Never in our wildest dreams did I think I would be writing this entry to our alpaca walking website! Since mid March, we have closed down our alpaca walking business (until the beginning of May at the earliest) and our alpaca holiday letting business (The Lodge at Spring Farm Alpacas). I know that we are doing the right thing for our health and yours. But its still a bit surreal.
Just before we closed the farm, the weather had been terrible with seemingly constant storms and rain. What a difference three weeks makes! As I type, the sun is streaming through the window and we haven’t seen a drop of rain in that 3 weeks. The fields have gone from mud to baked clay in that time and now we are scanning the forecast for possible rain. This so the grass will grow and we get hay in the Summer.
So what are we doing whilst everyone else is staying at home and self isolating? Well, in short, life on a farm continues much as before – without guests. In the fields, wild flowers are responding to the sunshine and longer hours of daylight. The absence of aircraft noise seems to make the birdsong even more beautiful. We await our Summer visitors with baited breath. Especially this year as we have installed swift boxes and a calling system to entice them to Spring Farm. Swallows are expected any day now and we have a bottle of champagne in the fridge to celebrate when they arrive!
As for the alpacas, we have 22 baby alpacas and 1 baby llama due in 2020. The first baby is due on 15th May so we now have a birthing group who live close to the farm. This so we can keep a close eye on them at all times.
Halter training of the 2019 babies is well advanced and we are able to concentrate on that in the absence of walks. We have also started doing llama agility training and over the next few weeks will be well advanced with our husbandry.
Obviously we would like to be able to offer alpaca walks. It’s gutting not to be able to do so in this glorious weather. We do however try and post daily images on out Instagram page (springfarmalpacas). So if you are stuck indoors – please check that out!
In the meantime, please stay safe and we hope to be back up and running as soon as possible.
Chris and Vicki and all the team at Spring Farm Alpacas
Here at Spring Farm Alpacas we have to think of the safety of our guests and staff. We have taken the difficult decision to cancel all alpaca walking for the rest of March and all of April 2020. We realise this will be very upsetting for anyone who has booked a walk over that period. However, we have to think safety first. We have noted advice from the Government and the British Alpaca Society in relation to the coronavirus outbreak. The latest government advice is that “people should avoid non-essential travel” and “avoid gatherings”.
We will be constantly monitoring the situation with regards to future walks. Those that have booked walks during the rest of March and April will receive a voucher so they can rebook when “things get back to normal” subject to availability. Recipients will be pleased to hear that we don’t date our vouchers so as long as we are here – they are valid.
You may be concerned about the welfare of our walking alpacas but you can rest assured that we will continue to look after them all with the usual care and attention. We aim to use this time (without being able to offer walks) to good end. We will be halter training the 2019 born crias so the walking team may well see new entrants!
These are difficult times for us all but you can rest assured your health is paramount to us. We will keep the diary open for future bookings after April 2020 and keep you in touch of any changes. In the event of continuing restrictions after April, we will continue on the same basis and issue undated credit vouchers.
Vicki and Chris Agar, Spring Farm Alpacas and Alpaca Walking.
We have just added 4 new alpaca Christmas cards which are listed in full with all our others on the Alpaca Cards page. But we just thought we would highlight these two. The Merry Christmas alpaca card was taken here at Spring Farm Alpacas on the 27th February in Wigan’s field during a light snowstorm!
You may have seen that we get reviewed quite regularly on TripAdvisor and Google. We are always very pleased if our walking guests take the time to review us.
Yesterday, we received an email from one of our guests who came alpaca walking at the weekend. Vicki and I were so moved by the email that we asked if we could quote from it. So firstly, many thanks to James McNair for emailing us but secondly for allowing us to reproduce such a lovely, eloquent testimonial!
James mentioned that he was toying with the idea of renting The Lodge (our holiday let) so we hope to be able to welcome James and Katherine back here in the future as well!
Thanks for a great experience. Whilst planning my three day celebration of Katherine’s 50th birthday I always felt in the back of my mind that the alpaca walk would be the one thing that would make her eyes light up and I’m pleased to discover that I was right (so you can officially declare your alpacas to be better than a helipcopter ride over London, a West End play, a Michelin Star restaurant and Kew Gardens!).
We started alpaca walking here at Spring Farm Alpacas just over 5 years ago. Since then, we have been awarded Certificates of Excellence for each of the last 5 years. We have entered the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame as a result of the 5 consecutive years Certificate of Excellence.
It would be fair to say that we couldn’t offer alpaca walking without our amazing, beautifully trained alpacas. So in large part this award is for them! However, training and interacting with alpacas is entirely down to Vicki and our amazing staff. So to that end, this award is for: Vicki, Millie, Coral, Danielle, Jo, Izzy, Izzy, Kaitlyn and everyone else who has helped us along the way.
Alpaca walking is great fun for all and we hope to be able to offer it for many years to come. Hopefully, we may deserve “Certificates of Excellence” in future years. Please review us on TripAdvisor or Google or wherever after you have had a chance to visit us and our alpaca walking team!
Alpaca walking is getting ever more popular. The Daily Telegraph Travel Section featured Out and about for an Easter eggstravaganza on the 6th April 2019. Walking with alpacas, East Sussex was highlighted! We are coming into our busiest time of year with alpaca walking here at Spring Farm Alpacas with weekends in particular getting very booked up – but we often have availability mid week. Please see our booking page for current availability and come and join us!
We are very proud to be featured in The Daily Telegraph and look forward to meeting you very soon!
Here at alpaca walking with Spring Farm Alpacas, we train all our alpacas to walk on head collars and lead ropes – its what we do and are renowned for across Europe. It is very important that all our alpacas are halter trained and not just a select few – that way, they are all chilled in our company and if (heaven forbid) we needed a vet visit, we can just load them into our purpose converted van and take them to the vet.
Our alpaca walking team is normally about 20/25 strong but with 20/30 crias (baby alpacas) born each year, we occasionally let members of the walking team go to new homes (where they are much loved) and bring in young alpacas that have passed our training course for walking alpacas! You might think we just attach a collar and lead rope…but we don’t. Using our calm and alpaca friendly teaching technique, we teach all our crias to walk happily alongside us. We are a breeder using really high quality genetics so some of our alpacas are also shown – but again its very important to us that this is not a stressful endeavour. We train our youngsters to load without fear and have mock judging so they wont be worried about going into the show ring.
So amongst the crias, to join the alpaca walking team, we select those who we think will enjoy meeting our guests and thrive on our alpaca walks. Alpacas are like us in that they all have individual characters and some want to walk more than others. Once we have a select group who like walking, we start with small walks around the garden and gradually build up their confidence by increasing the length of the walk and asking different people to walk them at different times. This process can take a few months as we are always busy and its really important that our new alpaca (and llama) recruits enjoy themselves as much as we hope you do.
So to that end, I would like to introduce you to three recruits currently under going walking training. The eagle eyed may notice that we have two llama crias in training – we are hopeful they will both make the grade so we can offer llama walking alongside alpaca walking (within the same walk).
We have recently added two new alpaca Christmas cards to our range. They are slightly smaller than the original cards and are A6 (A5 half fold) in size together with a premium envelope. We think they are perfect as Christmas cards and are purposely left blank inside for your own message.
We couldn’t resist dressing Gordon (not in real life) with a super cool Santa hat!
In addition, and this time a real life picture taken here on the 27th February 2018, we have a stunning picture of Svetlana taken in the snow. Svetlana is an “S” year baby so was born in Summer 2017 but is very photogenic!
Svetlana in the snow
The cost of the cards is £2.50 each (including postage and packing) or 5 cards for £10 (including postage and packing).
Here at Spring Farm Alpacas, we are very pleased to have been awarded a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for the 4th year running. We really appreciate it when guests take the time to review us on Trip Advisor – or any other forms of social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+).
We take great care to ensure our guests have the best time possible whilst also ensuring that our super friendly alpacas also enjoy meeting guests and the walk themselves. Mind you, we do offer them a couple of food treats during the walk and a large handful of pre-chopped carrots at the end of the walk.
We have been alpaca walking here at Spring Farm Alpacas for 4 years and in that time, have met some amazing people. We still really enjoy meeting like minded people and getting the chance to showcase our farm and alpacas.
So a huge thank you from us and our alpacas to everyone who took the time to review us on Trip Advisor. It is much appreciated and never taken for granted.
We will strive to make sure that we continue in the same vein. Vicki and I are really passionate about what we do. We are always looking at ways to enhance your experience and hope that shows if you do get a chance to review us. Here’s hoping we can repeat a certificate of excellence over the next 12 months and make it 5 years in a row! Come and visit us and see if you think we deserve it too!
Alpacas are amazing animals. Not just great fun to walk but also produce the most amazing fleece. Here at Spring Farm Alpacas we breed both sorts of alpaca – suri and Huacaya. Suri alpacas are the “dreadlock” type and Huacaya alpacas are the “teddy bear” type.
Alpacas were originally bred by humans for their fleece and its fair to say that alpaca fibre is just amazing. Amongst other attributes, a good quality alpaca’s fibre is as soft as cashmere, comes in a wide variety of natural colours, can be worn next to the skin and is also classified as flame retardant in the US and UK.
Here at Spring Farm Alpacas, we strive to produce the very best fibre (in addition to having fun walking with our alpacas) and the results speak for themselves. We recently sent 5 fleeces to the Heart of England Fleece Show 2018 with the following results:
Saffron – Brown Champion Suri Fleece
Phoenix (one of our walkers) – Reserve Champion Black Huacaya Fleece
Persephone – 3rd place Light Suri Fleece
Roman (one of our walkers) – 2nd Place White Suri Fleece
Rumour (one of our walkers) – Champion Light Suri Fleece – SUPREME CHAMPION SURI FLEECE
We have included the pictures of the fleeces below but if you are interested in fibre as well as walking – please let us know.