Alpaca it all in for country life

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A couple have realised their dream of escaping suburbia by embarking on a new business venture - alpaca trekking.

Howard Simpson, 50, and his wife Tracy, 51, of Hebden Bridge had always dreamed of building a life in the country and having a smallholding of their own.

And following a visit to St David’s in Pembrokeshire, Wales, the couple were inspired to get their very own herd of Peruvian alpacas, falling in love with what they describe as the “big cuddly teddy bears” straight away.

Howard said: “I was 50 this year and in one of my birthday cards from my brother-in-law was a cutting of the Yorkshire Post indicating that there were 16 alpacas for sale.

“We drove down to Carmarthen in South Wales and spoke to the owner Paul who was selling his herd.

“We bought the boys, eight of them, which for us was ideal.

“We collected them at the end of June and Hero, Centurion, Praetorian, Hercules, Forester, Falcon, Emissary and Bertty have settled in great.”

The couple managed to make their dream a reality after selling their property online. Howard said: “The cost of the Alpacas was £6,000 and that is just about what we saved from paying a ‘normal’ estate agent.”

The couple have now settled into their new home at Apple Tree Farm, Davey Lane, Blackshawhead, with their alpaca herd and have established their business.

It centres around taking small groups for walks in the stunning countryside of the South Pennines and the Calder Valley.

Howard, Tracy and the alpacas have the chance to meet new people, share their love for the friendly creatures and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the borough.

For more information, visit www.appletreefarmalpacas.com, call 01422 844420 or email bookings@appletreefarmalpacas.com