Our sister site Ryedale Mumbler and her two children had a wonderful time walking an alpaca recently – about an hour and 15 minutes drive from Halifax.
Sheriff Alpacas is a lovely setting, on an organic small holding, growing organic vegetables as well as some beautiful flowers and of course, home to this herd of alpacas.
When we first arrived, there was the opportunity to have a little talk about the origins of the alpaca, general care of them and their characteristics. We then went down to the shed where Caroline explained about the how we were to lead them, securely putting the halters on and getting us organised.
What really struck me at this point was what lovely, kind animals they were. They liked to show off and were amusing. The noise they make is so cute, like a little squeak and they seem to chatter away.
Caroline matched the alpacas to the different participants the best she could. We were really lucky to be given Silverstream Ozone of Sheriff – a beautiful male with a particularly dense fleece who had been imported from New Zealand.
These animals are very special and therefore, there are some instructions to be followed as no one wants an escapee. Under 11’s must have an adult with them in control of the rope as well. After all, these are animals and they can be easily spooked.
Henry, having led sheep and having spent time around horses, was very comfortable around the alpacas. The alpacas are very gentle and are just as nervous of us. Once they got some confidence around us, they were great, having a sniff and allowing us to stroke them and take selfies (?!).
The walk itself is through a small wood and very enjoyable. Ozone was beautifully mannered and didn’t seem to mind that he had 3 leaders! Eliza was a little nervous and intimidated to start with but like Ozone, got her confidence and then was happy to touch the fleece and see the detail of it. There are plenty of opportunities to take lots of photographs and they like posing! Spending time with alpacas is very relaxing.
Once we were back from the walk, we spent some time with the alpacas learning about there different characteristics and looking at the different fleeces. Alpacas are beautiful animals and their wool is so special. Alpaca wool is soft, durable, luxurious and has silky natural fibre. It was so interesting finding out about the alpaca and the different qualities of the different fleeces.
Caroline was happy to answer any questions and particularly kind to Henry who always has a thirst for knowledge. We then walked down to where the pregnant females and last years female cria’s. They were lovely, so relaxed and happy to come up to us.
Henry really enjoyed the experience. It was lovely to spend time with such interesting, happy animals, learning so many new things. He hasn’t stopped talking about it since and we have had to do numerous alpaca related crafts. Eliza enjoyed it but was perhaps a bit young to get as much out of it. However, she has enjoyed the crafts and is still talking about it.
“Walking through the woods was so much fun, learning about the alpacas as well as talking with Mummy about other animals and plants living in the woods.” Henry
“I loved seeing the alpacas, they were a bit big to start with but I got used to them.” Eliza
The alpacas are so friendly and such inquisitive animals, lovely to be around. It was a privilege to be asked by Caroline to partake in a walk and learn about these lovely animals. It certainly wasn’t a standard Saturday afternoon. It costs £20 per adult and £5 per child with discounts for group bookings.