Birmingham Gearing Up for British Alpaca Futurity

The dogs have had their day with Crufts - now it's the turn of the alpacas.

The British Alpaca Futurity, a non-profit organisation, is holding its annual show on March 15 and 16 at the NEC in Birmingham. The show is open to the public on both days with accompanied children under 16 going free.

If you ever wanted to know more about these fascinating, fleecy animals, now’s your chance! Herds of Alpacas are gradually becoming a familiar sight across our landscape but what do you know about these creatures which look like a cross between a sheep and a giraffe? Used to the tough weather conditions across the mountainous regions of Peru and South America from where they originate, Alpacas are hardy creatures that have adapted well to the British climate.

A spokesman said: "By supporting British Alpaca breeders, the BAF is supporting the British rural economy and all related industries which have evolved not only from the processing of the fleece and fibre but also those surrounding the ownership of alpacas; and the British Alpaca industry is not only growing, it is thriving with approximately 30,000 alpacas grazing the length and breadth of the country.

"Many entrepreneurs have set up farm with just a small number of Alpacas and grown their numbers year on year. Through selective breeding, British Alpacas with top quality fleeces are now roaming our lands. The increase in the fleece supply has led to processing mills producing fine Alpaca yarns, which in turn have become the luxurious wool of choice for many knitters and crafters.

"The super-soft fleece adds a luxurious feel to any garment and indeed the versatility of alpaca fibre knows no bounds. It‘s naturally anti-allergenic properties make it a wonderful component for duvet and pillow filling s and its soft fibres transform knitted garments into sumptuous creations. Skilled and innovative craftsmen and women will be showcasing their wares this weekend at the show.

"Come and browse items made from natural Alpaca wool or take a look at the tools of the trade which will allow you to make your own. Visitors can experience live demonstrations of felting, hand spinning & crochet work or simply check out the Alpacas and learn more about the husbandry involved in keeping these special animals. With over 400 Alpacas competing to earn coveted awards and rosettes, we can assure you the best of British Alpacas will be present. If dogs can parade around a ring then surely parading alpacas will make a most spectacular sight, not to be missed!"

Want to learn more about Alpacas? Then come along to Hall 3A of the NEC in Birmingham on 15 and 16 March.

To learn more, please visit http://www.britishalpacafuturity.com/.