ALPACAS are the stars of a new business launched at Laycock.

Charlotte Sugden is offering trekking experiences from her husband Leigh’s family farm, in Todley Hall Road.

And a host of other activities, from felting and creative writing workshops to yoga, is being staged – with more planned.

“It’s still very much a case of work in progress – the offering is expanding all the time as we develop new ideas,” said mum-of-two Charlotte, 32.

She bought the four alpacas in 2015 and the foundations for the business were put in place last year.

“I bought the animals simply because I loved them – I like things that are a bit different!” she said.

“I’ve a passion for the outdoors and last year I started working with David at Airedale Enterprise Services in Keighley. He helped me a lot with formulating a business idea.

“The treks are already proving extremely popular.

“We take the alpacas for a walk in the area, down to Newsholme Dean.

“We have lunch and refreshments and then walk back. It lasts around two-and-a-half hours.

“The response from people has been excellent.

“Alpacas are very lovable creatures and generally behave themselves!”

Charlotte is incorporating other pursuits into some of the treks and a packed summer programme is being staged.

A felting workshop – using the alpacas’ fleeces – is being held this week, and another is planned on July 18.

As part of an event on August 1, youngsters will be invited to meet the alpacas and take them for a walk.

Yoga is also being held and proving popular.

“It’s about offering a whole experience,” said Charlotte.

“The treks get people outdoors enjoying our wonderful countryside.

“That helps with with their health and wellbeing in so many ways, both physically and mentally.

“It also provides a unique experience to individuals and small groups, promoting social inclusion and encouraging the use of animals as a therapeutic method of alleviating everyday stresses.”

Charlotte said the alpacas were a hit with her own two children, Maisie, five, and Barnaby, two.

“They both love the alpacas and help feed them,” she said.

Activities at The Alpaca Hut must be pre-booked.

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