Terms and Conditions

Please read the following terms and conditions as these are put in place for your safety and enjoyment of your alpaca experience. You are responsible for your own safety and that of any others in your care.

Booking terms

  1. Pre-booking is required for all animal experiences. We do not accept walk-ins at any time! This is especially important during Covid-19 as we need to plan carefully between each party that we accommodate.
  2. The minimum age is 12 for the Alpaca Trekking experience.
  3. There must be at least one adult aged 18+ present at all times during a picnic - no entry will be allowed if there is not an adult present.
  4. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times and we can only accept a maximum of two children per adult booked for safety reasons (this applies to the Alpaca Trekking and Animal Encounter experiences).
  5. Minimum no. of alpacas on any trek is 2 and the max is 6. If you are a single person who has booked a trek and there are no other bookings for that day, then your trekking guide will take out the second alpaca.
  6. Companions - If you have someone you would like to bring on the trek that does not want to walk an alpaca, they can join the trek as your Companion. Please note that the Companion cannot lead an alpaca at any time during the trek and must be over 18. We can only accept one Companion per Adult or Child Alpaca Trek ticket purchased. Think of them as your personal photographer!
  7. No food of any kind is permitted on the farm with the exception of cold drinks. The only exception to this is if you are attending a Picnic with the Pacas event but your food must be kept away from the animals at all times.
  8. No dogs (or other animals!) are permitted on the farm or on the treks at any time - just humans, alpacas and sheep. This includes dogs being left behind in the owners car - we do not permit this.
  9. Experience start time - please do not arrive earlier than 10 minutes before your Trek, Encounter or Picnic experience. 

  10. ​Disability
    • The terrain on the Trekking experience is not suitable for wheelchairs but can be accommodated on Encounter experiences. We have step free access from our entrance to the paddock where the alpacas live. Wheelchairs may be able to access the picnic area but please check with us in advance - you need to cross a fairly level paddock and go up a moderate slope to get access to the orchard.
    • If in any doubt that the trek or other experience may not be suitable for your disability please contact us to see how we can accommodate you.
    • We do have a toilet but this is not equipped for those with disabilities - there is also a step up to the building where the toilet and hand washing facilities are. There are full toilet facilities across the road with the National Trust but you would need to take responsibility for seeing if you were able to use these.
  11. Gift vouchers cannot be redeemed for cash in any circumstances. Your voucher carries an expiry date of 12 months from the date of issue - note that you need to have booked and have been to your experience before the voucher expiry date. Being a very small business, we cannot honour any gift vouchers after they have expired. As we are open all year round, you have a full 12 months to book a date and attend your experience.
  12. Cancellation and amendment

    • If we need to cancel - 

      1. From time to time we may need to cancel your experience due to circumstances beyond our control such as adverse weather conditions or animal illness. If cancellation does occur we will always endeavour to give you at least 24 hours notice and the offer to rebook on another day or receive a gift voucher. No refunds can be offered and any rebooking is subject to availability. Note that your gift voucher expiry date will be 12 months from the date of your cancelled experience and not from the date of your original booking. We think this is only fair given we have had to cancel your experience and to give you enough time to find another suitable date.

      2. Specifically for picnic experiences

        1. As there is no undercover area for your picnic (this is in planning!), if the weather is not suitable for your experience then we will let you know 24 hours in advance if we have to postpone. You will be given the offer to rebook on another day or receive a gift voucher. No refunds can be offered and any rebooking is subject to availability. Note that your gift voucher expiry date will be 12 months from the date of your cancelled experience and not from the date of your original booking. We think this is only fair given we have had to cancel your experience and to give you enough time to find another suitable date.

        2. If you have added a picnic onto an Alpaca Trekking or Animal Encounter then it might be just the picnic portion that needs to be cancelled. We still can trek if it is light rain and Animal Encounters can be run undercover so your primary experience could still go ahead. If we do though have to cancel your picnic element, then we will issue a gift voucher to the value of £32 that you paid for that part. Note that your gift voucher expiry date will be 12 months from the date of your cancelled experience and not from the date of your original booking. We think this is only fair given we have had to cancel your experience and to give you enough time to find another suitable date.

      3. If a session needs to be postponed we do not accept any responsibility for any cost or expenses you may have incurred. 

      4. At the time of booking we will request a phone number and email address. These will be used to notify you in the event of a cancellation and it is your responsibility to check these communication channels and any associated messages we have left. We do not accept any responsibility for missed messages.

    • If you need to cancel - 

      1. If you need to cancel your experience for any reason, we cannot offer a refund in any circumstances.

        1. More than 7 days notice (a day starts at the time of your experience so if you are cancelling a 10am trek, you need to notify us by 10am 7 days prior or more) - we will offer to rearrange your experience to another suitable date (subject to availability) or offer a gift voucher with a 12 month expiry. This will be offered free of charge but note that the 12 month expiry of the gift voucher will start from the original date of your booking. You must have booked and attended your rebooked experience before the last date of the expiry period.

        2. Less than 7 days notice (a day starts at the time of your experience so this applies if you are cancelling a 10am trek after 10am 7 days or less prior) - we can only offer to rebook your experience to another suitable date (subject to availability) or issue a gift voucher (where the expiry date starts from the original date of your booking) if we are able to resell your tickets. If we are not able to resell your tickets then we are not able to rebook your experience or issue a gift voucher. Any partial ticket resale will be honoured with the issue of a gift voucher to the value of what we have been able to resell. We want to do the best for our customers but as a small business we have to impose this restriction - a late cancellation often means we cannot resell the tickets at such short notice. This impacts heavily on our revenue and ability to be able to survive as a business.

        3. Subject to points 1. and 2. directly above, you are only permitted to cancel your booking twice. If you need to cancel your experience a third time, we are not able to rebook you or issue a gift voucher. This is regardless of the notice period given and covers all circumstances. If cancelling for the second time, any gift voucher issued will still carry an expiry date starting from the date of the original booking.

        4. Covid-19 cancellations - points 1., 2. and 3. directly above will still apply in the event that you need to cancel because of testing positive with Covid-19 or having the need to isolate.

      2. Cancellations must be made in writing and emailed to contactus@lydfordgorgealpacas.com 

    • For business reasons and for the kind consideration of all our trekkers, we need to start the trek at the allotted time. Anyone arriving after we have completed the safety briefing will not be permitted to trek that day. This is for your own health and safety as important information will be given at this briefing. If you are running late by a few minutes then please call ahead and although we cannot guarantee we can delay we will always try to accommodate you.

    • We reserve the right to change the advertised session if deemed appropriate for the health and safety of our guests.

  13. Transport & accessibility

    • Parking
      1. There is some room to park onsite at the farm on the driveway.

      2. If you cannot get any space on our driveway or you prefer to have a larger area to turn, there is parking in the entrance to the bridleway a minute’s walk from the farm entrance. This is the lane on the left just before the bridge if you are coming from Okehampton direction or the first lane on the right after the bridge if you are coming from Tavistock direction.

    • Bus - the Dartline route 118 which runs Okehampton to Tavistock stops by request right outside the farm. This is the bus stop that serves the Whitelady Waterfalls entrance of Lydford gorge.

  14. Personal data

    • Email addresses and phone numbers will be requested at the time of booking. These are to be used for notifying you of any pre arrival information and of any cancellations or amendments.

    • We typically share photographs and video we take of you during your experience via our Facebook, Instagram and / or our website. However this is only done with your written permission after the experience and If you do not wish for your photos to be shared online we will email them to you instead.

  15. Biosecurity - we have strict biosecurity on our farm. Anyone not wanting to walk through our disinfectant mats or to wash their hands when requested will be refused access.

 

Health and safety

  1. COVID-19 measures (how we will keep you safe)

    • On arrival please wait by the black boarded farm gate.

    • Your party will be asked to wash their hands before coming into the alpaca paddock.

    • Face masks & gloves - please feel comfortable to wear a mask and / or gloves if you so wish. We do not provide these so please bring your own.

    • Hand sanitiser - we encourage the use of hand sanitiser but please be aware that the alpacas may not like the smell after it is immediately applied to your hands. We will provide sanitiser for those who do not have their own.

    • All alpaca leads and halters are sanitised on a 40 degree machine wash after EVERY use. You will always have a clean disinfected lead with which to lead your alpaca. If your guide needs to take your animal from you during the trek for any reason they will clip on with their own lead. If for any reason this is not possible to do, your guide will be carrying spare sanitised leads for you to use in lieu.

    • At the end of your experience you will be asked to wash your hands before returning to your vehicle.

    • The toilet, hand washing facilities, gate latches and any other areas that people have come into contact with will be sanitised after EVERY experience.

    • We will only be running our events with small groups - max 12 on a Trek and one party only on an Encounter or Picnic.

  2. Safety briefing - a full safety briefing will be given at the beginning of your experience after hand washing. Your health and safety is of our utmost importance.

  3. Putting others at risk - we reserve the right to refuse to allow anyone to continue an alpaca experience if they put themselves or others at risk.

  4. Disabilities - due to the nature of the treks being on open moorland which includes small streams, rocks and slopes, it is not possible to accommodate wheelchairs. 

  5. Toilet facilities - there is one toilet with hand washing facilities available on the farm (cold water only) but please note this is not a disabled toilet and there is a step up to the building. There are toilets across the road at the National Trust Lydford Gorge site but it is your responsibility to enquire with the owners whether you are able to use these facilities.

  6. Minimum age - the minimum age we can accept on an alpaca trek is 12 years old and anyone aged between 12 and 17 must be accompanied by an adult. If you do have younger children who would like to meet the alpacas and our very friendly sheep, then please book onto an Animal Encounter or Picnic experience instead. For a Picnic with the Pacas experience there MUST be a minimum of one adult aged 18+ present at all times. For an Animal Encounter there MUST be one adult booked for every two children.

  7. Alpacas per person - we only permit one alpaca per person at all times on the trek - please do not swap animals or take another animal from someone else in addition to your own one. This is for your health and safety and for insurance purposes.

  8. Pregnancy - due to the fact that alpacas can kick out if someone gets too close to their back legs, the alpaca trekking experience may not be suitable for pregnant women. If you are pregnant and still want to trek, you do so entirely at your own risk. We also have sheep on the farm including one ewe (but not breeding animals or young lambs) so please also consider this if you are pregnant. If you are attending an Animal Encounter, there is an option to enjoy the experience very easily whilst having a barrier between you and the animals to minimise your risk. Just let us know if this is the case at the start. If you are coming for a Picnic experience then there will always be a barrier between you and the animals.

 

During your Alpaca Trekking Experience

  1. Getting the most out of your alpaca

    • The alpaca nature

      1. Alpacas are highly curious animals and like to investigate things. Please try and keep your alpaca away from any boundary fences on your trek as they could contain barbed wire. Similarly, please discourage your alpaca from nibbling at any vegetation they may encounter.

      2. Being herd animals, the alpacas like to be close together so on our trek we will always endeavour to stay together as a group. If a gap does open up we all need to be alert and wait for others to catch up - your alpaca could try and run to catch up with their friends otherwise. A 2m distance however is fine!

      3. Alpacas walk at their own pace which is mostly a very gentle ramble. This does mean our trek could overrun slightly and so you should ensure you leave a little flexibility when planning your day.

      4. Being lovely soft and fluffy animals, people always want to stroke their alpaca. This can however spook your alpaca so please refrain from touching them whilst we are walking on the trek. We will take a break halfway through the walk where you can hand feed them some of their favourite snacks - during this time only, your alpaca may allow you to gently stroke their neck and some will even give you a whiskery kiss! 

      5. Alpacas can become spooked if they hear a loud noise or see any really sudden movements. Please keep calm and quiet during your trek to allow yourself, others and your alpaca to feel at ease at all times. 

    • Holding the lead

      1. Do not wrap it around your hand as you need to be able to drop the lead if you are in danger.

      2. Take care to not get your lead wrapped around your alpacas neck. If this does happen however, then calmly hold the end of the lead and manoeuvre around your animal so that you are back on the correct side (this is always the left). If you are unsure then please ask your trekking guide for assistance.

      3. If for any reason you feel in danger of being pulled over or dragged, then drop your lead. Your trekking guide will help you to recover your lead.

      4. Alpacas do not like being restrained or dragged - be sure to give them enough slack when holding the lead. If you need to give a little encouragement, try gently pulling on the lead, quickly releasing and repeating again. A hand signal to beckon them forwards and telling them what you want them to do also works wonders! They are probably still getting familiar with you.

      5. Sometimes your alpaca may seem a little hesitant to walk - this is normally because of too much restraint on the lead. Try and reduce the pressure and move a little further down the lead. This will give your alpaca more of a view around you - they are herd animals so feel more comfortable when they can see an escape route.

  2. Trek terrain & environment

    • Clothing

      1. No umbrellas please, they freak out the alpacas!

      2. Wellington boots are highly recommended due to there being some small streams on the walk - these can be virtually nothing during a dry spell but there are some puddles year round. Waterproof hiking boots are another option or other suitable walking footwear that you do not mind getting a bit wet. For your own safety, if you do not have the appropriate footwear on then you will not be permitted to do the trek.

      3. ​​Please dress appropriately for the weather, this includes wet, windy, cold and hot situations! Remember we are on Dartmoor and that means changeable. We will still operate the trek in light rain so please come prepared.

      4. Avoid wearing any loose clothing that is liable to flap about. This could spook the alpacas.

    • Terrain

      1. Terrain - by booking on to a trek we assume you are fit and able to cover the distance of the walk and can cope with the terrain. This being on open moorland will include rocks, loose stones, small streams, slopes and uneven ground. 

    • Environment

      1. Cars - on leaving the farm, our trek will cover a very short section of lane and bridge before we get onto the moors. Please wait for your trekking guide to deem it safe to cross the bridge as we will need to ensure any cars coming have seen us and slowed down to allow us to continue.

      2. Other animals - as we are walking off the farm and on open moorland, we will likely encounter other animals such as dogs both on and off leads, horses, sheep and even wild Dartmoor ponies and highland cattle. Although your alpaca has experienced all of these animals before, they may still be a little nervous. Be extra alert during these times and by staying calm, this will help your alpaca to stay calm too.

      3. Insects - being on a farm and our trek running on open moorland means there could be insects around particularly in the warmer months such as horseflies, ticks and mosquitoes. Please ensure you are adequately protected and if you have any allergies that you are carrying any medications required.

  3. Mobiles and cameras

    • For everyone’s enjoyment please refrain from using your mobile phone for calls whilst on your alpaca experience and set your ringtone to silent.

    • We highly encourage photographs but you must ensure you are in charge of your animal at all times and aware of any obstacles.

    • Photographs taken during the experience could be published on the website and on social media - this is only done if we get your permission in writing requested after your experience.

  4. Returning to the farm

    • Once back on the farm, your alpaca will be unhaltered. Please do not attempt to remove these yourself.

    • Hand washing is mandatory at the end of your experience - there is a small sink with cold water and soap on site. Please note to reach the sink area, there is a step up to the building.

    • You will be required to exit the paddock via the foot washing mats for bio-security purposes.

 
During your Animal Encounter Experience

We want you to be relaxed and enjoy your experience but we also must ensure you are safe at all times:

  1. Children 
    • All children must be accompanied at ALL times by an adult aged 18+ and there is a maximum of two children per adult. This is for safety reasons as you need to be able to have your children in sight at all times.

    • Alpacas are large animals and can kick out if they feel something touch them from behind. Therefore it is your responsibility to ensure your children are in sight at all times and that they do not stray behind the animals.

    • Please discourage your children from putting their fingers in their mouths and from sitting down on the grass - although we clean our paddocks daily there may still be animal droppings that have occurred since cleaning.

    • If bringing a baby it is essential that they are in contact with you at all times. Any very young children such as toddlers should also be in contact with you at all times and not be allowed to go independently near the animals.

  2. Feeding - you will have the opportunity to feed the animals and they will willingly eat from your hands. If you want to feed them but prefer not to have contact we have a number of small feeding bowls that you can use instead.

  3. Seating - we have a bench for those who want to rest their legs during the experience. Please feel free to use it.

  4. Footwear - we are a working farm and your experience takes place in a grassed paddock where there are likely to be some animal droppings. Therefore closed cover shoes are mandatory, this will also help to protect your feet if an over excited sheep steps on your toe!

  5. Clothing - please dress for the weather and come prepared as being in Dartmoor, it can be unpredictable at times. Avoid wearing any loose clothing that is liable to flap about. This could spook the alpacas.
  6. No Umbrellas! For some reason they really spook out our alpacas.

  7. Insects - being on a farm means there could be insects around particularly in the warmer months such as horseflies, midges, ticks and mosquitoes. Please ensure you are adequately protected and if you have any allergies that you are carrying any medications required. 

  8. Hand washing - at the end of your Encounter you will be asked to wash your hands before you leave.

  9. Mobiles and cameras

    • For everyone’s enjoyment please refrain from using your mobile phone for calls whilst on your Encounter experience and set your ringtone to silent.

    • Photographs taken during the experience could be published on the website and on social media - this is only done if we get your permission in writing requested after your experience.

 
During your Picnic with the Pacas Experience

We want you to be relaxed and enjoy your experience but we also must ensure you are safe at all times:

  1. Children 

    • All children must be accompanied on a Picnic experience by at least one adult aged 18+ and that adult must be present during the entire duration of the experience. As there is always a barrier between yourselves and the animals, we do not require an adult per x amount of children as is the case on an Alpaca Trek or Animal Encounter. Therefore you could bring up to 5 children for a Picnic with the Pacas with just one adult but it does remain your responsibility (as the adult) for their safety and behaviour whilst on the farm. You also need to be very mindful that the children cannot be left completely unaccompanied such as if you the adult require to use the toilet. An adult must always be present within the paddock and orchard for safety reasons and staff at Lydford Gorge Alpacas would not be insured or allowed to be alone with children at any time.  

    • There will be a fenced barrier between yourselves and the animals but please bear in mind that alpacas can spit. This is highly unlikely as all our animals are very friendly and very socialised. However you may see some ‘snorting’ which is never normally aimed at you, the human but at their buddies. You just sometimes get caught in the crossfire - it is harmless but might have a bit of a whiff and some food fragments may come out. It is all part of the experience! 

    • Please do not allow your children to climb any fences or gates, especially on the barriers of the paddock where the animals are. There will be a lock on the gate to manage risk of children getting in with the animals but bear in mind that a child could still climb over - you need to ensure this does not happen to keep them safe.

    • Although the animals are very used to us humans and are not too bothered by noise, if you want them to approach you at the fence line try to keep calm, quiet and avoid sudden movements such as flapping your arms or running around. 

  2. Feeding the animals - you will have the opportunity to feed the animals as you will each be supplied with a bag of vegetable and fruit treats. If you want to feed them but prefer not to have direct contact we have a number of small feeding bowls that you can use instead. Just ask us, don’t be shy!. Under no circumstances should you offer any of your own food to the animals - this is extremely important as it is surprising what can make the animals sick, especially an alpaca as they are not native to the UK. Even feeding a carrot that is not cut up correctly can lead them to choke and suffocate. Please only feed them what we provide no matter how much they give you the big ‘we are starving’ eyes!

  3. Feeding yourselves

    • The orchard is an animal free zone so is a hygienic place to eat your food. Please under no circumstances eat your food outside of the orchard space as although the adjacent paddocks are cleaned daily there may still be a risk of animal faeces. 

    • Please feel free to bring any food or drink you like to your picnic. We just ask that if you bring alcohol, to drink responsibly. 

  4. Rubbish - please can we kindly ask you to bag up all your rubbish and take this home with you as we do not have the facilities to do this on your behalf. 

  5. Seating - there is a picnic table which comfortably seats up to 6 people and also a swing bench which seats three people. Please make use of the furniture and also feel free to lie on the grass / bring picnic blankets. We will ensure that the furniture is always clean and sanitised for your use after each party that uses it.

  6. Footwear - we are a working farm and although where you eat your picnic takes place in an animal free space, you do need to cross an animal paddock to get to the orchard and also to see the animals. Although there will be no animals free roaming the paddock you need to cross, they do graze here at times. We would recommend wearing closed in shoes due to nettles, thistles etc with no toes or heels showing but this is not mandatory as there is no risk of an animal stepping on your foot.

  7. Clothing - please dress for the weather and come prepared as being in Dartmoor, it can be unpredictable at times. We recommend layers so that you can cope with any last minute changes to the Dartmoor forecast.

  8. Umbrellas - Umbrellas do spook out the alpacas but if you need one for a sunshade please feel free to use this in the orchard space.

  9. Insects - being on a farm means there could be insects around particularly in the warmer months such as horseflies, midges, ticks and mosquitoes. Please ensure you are adequately protected and if you have any allergies that you are carrying any medications required. 

  10. Hand washing - at the start and end of your picnic you will be asked to wash your hands before you leave. You may also want to consider washing your hands in between touching the animals and eating your food - please use the wash facilities when you need to. If you have booked a picnic for after a Trek or Animal Encounter we will ask you to use the washing facilities before the picnic element starts. 

  11. Mobiles and cameras - please take as many photos and videos as you like! Make the alpacas go viral if you can…