Lincolnshire farmers Martin and Clare Stranger aim to launch an alpaca centre on the site of their Dry Doddington farm, following the success of their current alternative livestock diversification strategy. The couple, who trade as JandJ Alpacas, have one of the UK’s largest alpaca herds, having grown from four to 85 since 2005.
Specialising in coloured alpacas, there are 22 recognised colours, including black, white, fawn, greys and various multi-colours. JandJ Alpacas have won awards at a national level, driving demand for the couples growing alpaca fleece knitwear business.
Clare commented: "It's a big part of our living. We create knitwear. It's a big part of our diversification."
Meadow Farm currently hosts Alpaca Chats and Alpaca Husbandry Courses, with a dedicated alpaca centre the next diversification step. The centre would be built from two shipping containers and include a classroom and shop, with a cafe opening alongside.
With their competitors far away in Sussex, Derbyshire and the Isle of Wight, the alpaca centre would be a unique attraction for the local area.
Martin commented: "I would like to think we will have the centre open by late 2018, with the shop and everything all ready by Christmas."