Restoring a Concessionary Footpath at Back Dane, Wincle – ECR Projects Team, November 2018

Back Dane is by the confluence of the River Dane with Clough Brook, just south of Burnt House Farm, Wincle. Wincle footpath 26 follows the rural river valley at a higher elevation.

Map view centred on OS SJ 9699.6629

Alan Catherall is the ECR Footpath Inspector in this parish and whilst there, has expended some of his time and enthusiasm in 2017 by negotiating with the very cooperative land-owner, Mr Francis Goodman, to allow an old Defra-created ‘Conservation Walk’ to be restored as a Concessionary Path.

A faded Defra notice attached to finger posts near each end of the concessionary path

The path, marked in red dashes on the OS map, descends to follow the river at this lovely, secluded location in the valley bottom. It forms a one km. diversion from the higher level PROW path FP 26 between Allmeadows and Bartomley Farm.

Alan sought the resources of ECR and its Projects Team to supply and install the signage for this path, and to clear the route of obstructive vegetation. On an autumnal day in November ’17 Alan and I spent a delightful time walking the proposed concessionary path and planned the locations of five way-marker posts defining the route, and restoration of two finger posts on FP 26 intersections.

Walking the Concessionary Path from the north end, we approached two hairpin bends on a rocky and grassy descending track to the River Dane……

The route follows the river down-stream…..

At the rivers’ confluence, the route climbs to join FP26……

We also walked the higher path FP26 to return to our start, and judged it needed selective vegetation clearance to keep its route clear.

Walking FP26 north to our starting intersection with the concessionary path……

The Tasks

On 6th December 2017, seven ECR Projects Team members arrived at Allmeadows to carry seven heavy posts, post-digging tools, and various tree and shrub clarance tools down to Back Dane and beyond. This day four waymarker posts and one finger post were installed.

Whilst posts were being installed, other team members cleared vegetation on the new path and much of the PROW path between the concessionary path intersections with it. I am sorry not to have photos to include of all our helpers listed, but we were working on parallel paths simultaneously.

Three members returned on the 12th December, installed one finger post and one waymarker post, and continued with clearance works on the concessionary path.

Upper PROW FP 26 work:-

Concessionary path waymarker posts erected and disks added:-

The workers (some of them)! Chris Munslow, Roger Fielding, Mike Collins. Waymarker post at south upper hairpin. (Track turns behind the photographer).

Three of us returned on 12th December to work in snow in minus two degrees Centigrade crisp cold air to finish the post erections and fix waymark disks.

We also cut away some fallen trees and removed gorse clumps.

These days proved very enjoyable and Alan was very satisfied with the result.

Going home – an ethereal view of Allgreave and Midgley Hills’ ridge

ECR Footpaths Project Team members who attended were Janet Allan*, Alan Catherall, Mike Collins, Roger Fielding, Chris Munslow, Gill* and Tom* North, and myself, Brian Richardson. We eight people contributed 12 person-visits providing in excess of 43 hours work excluding lunch breaks etc. * Sorry – no photos.