearing the last of the main steps.
Just look at the length of that flight!.

Resting half-way down the steps.

The cleared steps. That's it . . . 
. . . until next year!