Sue Loach – 13 September 2021

13 September 2021     British Alpaca Society     BAS Board

Last weekend saw the first National Alpaca Farm Day for us all.  I have to say I agreed to take part with some degree of trepidation, and I spent as much time worrying about whether anyone would turn up as I did about being overrun.

We decided that we would offer mini walks , just around our fields , opportunities to hand feed and to offer refreshments, coffee, cake and cold drinks.  I must confess to being hopeful that we didn’t sell too much cake so I had an excuse to eat it myself, after all it’s a shame to waste it!  I also had some hand knitted hats and headbands on sale that I had knitted last winter which virtually sold out.

Well, the Sunday of Farm Day dawned (we only did 1 day) and we were all up, organised and ready for our 11am start , when at 10-30, all these cars appeared, literally 20 in a row, accompanied by my anguished wails of “ You can’t arrive yet, I’m not ready”.

Once we had overcome the shock of how many people flooded in, I have to say we had a brilliant day, I don’t think I realised how much people love Alpacas and how much joy being with them gives. One lady told me that walking an Alpaca was on her top 10 list of things she really wanted to do and that we had made her day.

In all we had around 600 visitors, so many saying they hadn’t a clue we were here and that they thought they would have to travel miles to spend time with Alpacas.  Until Farm Day I had always been amazed at how many farms opened up to the public for walks, picnics, yoga etc, but having seen the pleasure on people’s faces last weekend I can understand why they do.  I’m having lots of enquiries from people wanting to visit again and from those who didn’t know it was on, so we are already planning for next year’s Farm Day.   From the feedback I have seen it seems other farms have had similar success and over 11,000 people attended the event countrywide so a big well done to everyone who participated.

What amazing animals Alpacas are, they produce us all this lovely fibre we can use, they promote themselves via shows all over the country and the general public love spending time with them, I wonder how many other species can say the same?