"When the weather is good we like to walk our Alpacas. This allows you, the general public, to come and get up close to these beautiful animals, hear them hum to each other, feel how soft their fleece is and look into their big brown eyes! It also serves us a purpose as we get them used to people and being handled on the halters, which in turn trains them for the shows that we enter. The money we collect helps towards the cost of feeding them.
Otterbourne is a small secluded village were the chalk streams meander along ancient river beds to the sea, 11 miles away. We own 12 acres of grasslands alongside The Itchen Navigation; this part of the river was used years ago to transport goods by way of barge to Winchester, London and beyond. We do not see any boats on the river now, they have long gone. Animals have returned to the quiet environment as we have otters, king fishers, dragon flies and all manner of insects and butterflies."
The walking experience
"You'll have a quick health and safety chat and a briefing of how to hold them and what to do if your alpaca gets a bit naughty! We also give an interesting and factual talk about the alpacas, so not only walkers will be entertained.
Once haltered, we will allocate you an alpaca, introduce you and allow you time to take pictures and get to know them. Once we are all happy, we then set off along the field taking in all the other wildlife including otter, kingfisher also often seeing birds of prey like the buzzard and of course the main herd of alpacas including the cria (babies).
We will pass through a gate and enter the bottom meadow, straight in front of us the river we will walk along the river edge heading south to meadow gate. Here we turn and head back up past the original entrance. At the head of the river we stop to take in the surroundings and cool down under the trees. At this point we usually answer any questions and talk about alpacas in general. Finally, we travel back down the river to the watering hole to see if the alpacas are in need of a drink. After the walk, we take time to mingle among the pregnant females and, depending on time of year, the cria (baby alpacas)"
- To book, visit www.alpacas-hampshire.co.uk/booking.php