'They really enjoy them' - This farm is feeding Christmas trees to Alpacas
- Credit: Karen Bethell
It is a perennial post-festive season problem. What is the best way to dispose of that rapidly shedding Christmas tree - without leaving your car covered in a carpet of needles?
However, according to the owner of a north Norfolk glamping site, the popular pines need not go to waste, as they make the perfect tasty treat for her small herd of alpacas.
Beckie Farrow, who, with her husband Ed, runs Bumblebarn bell tents and animal attraction at Sheringham, discovered her alpacas can’t get enough of the trees’ needles, and even enjoy nibbling at the bark.
“After Christmas last year, I heard that a farmer in the north of England had been feeding them to his alpacas, so I put a call out on Facebook and ended up with a handful of trees,” she explained.
“This year, I did the same and was absolutely inundated, so much so, that I have had to turn people down.”
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Mrs Farrow, who has already collected more than 30 trees from outside local people’s homes, dropped off a trailer-load at nearby Hillside Animal Sanctuary.
The rest are scattered around her alpacas’ enclosure, with some also hanging upside down in their stable.
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“They seem to really enjoy them, and will sometimes pull the trees over and play with them,” she said.
But, while visitors may be unable to pop down to watch the alpacas in action due to Tier 4 restrictions, Mrs Farrow has come up with a way of allowing fans of the cuddly creatures to keep in touch.
“I’ve been doing alpaca Zoom calls with my phone,” she explained. “I give people a tour and introduce them to each of the alpacas by name.”
The scheme has proved popular so far, with the alpacas sharing screen time with everyone from youngsters, to a woman recovering from surgery who said meeting the animals had made her day.
In an online review, she said: “Beckie also introduced me to the ponies, ducks and chickens. If anyone needs a smile and a warm feeling in their heart, I thoroughly recommend it.”
Mrs Farrow said: “When you’re stuck inside, it’s nice to look at something a bit different and I think we are all looking forward to the spring, and a much better summer!”
To find out more about Bumblebarn glamping and alpaca experiences, visit www.bumblebarn.co.uk