Induction

Description of different kinds of work
How you learn
Policies and procedures

BACKGROUND TO CROWS
Website and blog
Constitution
How we fit in with Countryside service and RoW
Basic RoW law
Local groups we work with

DESCRIPTION OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF WORK

Cutting back
The purpose is to remove vegetation which obstructs or may potentially obstruct route in next two years:

Soft such as grass bracken nettles and balsam use slashers and hand shears
Medium soft such as heather brambles use shears and loppers ( or strimmer)
Medium hard eg shrubs and small over hanging branches use loppers and pruning saws
Hard e.g. think overhanging branches use tree or bow saw

Safety

Slashers – only use tight gloves 9loose gloves can come off when you swing

Work away from other people not towards them
Occasionally change hand/action to not overuse the same tendons/muscles etc
Learn how to use tools effectively
Saws – handle and carry carefully – common accident is saw cuts
When cutting branches think about where it will fall in relationship to yourself and other people

Drainage

The purpose is to remove water and mud from the route and where possible identity and deal with source of the problem.

Safety

Never work in water over one foot depth
When using mattocks or azads be aware of others when swinging
Learn how to use tools effectively
Be aware of mud flying eg into eyes

Construction

The purpose – to overcome obstacles on the route e.g. by installing steps, revetments to prevent erosion, boardwalks and bridges to cross wet areas or streams, gates and stiles to traverse boundaries.

Safety

Pace yourself and get into a good position when using bar and mell – tiredness and awkwardness means more likely to injure yourself
Learn how to use tools effectively

General

Always work with someone near water or on steep slopes
Be aware of other people when carrying equipment. Especially if carrying on shoulder don’t turn round
Watch out for other people about to do something unsafe or who may be unaware of a danger
Always assume lifting something should be done by two people unless it is something that you feel is well within your capability even then always lift from the knees not your back

Way marking

The purpose is to prevent users of the route from getting lost.

Different way marks

Where to use
Getting the direction right
Installing posts and using existing places

HOW YOU LEARN

On the job
buddy

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Health and safety
First aid
Meetings
Complaints

Health and safety policy

Health and safety policy for CROWS

1.      Statement of general policy
2.      Organisation
3.      Arrangements
4.      Review

1.    Statement of general policy

CROWS will take all reasonable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all volunteers at work.

CROWS will also take responsibility for the health and safety of Rights of Way users when working on a site.

CROWS will adhere to the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and other relevant health and safety legislation and codes of practice.

To achieve those objectives it has appointed designated member(s) to be responsible for health and safety; to keep health, safety procedures under constant review; to liaise with the Health and Safety Executive or local authority, as applicable, where necessary; and to keep the organisation abreast of new legislation, EU directives, Regulations and British Standards, in order to ensure ongoing compliance with the law.

CROWS will:

·         establish, maintain and regularly review safety systems and risk assessments

·         make regular risk assessments available to members

·         take appropriate preventative / protective measures

·         provide adequate and competent supervision of all activities involving risk

·         ensure that appropriate training in health and safety is delivered

·         establish and maintain systems for consulting about health and safety issues

·         take health and safety considerations into account when planning developments in the service, purchasing equipment

·         maintain records of accidents and other events with health and safety implications and review and monitor these records to establish what remedial action, if any, should be taken

·         undertake reviews of the policy annually.

Adopted at General members meeting  Dated 4th October 2013

Signed:                               Role : Chair

2.    Organisation

 Volunteers

Area co-ordinators and work party leaders

Health and safety co-ordinators

General members meetings

Volunteers

All volunteers will ensure that:

·         they are fully conversant with this safety policy

·         they comply with this policy

·         they take care of themselves and others who may be affected by their acts or omissions

·         they report all accidents, near misses and dangerous occurrences immediately to their work party leader

·         they should not go out on site alone and undertake work alone.

·         they are fully conversant with all fire procedures applicable to the area in which they are working

·         if they identify any condition which in their opinion is hazardous, they report the situation to the work party leader.

 Health and safety co-ordinators

CROWS shall appoint two health and safety co-ordinators to assist in undertaking the measures required to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed by the relevant statutory provisions.

They will be provided with appropriate training to enable them to properly assist in this work.  Areas of work can include:.

·         Risk assessments.

·         Monitoring and review of policy and procedures..

·         Receiving reports of any accidents that occur in the bureau and identifying remedial action if necessary.

·         Induction and ongoing training.

The co-ordinators will present an annual report on health and safety performance to a general meeting.

The following have been designated Health and Safety co-ordinators

Peter Clarke            Mick Chatham

Work party leaders

Work party leaders are responsible for the effective implementation of procedures and systems including monitoring, prevention of hazards and taking remedial action in their area of responsibility.

They will ensure that everyone is informed about safety issues.

General meeting of CROW membership

General meetings of members has overall responsibility for health and safety, and for ensuring that CROWS fulfils its legal responsibilities, that policy objectives are achieved and that effective machinery is in place for the achievement of policies concerned with health & safety. Members meetings are also responsible for ensuring that procedures and systems are agreed and implemented. To these ends they will ensure the allocation of the resources necessary to maintain sound and efficient health and safety arrangements.

Members meetings will ensure that health and safety policy and all associated procedures are brought to the attention of all voluntary staff.

3.    Arrangements

Risk assessments

CROWS will ensure that all activities subject to risk assessment are assessed in accordance with the relevant legislation. Assessments will be made for each project being carried out or whenever any of the following factors occur:

·         Any relevant risks on site will be communicated to volunteers by the work party leader
·         change in legislation
·         significant change in work carried out
·         original assessment is no longer valid
·         accident and / or incident occurs

Assessments will be recorded and records maintained by the appropriate person.

 

Reporting and investigating of accidents and dangerous occurrences

·         All accidents, dangerous occurrences and near misses will be reported immediately as soon as possible after the event to the work party leader.
·         The work party leader will report all accidents, dangerous occurrences and near misses to one of the Health & Safety co-ordinators
·         All accidents, dangerous occurrences and near misses will be investigated before the next working party.

First aiders

·         Two First aiders have been appointed in accordance with the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981. Ginny Feeney, Richard Jackson
·         The first aiders will be responsible for taking prompt action following any accident.
·         All accidents, no matter how minor, will be reported on the agreed accident report form.

Training

To comply with the general duty to provide such information, instruction, training and supervision as are necessary to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of volunteers, health and safety training will be provided as follows:

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Repeat training will be provided at regular intervals.

Training will include:

Individual responsibility to look after one self and to watch out for others
Lifting/manual handling
Using drainage tools
Using cutting back tools
Working in or near water
Working on or near steep slopes
Using cutting and drilling tools (including COSHH)
Using fencing tools
Resolution of health and safety problems

Any CROW member with a health and safety concern must first inform the work party leader. If the problem is not corrected in a reasonable time, or it is decided that no action is required but the member is not satisfied with the outcome, they may then refer the matter to one of the health and safety co-ordinators who may make representations to the work party leader concerned. This must be in writing.

If the member is still dissatisfied, the matter can be entered on the agenda for the next general members meeting.

4. Review

This policy will be reviewed annually.

Date of next review           4th October 2014

Constitution

CONSTITUTION FOR COMMUNITY RIGHTS OF WAY SERVICES (CROWS)

Objectives

The objectives of the group shall be:-

  • to maintain and repair the Rights of Way and permissive path network in the Calderdale area.
  • to report to the Local Authority on the condition of the Rights of Way network.
  • Powers

    In furtherance of the objectives, the Group shall have the power to do all such lawful things as are necessary, and to work with like minded organisations for the attainment of the said objectives

    Membership

  • Membership shall be open to all volunteers who work for the group,  in any capacity, plus anyone else the group decides is appropriate·
  • Once new volunteers have completed their induction and done an agreed number of work sessions, they can apply for membership. Any decision is made at quarterly members meetings and will purely be based on members’ experience of the person’s commitment and competence.
  • A member shall cease to be a member if:-

    i)      they die

    ii)      they resign

    iii)     they are expelled from membership in accordance with rule (see below).

  • The Group shall have the right to expel any member who is in breach of agreed rules enacted by the Work scheduling Group. This may include, breach of safety rules, bringing the group into disrepute, abusing other members, unannounced absence for 3 months.  The member has the right to put their case to the whole group, to be informed of the reason/s for expulsion.

    Annual General meeting

    An Annual General Meeting shall be held at least once in each calendar year in April/May to consider the following business:-

  • The report of the activities for the previous year.
  • The annual accounts.
  • The appointment of auditors (e.g. group member(s) who must not be Work scheduling Group members).
  • The election of officers of the Work scheduling Group.

    All members should be given one month’s clear notice of the AGM.

    The quorum for an AGM is 8 people including two from the work scheduling group. If a quorum is not present for an AGM, then the meeting will be adjourned for a period not exceeding seven days at which reconstituted meeting the quorum will be five members.

    Members Meetings

  • Members’ Meetings will be held quarterly (on an agreed cycle) or called by the Secretary or five members of the Work scheduling Group in writing. The business will include a report from the treasurer and the work scheduling group.
  •  The Secretary will be responsible for informing members of the date, time and place of General Meetings, together with an indication of the issues to be discussed, by giving at least ten days’ notice.
  • Each member has one vote and all decisions are to be carried by a simple majority of those present and voting. Except that amendments to the constitution and dissolution of the Work scheduling Group require a two thirds majority of those present and voting.  Proxy votes are not allowed.
  • Where possible, decisions shall be taken by consensus.  By consensus is meant a situation where all members present are in agreement on an issue, or where those not in agreement agree not to maintain an objection. In the event of consensus not being possible, the Chair will either defer the issue to the next subsequent General Meeting, or will put it to the vote. The chair will have a casting vote.
  • Meetings will be recorded by a decision and Action list

The quorum for Members’ Meetings is six members including two from the work scheduling group.

Work scheduling group

The main role of the work scheduling group is to agree monthly schedules for work. It may also decide to purchase tools etc. Further roles of the work scheduling group may emerge in the first year and these can be added to the role by agreement with the general meeting.

The work scheduling group will be elected at each AGM as follows:

Area co-ordinators for Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Luddenden, Ryburne (other area co-ordinators can be created when required)

The meetings may also be attended by

Chair

Secretary

Minutes secretary

Treasurer

Meetings will be recorded by a decision and Action list

Bank account

Community Rights of Way Services will bank with Yorkshire Bank, Todmorden

Finance

  • A report on current finances will be presented at quarterly group meetings and the AGM.
  • All expenditure above £150 requires prior approval by at least three members including the treasurer, but where circumstances arise, expenditure below £150 can be authorised by one officer. Four members will be approved signatories and any two of the signatories must sign cheques on behalf of Community Rights of Way Services.
  • Community Rights of Way Services may not be overdrawn and no expenditure may be authorised, incurred or reimbursed when there are insufficient funds to cover the expenditure.

Application of Surplus

Periodically, on presentation of accounts, the work scheduling group may recommend that a sum of money is allocated so that volunteers are paid an amount to reimburse some of the expenses they have incurred. The individual amounts are to be based on the number of work days completed in the previous six months. .

Dissolution

In the event of the dissolution of the group, any remaining assets and money shall be distributed to other local organisations having similar objectives to the Group

Adopted at inaugural meeting August 30th 2013

Officers elected for 20013-14:

Chair – Peter Clarke

Secretary – Fred Goonoo

Minutes secretary – Eleanor Green (also Trish Brennan)

Treasurer – Richard Peters

Area co-ordinator for Todmorden – Richard Jackson (also Mick Chatham)

Area co-ordinator for Hebden Bridge – Ginny Feeney (also Richard Peters)

Area co-ordinator for Mytholmroyd   – Barbara Green (also Ruth Wilson)

Area co-ordinator for Luddenden – Fred Goonoo

Area co-ordinator for Ryburne – Graham Ramsden (also Lynda Porter)

.

Signed ……………………………………………………………………Chair  Date 31/08/2013

News 2013

Tools grant
In November, Calderdale Community Foundation kindly gave us a grant to complete the purchase of all the necessary tools we need to continue.

In our first year of activity (2013-14) we spent 522 person days working on the Rights of Way Network – ten days a week, but still plenty to do!

Work completed from September – December 2013:
Path improvement in Redacre Wood for Mytholmroyd Walkers Action
For Pennine Horizons e-Trails:

  • Creation of a new path at Foster Mill dams in Hebden Bridge
  • Renovation of a 6km walk around Ripponden, Mill Bank and Soyland
  • Renovation of the path down Cragg Brook
  • Renovation of the link path through Lee wood Hebden bridge
  • Creation of new path from sandy gate to Birchcliffe Road, Hebden Bridge

In addition, a number of smaller cutting back and drainage jobs have been done in the Upper valley

News 2014

December update
Just finished doing all the paths on the East valley side of Cragg Vale. Thanks to our funders Calderdale Long Distance Walkers association, Thomson Reuters and Cragg Vale Community Association.
Other major bits of work over the summer included clearing a causey path at Blackshawhead, repairing the riverside path in Hardcastle Crags, several jobs at Old Town, Todmorden and Mytholmroyd.
June update
The stairway to Old Town is now nearly finished, we are just waiting for the final few donations to come in.
Just starting some work on paths in Hardcastle Crags for the National Trust and some sections of the Hebden route used by Calderdale Long Distance Walkers Association.
May update
We have several promises of sponsorship for the stairway to Old town, so we will make a start next week.
Below is a piece in the Hebden Bridge Times about the project

hbtimes_080514

The 901 work is nearly complete. We are now completing the costing up of a number of new jobs including the Stairway to Old Town.
The Ramblers have given CROWS a very generous £100 donation which we may put some towards the Old town project.
A meeting between CROWS and Calderdale Council Rights of Way Dept is being set up to work out how we can work together.
April update
We are currently working on a number of routes for Hebden Bridge Walkers Action. They are launching a series of walks from the 901 bus (Hebden Bridge to Huddersfield).
We are also taking a bit of a break from work parties to conduct a number of surveys of routes to cost up the repairs that are needed.
Trades benefit
The CROWS benefit at the Trades club on Friday March 21st  raise over £600. Many thanks to the  Owterzeds, Grannys Attic, raffle prize donors and the Trades Club

Current work

  • Path renovation between Todmorden and Cornholme, partly along the Calderdale Way

Work planned for later in 2014 includes:

  • New path route behind the Hinchcliffe, Cragg Vale
  • Drainage work on path above Lumb falls
  • Path renovation for Hebden Bridge Walkers Action bus walks

News 2015

November/December update
Work on the path to Smeekin Pike was completed before Remembrance Sunday, the path from Kitling Bridge still needs more work, but we are waiting on further funding.
The work on the Luddenden and Midgley e-trail has also been completed, but we identified many other problems in that area.
We have all but finished the work on the CLDWA Hebden route and completed the last few bits of or work on the Tod Centenary Way and Tod bus walks.
Having secured funding to waymark and survey the Calderdale Way, we have a plan in place to complete this in the new year.
Thanks to a great fundraising effort from a group in Cornholme, we plan to to some upgrades to paths in the area in the New Year.

cornholme_fundraiser September/October update

Two work parties each week means we managed to get a lot done. The Tod Centenary way is all but complete, Calderdale Long distance Walkers Hebden route is well on its way and we have made a start on the Luddenden and Midgley e-trail.
In between we have done work for Mytholmroyd Walkers Action and completed some work in Ripponden valley.
We have agreement with Erringden Parish Council to do a survey and waymarking project in their parish, work should start before Xmas.
Work on the paths to Smeekin pike at Pecket Well are planned to begin at the end of October.
We are now working up a project to survey and waymark the Calderdale Way which we hope will start in January.
August Update
With loads of people away on holiday, we have still managed to get two work parties out every week. Mainly working on Calderdale Long Distance Walkers Hebden route, with some other bits and pieces reported to us to clear up. We have helped obtain a grant to do some work in Midgley and Luddenden and in Ripponden. We are hopeful of future work in Cornholme being funded as well. We also completed a large survey of paths in Hardcastle Crags which will be the bubject of a major funding bid.Image as seen on Facebook!

July update
June has been spent on problems with Todmorden Centenary way – it really has been allowed to get in a right mess. Pretty much all the waymarking has been done and we are a third of the way through dealing with the issues.
We have also been sorting out routes for the new Todwalkers bus walks booklet. Some great routes and some good repairs done.
We have been working on routes for Mytholmroyd walkers action which are due to be republished.
Apart from these funded bits of work we have done some sessions near Ripponden, at Charlestown, on the Pennine Way and below Pecket Well.
We had our Hepton Singers benefit at Barkisland on July 4th with a good crowd attending and some great music.
Calderdale Rights of Way section has been abolished and merged into Highways. With less than one full time person on Rights of way, the council has defacto washed its hands of the footpath network.
May update
After lots of work, the new Hebden Bridge Loop on the Pennine Way was ready to open on the 50th anniversary. Work has started on the Todmorden Centenary way funded by Todmorden Ward forum and Todmorden bus walks being produced by Todwalkers a new group just started.
The Hepton Singers are running a benefit concert for us called Noises, sounds and Sweet Airs. The concert will be held in Barkisland Church on July 4th.
February update
Finished all the work for Calderdale Long Distance Walkers Association who organise the annual Hebden event in January.
We are due to finish work on e-trails in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge in March.
The two main routes between Hebden Bridge, Oxenhope and Haworth have been improved and waymarked. It was great working for Bradford Countryside Service, we hope to do more with them.
We are currently working on the new Pennine Way loop for Hebden Bridge Walkers Action. We have also done several small jobs around the area and we look forward starting work on the Todmorden Centenary Way next month.