Alpaca walking in Winter – what could be better! You may think that walking alpacas is a Summer activity. However, we would beg to differ. Our amazing walking alpacas are just as keen to take you for a walk now as at any other time of the year. Although it may have something to do with them getting two snacks on the walk from you!
Spring Farm is managed for the benefit of wildlife. In Winter we see fallow deer virtually every day and on average on one in every two walks. The lack of vegetation cover in our ancient woodlands offers more far reaching views and we will point them out whenever we see them. We are in the High Weald AONB and on the edge of the Ashdown Forest. Add to that, we are surrounded by amazing country pubs and NT properties.
Every season has its moments but cold, crisp Winter walks with our alpacas takes a lot of beating. When you add this to our ongoing COVID protocols to keep you safe, its a great fun way to get out in the fresh air.
If you have tried to book in the Spring, Summer and Autumn you will know we get very heavily booked. But in the Winter, not every walk is fully booked. There is often availability right up to the day before the walk. So get out your wellies and book an alpaca walk this Winter!
The last year saw us issue large numbers of alpaca walking vouchers. Obviously COVID played a big part in this as we were forced to close for many months. We have, in the past, not put an expiry date on our alpaca walking vouchers. However, from the start of 2022, we will be putting a one year expiry date on all new vouchers.
EXISTING VOUCHER HOLDERS
We will also apply 31/12/2022 as the expiry date for all existing vouchers. This gives plenty of time for all voucher holders to book a walk with us. We have expanded the number of walking alpacas/llamas to try to cope with the demand – and added a third member of staff to each walk. This allows us to actually increase our interaction with our walking guests when compared to previous years.
We are very pleased to have been awarded the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice 2021 for Alpaca Walking – with Spring Farm Alpacas.
We were awarded Certificates of Excellence in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. In 2019 we entered the Trip Advisor Hall of Fame after 5 consecutive years of consistently high ratings from guests.
These awards are down to our amazing walking team of alpacas without whom it just wouldn’t be possible. Alpaca walking is great fun especially in these trying times. We do hope to welcome you to the farm soon. Then you can see the work we all put in to make your day with us special!
We have just had our first guided meditation with alpacas session. Led by Alarna Lloyd it was a huge success even though the heavens opened as we have a huge airy barn that can house both alpacas and guests with social distancing as well!
Bookings for forthcoming days need to be made with Alarna via her website:
The day was a huge success, but dont just take our word for it. Here is the feedback Alarna had:
“Will absolutely come back”‘
Extremely relaxing, I will be back”
“Alarna led the meditations well and has a very calming voice…Absolutely amazing experience, the alpacas are so curious and come in right up to you, especially in the barn when it started raining. Loved it and would recommend it again and again!”
Last week we were delighted to host Lola and Ali from Marjan TV Network. Marjan TV Network approached us to shoot an item filming alpaca walking at Spring Farm.
Marjan say they are: ” a pioneering tv brand, pushing the boundaries of World Class Persian television.
We believe life is richer when you’re open to the perspectives and stories of each other. And that’s our promise to you; to always be open. To new voices, ideas and opinions. To new ways of entertaining and thinking. To new opportunities for learning and laughing.”
Wow – so no pressure then for filming alpaca walking!
Anyway, Lola and Ali were a delight to work with and our amazing alpacas were super well behaved. We can’t wait to see the end result and would welcome them back any time.
On the 15th April, Spring Farm Alpacas were delighted to host Josie Gibson and the team from This Morning for an alpaca walk. Josie arrived with a film crew here at Spring Farm Alpacas in East Sussex. Meanwhile, in the studio, Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond didn’t really know what they had let themselves in for!
Josie immediately decided that Springfarm Wizard was Dermot’s “spirit animal” and managed to reduce Dermot and Alison to stitches…
For the full live section of the interview look no further:
We are so pleased to have finally built an alpaca agility course! After a few years of talking about it, we designed and had built an alpaca (and llama) agility course. When we bought Spring Farm, it was managed as a horse yard. We adapted the stables and out buildings to suit alpacas and llamas. The ménage was almost redundant and has been used to store haylage and farm equipment – until now!
We have designed a see-saw with enough rigidity to ask our rather large llamas to use.
Vicki designed mounting blocks, trotting poles/jumps and adopted weaving poles. This allows us to train our alpacas and llamas whilst they are doing fun things. You can see how involved they get in trying out all the pieces of apparatus.
Its great fun for us and our alpacas to use the agility course and we hope to add it to their halter training too as a fun thing for them to do.
Spring Farm Alpacas was heavily featured in an article on alpaca walking in Sunday’s edition of The Observer on 4/4/21.
“Do you fancy taking an alpaca for a walk? Then join the queue. This is the headline from The Observer on Sunday 4th April 2021. As we come out of lockdown, we have been able to open for bookings for alpaca walking from the 12th April. Given the extended lockdowns, people have got fed up with being stuck at home. The Observer wanted to highlight alpaca walking as a means of reconnecting with nature in the great outdoors.
Here at Spring Farm Alpacas we have been offering alpaca walking for the last 6 years. Our walks are amongst wildflower meadows surrounded by wildlife. We are quite different as we offer walks entirely within the High Weald AONB. Our walks are within our farm’s 110 acre boundaries. I think it also helps that we are only a 45 minute train journey from central London (plus a short taxi ride).
Since we have reopened, we have seen a huge number of booking for alpaca walks – but still have some availability left – especially in mid week. We hope to see you soon (weather permitting)!
With the end of lockdown, have you tried meditating with alpacas?
Enjoy an exclusive wellbeing experience – meditating with alpacas. Use the calmness and connection of alpacas to promote your inner quiet and ‘being in the moment.’ Each session is led by Alarna Lloyd after an introduction to alpacas and Spring Farm by us.
The alpaca’s presence is a fun way to experience meditation. These spiritual animals are a perfect accompaniment for the first timer or the practised meditator, wanting to experience something unusual. Meditating in small groups alongside animals can feel more powerful and enjoyable. It’s also a good way to get used to meditating with pets or larger animals when you get home – they love it!
What to expect?
Ten minutes of introductory talk followed by a Q & A about the farm and alpacas with the owners, Chris or Vicki.
You will be in a field full of friendly alpacas to sit with and enjoy different guided meditations.
A chance to spend time connecting to nature, the animals and each other.
Feedback from previous sessions:
“So relaxing, wonderful to spend time with the animals and combine with being in the moment which they do so well.”
“very peaceful, initially was a bit wary, but they had a very calm energy”
“easy to follow – soothing tones and background nature noise”
We are very conscious of the issues caused by COVID 19. Alarna has conducted a full on-site risk assessment for guests joining us. However, the introduction and entire visit is conducted in the open. Social distancing can be observed at all times whilst you are with us. If you need to use the toilet facilities, they are sanitised with a barrier viricide (Steri-7) prior to your arrival.
Spaces are limited to 5 people at the moment, this may change and we will be keeping up to date with Covid-19 government guidelines. The T & C’s, refunds and risk assesment are on Alarna’s website. Please check these out before booking.
For more details and for all bookings please see Alarna’s website, link below:
The last year has been exceptional in many ways – none good that I can think of! Hopefully we will be able to say goodbye to lockdowns, tier systems and fear in the future. The good news is that alpaca walking is to resume from 12/4/21!
When COVID first hit, no one knew it would be this long until a semblance of normality would return. Here at Spring Farm Alpacas, have taken the opportunity to hopefully make things better for the future. Vicki has managed to get way ahead of normal with halter training our baby alpacas. We have also done loads of fencing work and added chalk to a number of gateways. This is to reduce the mud that can build up and make progress slippery for our walkers.
We have painted the outside of our house and our holiday let. Amazingly, we have even managed to get to grips with the garden (to an extent). On the wildlife front, we have put up many more bird boxes. To aid our bees, we have planted additional wild flowers to support them.
As an alpaca breeder we have said goodbye to a number of our breeding stock. But, we are in the process of adding some new faces to our stud male group – watch this space! It will also be a big year as far as baby alpacas (cria) are concerned. We are expecting about 30 cria this year – starting in about 8 weeks. So a very exciting time ahead.
We have had to cancel a lot of walks during 2020/21 owing to lockdown restrictions. When we do cancel alpaca walks, we typically send out vouchers (undated) so our guests can rebook when we are able to offer walks again. We are very mindful that this means that we will have a large number of guests hoping to re-book or book walks this year. Our walking team is 30 strong so that shouldn’t be an issue. But in order not to disappoint guests looking to book, we have decided to increase the maximum of walking alpacas to 12 from 10 on each walk. To keep things as personal as before, we will therefore aim to have three of us on every walk so the ratio of us to guests will actually increase!
We really can’t wait for our alpaca walking to resume from the 12th of April. Just please be aware that bookings are starting to mount up for both walks and the holiday let.