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Northumberland County Show to host alpaca walks for first time in 2024

Northumberland County Show will host alpaca walks for the first time this year, organisers have confirmed.

The show returns on Saturday, May 25 with its biggest alpaca section yet, featuring more than 120 animals. The section, supported by Northumberland College, has grown in popularity over the last decade and now visitors will have a chance to walk the inquisitive and gentle camelids.

Paul and Kathryn Shrimpton have been farming alpacas at Lowgate, just outside Hexham, for more than 17 years under the name Nero Black Alpaca. This year, due to shearing the entire herd early, they can’t participate, as fleece length is crucial for judging.

Instead, they will offer visitors the chance to take their animals for a walk, or discuss owning alpacas as pets or as breeding stock. Paul said: “It was at the County Show 2002 when Kathryn first met alpacas – and it was love at first sight.

“It took her four years to convince me, as alpacas were very rare then. But for the last 6 years our alpaca herd have been our livelihood!”



Paul and Kathryn Shrimpton, owners of Nero Black Alpaca
Paul and Kathryn Shrimpton, owners of Nero Black Alpaca

Alpaca walks will be located between the Main Entrance and the Red Gate. The experience costs £5 per alpaca, and is also considered an opportunity for photos and selfies.

Walking alpacas is not the only camelid action visitors can enjoy at the show this year, with alpaca section organisers, Rachel and Paul Vaclik setting up a display pen of llamas for the first time, after being constantly asked: “Are these animals llamas?”

Rachel said: “In response to this question, we have invited a display pen of llamas for the first time. It should be a draw for visitors who can get up close to these gentle creatures and learn all about them and compare them to the alpacas!”

The Northumberland County Show takes place on Saturday, May 25 2024 at Bywell, near Stocksfield. Tickets are now on sales at the Northumberland County Show website.

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View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/alpaca-walks-northumberland-county-show-29055198

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