Cordilleras Farm and Helwith, 27 September 2020

Posted by Frank Broughton on 2020-09-30

Cordilleras Farm and Helwith

Two groups totalling nine walkers and separated by half-an-hour, set off from Marske on a grey morning, a brisk north-westerly wind encouraging us to keep moving at a steady pace.  From the Marske valley we took the path up towards the Feldom Training Range and on to Cordilleras Farm.  This was a model farm built by the wealthy Hutton Family of Marske in the mid 19th Century in an attempt to reclaim rough moorland pasture to arable farming using the then-new wonder fertiliser Guano imported from South America, hence the name of the farm and the fact that newly-laid out fields were named after South American volcanoes.  Needless to say the experiment was a failure and the impressive farm buildings are now used by the army for training exercises in house to house combat!

From the farm we walked along the footpath to Dicky Edge then on down the interesting zig-zag path into the valley to reach the pack horse bridge near Telfit Farm where we crossed Marske Beck.  As we passed the farm those of us in the first group were able to wave across the valley to our friends in the second group as they descended from Dicky Edge.  Once past Telfit, we walked alongside Marske beck up to the tiny hamlet of Helwith before tackling the steady ascent up onto the edge of Skelton Moor to reach the track giving great views into the valley below us and a wide panorama beyond.  By now the cloud was finally breaking up and we completed the walking down to Pillimire bridge and Marske in pleasant sunshine.  Particular thanks to Yvonne who volunteered to lead the second group at short notice.


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