The Old Packers and the New Packers

Those of you who have been to Tangled Bank before will be familiar with our two resident alpacas, Virgil and Raisin. Raisin has lived at Tangled Bank most of his life, and was here long before we ever were. He originally lived in the 6 acre meadow with his pal Rum, enjoying a quiet bachelor life of grass-munching and sheep-watching.

Unfortunately, in April 2020, Rum became very unwell and we sadly lost him. Raisin was devastated, alpacas are herd animals and being alone was incredibly detrimental to his wellbeing. He was distraught, running wildly around the field, calling for Rum to return to him.

Not knowing the local area (we had moved in just prior to the 2020 lockdown) we hit the local Kings Nympton community facebook group, desperately hoping that someone would know someone who either had an alpaca to sell, or who would take Raisin and let him join their herd. Our luck was in. In true Kings Nympton style, our tiny village (which doesn’t even have a shop) came to our rescue, and we discovered Rosebud Ranch, an alpaca breeding and holistic wellbeing centre, just less than half a mile from our door!

Rosebud Ranch had a beautiful stud alpaca called Virgil who was looking for a new home. We were over the moon! We welcomed Virgil to Tangled Bank, and he and Raisin have in separable pals ever since! However, we knew in the back of our minds that alpaca herds should always be a minimum of three, to avoid exactly the kind of catastrophe that had befallen Raisin when his only pal Rum died. So getting another alpaca was always on the cards…

Virgil and Raisin love meeting our guests, mainly when there is alpaca food involved, but they are notoriously spooky, and don’t really enjoy too much close contact with people. They love living in their big field where they can hang out in their own space, and don’t tend to want to have too much to do with our holiday makers. We wanted to make sure that if we increased our alpaca herd, the next members would be super-friendly chaps, who love a fuss, and enjoy spending time with people.

Enter Chester and José, our newest additions! Chester and José arrived in October 2022, and are also both from Rosebud Ranch, although they are not related to Virgil. They are extremely friendly, curious, loving boys, who really enjoy meeting people and interacting with our guests. José is two years old, and Chester is just one, but are the best of buddies and have both really settled in well here at Tangled Bank. For now, they are living in the paddock area near the pond. They have met the Old Packers (as we now call them) over the fence, and all four boys seem to be getting along nicely. We have resisted combining the two mini-herds into one at the moment as we fear that Virgil and Raisin will be a bad influence on our friendly boys, and might tempt them up to the back of the big meadow and get them into slightly wilder habits!

José and Chester are both halter trained, which was another reason for bringing them to Tangled Bank. We can now offer our guests the chance to walk with an alpaca, and really get the opportunity to spend time getting up close and personal with these wonderful creatures.

So next time you visit Tangled Bank, be sure to swing by the paddocks and say hello to the New Packers; they particularly love popping their heads over the fence when our guests are enjoying the hot tub! And don’t forget, you can still wander up into the big meadow and laze in a hammock with Old Packers, who you never know, may choose to grace you with their presence!

Previous Post
Camp Fire Cooking
Next Post
Devon Days Out Series: Tarr Steps and Pinkery Pond
Food, Nature

Camp Fire Cooking

At Tangled Bank, we can’t get enough of our outdoor camp kitchen set-up. Whether it’s burgers fired up on the BBQ or a one…