Not quite a sheep and not quite a llama, these extraordinary animals are waiting to be taken on walks in the nearby countryside. Owners Bruce and Peta Ives let visitors watch the alpacas grazing before setting out, so you can see what lovely, gentle creatures they are.
For those who are daring enough, stretch out your hand for the animals to nuzzle, they are curious creatures! The couple began Dunreyth Alpacas in 2006 with just 2 pregnant females, and the herd has now grown to over 40 alpacas. Last summer, 13 babies (called Creas) were born increasing the numbers again, although some of these won't be used for walking for a while yet.
The farm is in a beautiful setting on 13 acres of the South Downs - the perfect backdrop for a walk with your chosen fluffy friend. These placid, docile animals originate from South America and the foothills of the Andes. They derive from the same family as the camel, yet their similarity to sheep means they look at home in their Chichester countryside surroundings. Alpaca fibre is used to make garments and clothing, much like wool. Some of the alpacas at Dunreyth are used for their fibre, which is sent off to make jumpers (available to buy with a picture so you know which alpaca your jumper was made from).
The alpacas at Dunreyth are fully trained, so they are delighted to take walks with visitors to the farm. These walks last an hour, or longer if you want to stop at the local pub, The Barley Mow, with your alpaca in tow – they make a unique drinking partner!
The walks take you into the woods as you guide the alpaca - they seem content to wander along exploring their surroundings. It’s a novel experience to have such a large, yet good-natured animal at the end of your lead. They truly are extraordinary looking things that come in all colours and sizes, but all of them are as endearing and soft as each other. Llama walks are already on offer at various places around the country, but not with these smaller, more intelligent animals. Dunreyth offers a unique experience that’s just as enjoyable for adults as it is for children. Just don’t forget to check out the shop for your very own snuggly alpaca souvenir!