Tod Tops information boards

Quick link to Haiku project

When open access was introduced in 2000, a number of information boards were put up to tell people about open access in the locality.

A poor specimen at Sourhall

There are now six remaining on the tops around the Upper Valley:

  • Inchfield – at the top of Inchfield Road, Walsden
  • Sourhall – at the Eastern end of Flowerscar Road above Sourhall
  • Withens – above the car park on the Calderdale Way
  • Mankinholes – at the end of Pig Lane on the Calderdale Way going up to Long Stoop
  • Widdop reservoir – in the small car park on the Colne Road
  • Widdop Gate – by the entrance to the Gorpley track

Each is in a very poor state of repair. Some are on the ground, some are see through and none have any up to date information in them. This project will mean they will be resurrected and give a new life.

The results of the project

Here are photos of the completed boards


CROWS have been awarded £846  from the Community Foundation for Calderdale who is working in partnership with RES (Renewable Energy Systems). RES  operates Todmorden Wind Farm and provides funding for projects that benefit the communities of Todmorden.

This board is at Mankinholes – at least it is still standing! We will fix the finger post while we are there.

The plan

Each of the boards will be sanded and treated, then fitted with new acrylic fronts.
Working with Todwalkers and others each board will have information about:

  • the location
  • the heritage
  • the landscape
  • wild life
  • who to contact  for more information about walking and the area.

Each board will also have a Haiku poem that relates to the location – more about this below.



This one at Inchfield has been rescued and is back at our depot.

Haikus for the boards

We wanted each location to inspire people from the Todmorden area to compose a Haiku poem that says something about the landscape or the heritage or the area. We were particularly keen to get entries from young people from Todmorden.


This one at Gorpley Clough is in the best condition and just needs a bit of TLC
This one is at Withens, just outside the strict Todmorden Boundary

The Haikus we received

We had some great submissions, making it a difficult choice. Our choice Haikus are highlighted in red.

One that came in for Gorpley from Gary Heywood after the deadline
One spill of water
and gravity’s flow returns
river-run seaward.

Five from Theresa Sowerby, the first one  about Gorpley Clough
Ferns unfurl at feet
String-thin saplings reach for sun
Rowan’s beads gleam red
We chose this one for Gorpley

The second one from Theresa about Inchfield
Above the tree-line
Moorland grouse whirr through heather
Steel-strung pylons march

The third one from Theresa about Sourhall
Here hail pock-marks stone
Wind’s blade lays low grass and sheep
Heather’s short-lived blush

The fourth one from Theresa about Withens
We map our edges
Kestrel sees wide moor water
Sleek fur flash through grass
We chose this one for Withens

And the fifth one from Theresa about Mankinholes
Dry-stone holds pasture
Reed-beds drink from hidden springs
Stone finger beckons

One from Patrick Savage about Mankinholes
Evening sunlight spreading
On Stoodley Pike
Soon receding to welcome the night

One from Patrick Savage about Withens
Up on’t moor the stagmen roam
Their hooves a’dancing
To welcome you home

One from K Heath about Mankinholes
Old grey stone thread
Pike or moor by causey tread
Cut by hoof long dead
We chose this one for Mankinholes

One from Claire Walker about Withens
“Rugged Nature This!”
Wild, remote beauty; leading –
Calm mind proceeding.

… and another one about Mankinholes
Above smoke clogged mills
Woven, quilted, wonder moor,
Wander ever more.

One from Sam Moore about Withens
Before the humans
Brought their sheep there were
A heck of a lot more trees

…. and about Inchfield
It may look natural
But this is a land
Trying to recover

…. and Sourhall
On top of the hill
Look up the dale
You can see where the ice stopped
We chose this one for Sourhall

One from Molly Aldam about Mankinholes
Tired legs, muddy shoes
On windy tops you feel free
Then home for a brew

Here are three from Hannah Polden-Bevan
\’I hear a hawk cry
Always lonely, never lost
He maps the lay of our land\’

‘These hills will endure
Almost unchanged by seasons
Sentinel to Tod\’

‘Head upturned above
Away up valley yonder
These hills protect our town\’
We chose this one for Inchfield