We first came across Alpacas on a family day out to a local visitor’s farm. We were absolutely captivated by these engaging animals and before too long we began to investigate the possibility of owning and breeding them. We researched the different types of alpaca, their history, personality and their welfare. We then started making contacts in the alpaca world, travelling the length and breadth of the UK to meet other breeders and to find out more about the practical side of developing an alpaca herd.
From that point onwards we both knew we wanted to be involved with alpacas. At that time we didn’t have any land of our own but we decided to buy our first three alpacas and care for them on agistment, which meant that we could go forward with our plan of developing our herd by having them grazed and looked after elsewhere.
County Alpacas was formed in 2005 with two pregnant Chilean Alpacas, one with cria at foot selected from a herd of 1500, our alpacas were known by their ear tag numbers, but we gave them names: Gerty, Lexi and her cria, Lewes.
Very soon after we bought our own farm nestled in the Pennine hills and moved the growing herd into Yorkshire. We never expected to become alpaca breeders but, in a way, it’s our destiny. We live close to the village of Saltaire, which was founded by textile magnate, Sir Titus Salt, who used alpaca fleece to weave the most wonderful and lustrous cloth. We’re bringing alpacas back to Yorkshire and we’re sure that the development of a national herd with the best genetics and the best care will mean that alpaca fleece can once again become useable in the world’s fashion industry. We like to think Sir Titus Salt would be proud.
In 2007 Shaun & Julie formed the Yorkshire Alpaca Group which to this day meets every quarter where like-minded alpaca owners and enthusiasts get together and discuss all things alpaca. Shortly after, Shaun joined the Board of Directors for the British Alpaca Society (BAS) and later voted into the role of Chairman of the Board. He remained Chair for two years, during which time he was the Honorary Chair for the World Alpaca Conference 2012 which was held in Oxford at Keble College.
Shaun has since written and published several articles on alpaca and alpaca products. The overriding thought when we came across alpacas for the first time and felt the luxurious fleece was the “Everyone must want this fibre”. That initial thought has remained at the centre of County Alpacas ethos and has proven correct. People do want alpaca products. County Alpacas has gone from strength to strength and now sources alpaca products from all over the world. We also select only the best alpaca in the UK from which to make our yarns which are unsurpassed in quality, softness and variety.
We now farm a herd of over 30 alpacas and have set up another business called British Alpaca Fleece Buyers. We travel the entire country buying alpaca fleece in all grades, colour and amount. British Alpaca Fleece Buyers is now the largest alpaca fleece buying operation in the UK having brought in and processed 30 tonnes of alpaca in its first year.
Having spent a life in public service before alpacas, we are committed to providing a high quality customer service. We personally oversee all orders, sales and customer queries. We know that when someone decides to buy the best they should expect the best product and the best service. You will find our service to you is tailored to your needs and we want you to be completely satisfied with our products and service. Nothing else is acceptable. We would like you to browse the site and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any help with buying our products or just want to know more about alpacas.
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