Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Widdop,Charlestown and Hardcastle Crags

Three small teams out today 

Richard J, Stella and Dick repaired a stile, fixed some marker posts near The Ridge at Widdop.

Bernard and Gerald explored the hillside above Charlestown surveying and measuring areas for future step construction.

Frank H, Fred and Graham continued with step construction on the Slurring Rock route in Hardcastle Crags.
The task on the steep hillside is quite demanding in that we are trying to produce a walkable line that is both safe and stable. Compacted tree roots, boulders and rocky subsoil limit where step stobs can be placed  . . . which adds to the fun . . . or intellectual challenge as Frank calls it!
However the path is looking good so far,

" 'cause we've got,
 Rocks and trees and
      Trees and Roots . . . !" 
 (The Arrogant Worms 1999)

Fixing the treadboards.

Fred with the spirit level.

Two steps  in place, prior to landscaping.

The next flight.

Nearly finished.

Flight of six neatly in place.

Friday, February 16, 2018


Three teams at work today.

Ian and Nigel finished the steps to the rear of St Michael's Church at Vale, a job started two weeks ago.

The job as it had been left previously, two more steps needed at the bottom and some risers required straightening near the top of the flight

Looking down the steps

Additional steps at the bottom 

For the steps near the top in all but one case the stobs were rotten but the timber risers were re-usable. They just required re-setting as they were leaning over at an angle

Frank S and Bernard rebuilt a stile just above where the other two were working

Frank S showing some disgust at the state of the existing stile. The uprights were somewhat precarious

Mick giving his instructions for the job

Bernard standing proud at the finished stile

Looking back towards St Michael's

Two final photos of finished job with added waymark sign

See second Friday blog for third teams activities!


Gerald and Linda + Mick and Ginny were working on the hillside to improve drainage on the Cornholme history trail.  There were 2 places where the water needed redirecting into its original channel.

Because flow had become choked by reeds

Mick getting down and dirty!

Now channels much improved

But where does it go next?


Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Two gangs out today

Paul and Frank H continued with step building on the Slurring Rock path in Hardcastle Crags.

'Hyvin suuniteltu on puoliksi tehty.' (Finnish Proverb: see later for translation)
The day was partly one of logistics. Risers, stobs, tool bag, bar, spade, first aid bag, personal kit all to be carried up the 'nearly thawed out' muddy slush to get onto the new Slurring Rock linking path . . . . . . and only the two of us! A set of steps to build to negotiate a slippery slope.
Here's the problem:
Muddy slope before steps installed
The day went like this. Carry half the timber to the worksite. Build some steps in sleety rain. Go back to the car (whimps or what!) and eat lunch as the worst of the sleet lashed down. Carry the rest of the materials to the worksite. Complete the steps in more sleety rain and survey step requirements for the  next section. Get very wet and even more muddy! Carry the tools etc back to the car. The steps? They look like this:

Steps now in place
 A neat job! . . . and the proverb? It roughly translates as:
'Being well-prepared is half the job done.'

Meanwhile, Bernard, Dave, Fred, Gerald, Graham and Stella worked in the woods below  Horsehold hamlet sorting out path problems and drainage.

"It wer a bit Parky stud i Watter:- us mits wor Frozin." (Yorkshire Proverb?: see later for translation)

Dropping down into Callis Wood.

A fallen tree had blocked the side-stream higher up the slope causing
flooding of the path in several places.

Flooded and icy.

Some of the team clearing the stream.

Further down the slope.

Stella sorting the Stepping Stones.

Path partly formed with Causey stones, visible after clearing.

Lots of accumulated mulch removed revealing
a rocky surface underneath.

Path more User Friendly.
And the Yorkshire 'Proverb!' . . . roughly translates as:
'Today was a cryogenic experience. After prolonged immersion in water, our hands got rather cold!'

Friday, February 9, 2018



Two work parties out today.

Ken and Nigel worked on rebuilding steps on a path leading off  Workhouse Lane towards Lower Han Royd at Midgley. The steps looked as though they had not had any attention for many years and were quite dangerous-particularly for the descent. The task was to cut back vegetation and reveal and stabilise as many of the stone treads as possible and to insert some timber risers further up the slope.

The rather chaotic and dangerous path before we started work
Another view before we began

New steps and timber risers inserted up near the gate

Looking down from the gate after we finished

The finished job with better and more stable stone steps near the bottom

The "after" photos were taken into the sun-proves we were lucky with the weather for a change! Some waymaking signs in the area completed work for the day.


 Linda, Frank S, Bernard and Ginny worked clearing mulch off the path from Heptonstall road up to the rocks.

And there was plenty of mud to move!

But underneath there were some good sets.

Richard and Gerald dealt with a couple of minor drainage problems and then went off to the path from Lumb Bank Road to five Ways. Lots of mulch on the path.

Good surface but lots of mulch on this section of the Pennine Way Loop
No after picture as we had to abandon job because of Rich having a back probem


   We were joined by Gerald as Richard, who he had been working with, had to retire with a bad back.  We did more mulch clearing on the recently improved path to Pecket Well monument.

The steps were revealed and the path improved.