If you want to know more about us then read on...
Once upon a time in The Land Of The Lakes...
It was once upon a time in the land of the lakes when Emma (writer of children’s books and maker of beautifully whimsical things) found herself accidentally nodding her head when Terry (former soldier in the British Army, entrepreneur, ne’er do well, and thinker of Big Ideas) informed her that the only sensible thing to do in their spare time, was to start looking after a herd of alpacas.
The reasons he gave were as follows:
- Alpacas were funny-looking and would therefore, logically, be fun to look after.
- Having done some “solid research” he had it on great authority that alpacas were the easiest of animals to care for, in fact he would go so far as to say that “they would look after themselves.” (let’s fast forward briefly to days spent covered in mud, drenched by rain and battered by howling winds, attempting to memorise the dosage on a catering sized bottle of de-wormer.)
- They had moved to The Lake District! What better way to become part of the local farming community than to breed Peruvian livestock! (fast forward to years of quizzical/disbelieving looks, conversations that begin with “so what’s that then eh? Does it bite eh?” and then of course, the downright mockery.)
Based on three whole points of such profound logic, and bearing in mind their complete lack of experience, knowledge, land, or indeed alpacas, there was only one inevitable outcome. In a move that made no sense to anyone apart from them, they gave each other a wink and went off and did it anyway.
They started with a name. Because that was clearly the important bit…
Alpacaly Ever After... was born.
Three years later we now have a herd of over one hundred delightfully funny-looking rehomed and rescued alpacas and llamas that is growing all the time and a hugely successful Social Enterprise, and our next step is an eco bunk barn so that you guys, and all the schools, charities and groups we work with can come and take time out with The Woolly Army!
Our Social Enterprise mission is…
- To provide the alpacas and llamas in our care with the best possible lives and the utmost care.
- To offer a welcoming new home for life, for unwanted alpacas and llamas from all over the UK.
- To provide people with hugely enjoyable and unique alpaca experiences that are accessible to all.
- To immerse our visitors in the beauty of the Lake District World Heritage Site.
- To share our knowledge about a fascinating species.
- To design and make delightful, ethical and sustainable products that promote alpacas and their yarn.
We have set up our independent social enterprise, to make best use of our skills, and do something positive and innovative with the land where we live, bringing visitors in touch with the landscape and natural world in an enjoyable, engaging and therapeutic way. We aim to make the experiences accessible to all, adapting our approach as necessary, providing everyone with an inspiring and memorable experience!
With six awesome full time guides on our team now, their champion efforts and skills have meant that over the last three years we have welcomed visitors from all over the world, and are also provided experiences for many third sector organisations including Cumbria County Councils Foster Care Services, Eden Valley Hospice, Friends of Chernobyl's Children, Cumbria Headway, AWAZ Cumbria, Always Another Way Cumbria Ltd, the One In A Million Foundation, Launchpad Veteran Support, Amy's Care and The Calvert Trust.
We have found the most beautiful homes for the Alpacaly Ever After herd and are lucky enough to work with some of the most amazing businesses in The Lake District, including the Lingholm Estate along the beautiful shores of Derwent Water (there really is nothing quite so delightful as watching an alpaca take a bath in a lake, it should be recommend as a cure for all cases of melancholy and world weariness :) The Lakes Distillery near Bassenthwaite Lake where guests are welcomed on the field for a half hour mini session of alpaca shenanigans, and our newest adventure trekking llamas through the stunning Newlands Valley between the summits of Catbells and Maiden moor! If that wasn’t enough to be getting on with, we are also delighted to be working with the Forestry Commission England to offer alpaca walks through Whinlatter Forest Park, and are planning to start three day llama camping treks over the Lakeland fells in partnership with The Lake District Foundation…we couldn’t be more excited!
We are super proud to be the Number One activity according to Trip Advisor in the whole of Cumbria and the North West! And we have also been featured in some pretty awesome videos...
Skip to time frame 0:42 to see our clip :)
And where will the story go next? Well this is where you come in!
We know from all our lovely visitors that time spent with alpacas and llamas is amazingly good for humans! They make us calmer, happier and more well balanced, and they also get us outside into the fresh air and open to all the therapeutic benefits of exercising and being surrounded by nature (who even notices they are exercising when they have a delightfully funny-looking fluffy fella walking alongside them?!)So! In order to extend these amazing benefits and to open them up to more people we want to build an eco-friendly bunk barn! We want you to be able to take a sustainable and delightful break from your everyday lives and come and live among the alpacas and llamas in our beautiful part of the world :)
As always we want to be accessible to all and will be expanding our work with schools and youth groups by offering residential visits to children from urban areas to come stay, learn, work and play with our awesome herd and take a time out in The Lakes and on the fells.
On site we are planning a wonderful range of animals for you to interact with during your stay including our alpacas & llamas and their babies in the summer, alongside goats, chickens, ducks and bees. If you fancy mucking in during your stay there is feeding time, growing and picking delicious organic vegetables in our garden, collecting the freshest of eggs from our chickens for breakfast, and as much muck as you can shift! And after all that in summer there is the chance to swim in the river to cool off :)
But we are jumping ahead of ourselves!
So lets say this is campaign is super successful and we get the funds to proceed...this is the plan!
Eco build, sustainable and utterly delightful bunkhouse for visitors, families, schools and groups to use...with an alpaca shelter below!
so let's have a closer look at the build...
The alpaca shelter will need to meet the needs of our The Woolly Army who love light, airy living space, and our environment - something that is eco frendly, self powered and unique. We have looked at all the options available and we have decided on redesigning the old fashioned field shelter and bring it into the 21st century using old techniques. The barn itself will be built from Cob and sustainably-sourced timber that is run using a variety of renewable technologies: biomass, photovoltaics.
The roof will be covered in grass and flowers to help the bees along and at the same time providing a natural installation for the shelter keeping the heat in during the winter and the cool in during the summer.
Rainwater collection and harvesting systems will provide fresh drinking water for the alpacas 24 hours a day and to clean out and flush the barn where the waste will be drained away and processed by reed bed.
The use of clear solar panels as windows will power the lights and heating system for the alpacas 365 days a year!
Inside they will have medical room, hayloft, storage, and bays for them to get a warm nights sleep and to keep the babies safe. There will also be space for visitors to learn and interact with them :)
The Bunk House!! This will be above the shelter and be just about the cosiest place anyone ever put their head down in the history of all time ever. Sustainable timber bunk beds, organic eco mattresses and bed linens...here's a few interior examples that we've been referencing in our plans :)
And what amazing rewards do we have in return for your support guys?! This is the best bit!!
Firstly we have... Reward Number 1...
Donate £10 and we'll Put a Pin in it! Get an awesome #SpitHappens hard enamel pin...
Alpacaly Ever After hard enamel pins! Original alpacaly design, ‘Spit Happens’ pin measures 3cm (top to bottom) with an antique gold finish and a rubber clutch. Join #thewoollyarmy today!
Reward Number 2...
Donate £15 + to be THE GAMBLER! Win 1 of 5 weekends for 2 people staying in luxury 5 Star accommodation and a private Alpaca Walk or Llama Trek with us. Worth £400
5 lucky people, along with their best friend, will get a great weekend here in the Lake District, on us. Stay 2 nights in luxury 5 Star Accommodation and choose either a Private Alpaca Walk or Llama Trek with us. Are you feeling lucky?
Reward Number 3...
Donate £40 to get THE ADOPTER! You will be the very first to sign up for our Alpaca Adoption packs. Worth £60 you will get 'all the trimmings' for a 1st time one-off £40.
We've had a lot of requests to Adopt our Woolly Army. Adoption is a great way to support our Social Enterprise. It allows us to ensure the very best of care for The Woolly Army, allows us to keep rescuing those in need and allows us to make our activities available to all sectors of the community. Our Adoption packs will include: A certificate and photo of your chosen Alpaca, a Woolly Army welcome letter, our monthly newsletter and updates from Terry and an invitation to come and meet your chosen Alpaca or Llama.
Reward Number 4...
£80 makes you THE VIP! As a 'Very Important Paca' you and a friend will get a Private Alpaca Walk with us at the beautiful Lingholm Estate.
And so it was once upon a time when The Lingholm Estate was the perfect place to live alpacaly ever after! Situated on the Western Shore of Derwentwater in a dramatic location, it is surrounded by incredible views of some of the best loved Lakeland fells.
Walk through the private grounds of the estate where Beatrix Potter spent many summers. Get to know our wonderful alpacas up close, take them for a paddle in the lake, meet the herd, take part in feeding time.
If you would like to see more pictures and videos of this trek you can visit instagram on these links...
Reward Number 5...
Donate a cool £120 and we guarantee no LLAMA DRAMA! We'll take you and a friend on a Private Llama Trek through the Newlands Valley.
This gift vouchers entitles you and friends to take part in an amazing adventure Trekking our llamas through the stunning Newlands Valley, one of the most picturesque valleys in the National Park. Be surrounded by the beauty of the Lake District World Heritage Site, as you hike between the summits of Catbells and Maiden moor, looking down over Derwent Water. Get to know our fascinating llamas up close along your journey, take part in feeding time, ask as many questions and take as many selfies as you like :)
If you wold like to see more pictures and videos of this trek you can visit instagram on these links...
Reward Number 6...
Donate £130 if it's NO PROBLLAMA for you! If trekking for 7km with a llama is your thing, this is the one for you, no probllama!
If you want to spend the day trekking with llama's in the Lake District this is the one for you. We'll provide the guide, the llama's and your packed lunch. The llama's will have packs to carry your equipment, water and we'll 'alpaca your lunch'. Plus it means we get a fab' day out too! Pick this one!!
Reward Number 7...
Donate £200 to get THE WOOLLY WAINWRIGHT!
One of Terry's favourites.. for a truly unique way to tick off your next Wainwright, Terry and 2 of our llama's will join you and get you a summit selfie like no other. For a Wainwright memory with a difference, this is a great way to celebrate ticking off one of these iconic tops. We hope Alfred would approve. After all llama's are natural trekkers, love the mountains and enjoying being outdoors.. a bit like Alfred really!
Reward Number 8...
Donate £600 for the ultimate... THE DALAI LLAMA! New for 2020 we are planning our overnight llama treks, 3 days and 2 nights in the Lake District fells, just you, a llama and a tent. Not available anywhere else in Europe, yet, this is going to be a first.
One of Terry's favourites... we're in the planning stages of llama trekking on overnight trips. Llama's are natural pack animals and love trekking. You could be the first to join us on an overnight trekking expedition here in the Lake District. Join us for 3 days and 2 nights, all equipment, food and a chef will be supplied. We will be trekking 7-10 miles/day and have the best of equipment to ensure we get a good night out. With 2 guides, a chef (did we mention that?) and the Lake District at our feet this will be a truly memorable adventure for all of us.
Reward Number 9...
Donate £1000 and you will get THE Terry Mystery Prize! Think one of the mysteries of Peru as Terry has a master plan up his sleeve. If you love alpaca's and llama's and want a unique and special adventure, this is the one for you... but it's going to be a surprise!
Terry has so many amazing plans, dreams and aspirational ideas and this could be your unique chance to be along for the ride. We will tailor it to suit you and your needs but we promise that it will be memorable, involve alpaca's and/or llama's and you will be the first EVER!
We have many more product online here at www.alpacalyeverafter.co.uk so please check out our little shop.
I don't want to wait I want to book now!
If you just can’t wait and you’re impatient like me you can book on one of out treks right here right now!
Some little videos from Unilad
So, not bad for a start, but Terry has grander plans ahead, in fact, he may just not stop until world domination is in his sights! All the alpaca shenanigans on our social media have lead to lots of wonderful opportunities and the Woolly Army have been featured on Salvage Hunters, ITV and BBC news, the Telegraph and i newspapers, Diply, Love Travel and in February last year we were delighted to take the Unilad team up to the top of Catbells in what we believe was the first ever alpaca walk up a Lakeland fell and the resulting awesome video received over five million views (which we thought was a lot until a recent video we made featuring alpacas and rainbows broke the internet with over 35million views and counting!) We have recently teamed up with Unilad again along with Virgin Trains to make a video promoting rail travel to The Lake District.