At Peak Hill Llamas we continually strive for high sustainability and low environmental impact. Llama trekking generally has a low environmental impact. Llamas have padded hooves with a large surface area compared to the animal's weight - this limits soil erosion and damage to plant growth.
Llamas consume a low volume of both water and feed – they consume just 5–10% of the volume of feed consumed by a horse, and so produce a correspondingly small amount of faeces which they deposit in communal dung piles – a trait unique to camelids. These communal piles allow easy and efficient paddock cleaning on a regular basis as there are just a few areas to be cleaned rather than the whole paddock. This makes llamas extremely hygienic compared with horses, cattle, sheep, and goats. At Peak Hill Llamas we clean our paddocks twice a week - the dung is composted on the farm’s muck heap & later used as fertiliser on the arable crops. This system of paddock cleaning and composting of manure limits the risk of any ground water contamination.
We use no artificial fertiliser or pesticides/herbicides in the llamas' paddocks– and the regular paddock cleaning together with llamas natural resistance to worms and regular faecal testing reduces the need for the use of anthelmintics. We conserve water using a water butt to collect rainwater for washing buckets etc, and use very little electricity as our buildings benefit from plenty of natural light. All hay and straw for the llamas is made on the farm and we purchase all their concentrate feed from a local feed merchant. Both plastic and paper feed sacks are recycled Wherever possible we buy local and fair trade produce for our walks. Our scones for our cream teas come from a local baker and we use Devon produced clotted cream. We buy Fair Trade tea, coffee, hot chocolate and sugar. Our walks produce very little waste – we do not use disposable plates/cups and rarely have leftover food! As much as possible of the little waste that is produced is recycled.
To reduce travel we encourage our customers to stay onsite at the farm’s B&B & have recently negotiated with the local free bus service to bring customers right to the farm. To keep paper usage to a minimum virtually all written communication with customers is via e-mail. We are proud to support the local economy as well as local community events – these include fetes and charity fundraising events - and the llamas have even attended a local Harvest Festival!