May 2016

April was an exciting and eventful month, concluding with a special event at the Coco Alpacas shop on April 30 to celebrate traditional British wool shops.

The event, Yarn Shop Day, was part of a national awareness event to promote brick-and-mortar wool shops. In a real shop (instead of a virtual one) customers can see and feel the quality of different knitting yarns and receive free-of-charge, personal advice on their creative projects.


Val Pierce talking to one of our customers on Yarn Shop Day

Val Pierce talking to one of our customers on Yarn Shop Day

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April 2016

Last month I visited the National Alpaca Show in Telford and was delighted that Shropshire had a high profile. The county is well and truly on the map- thanks to Newport’s Alpaca Farm Eggnog, named as the Supreme Huacaya champion.
Alpaca Farm Eggnog is the first female winner of Supreme Champion in over ten years. The accolade was a great victory for a small local breeder against competitors from all over the country. In total 450 alpacas were exhibited at the event.

Line up at the National Show, Telford 2016

Line up at the National Show, Telford 2016

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March 2016

We’ve been in a spin at the Coco Alpacas shop in the past few weeks- but in the nicest possible way!

We welcomed Fiona Nisbet to the shop to give us a spinning demonstration on February 18th and quite a few people came in to watch. Fiona brought her own Joy 2 double treadle spinning wheel, which folds up and is easy to carry around: she spun some alpaca fleece that she had carded and hand dyed.
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February 2016

There’s been a real buzz around the Coco Alpacas shop since its launch in November- and the great atmosphere looks set to stay throughout February and the rest of 2016 as we continue with our workshops and special events.

January’s sock workshop and a weaving demonstration by Fiona Nisbet were both hugely successful and resulted in great feedback from participants. Continue reading

January 2016

I have lots of news to share with you about my plans for 2016 – but first let me wish you a Happy New Year. I hope it’s a happy, healthy and prosperous year for all of us!

December 2015 ended on a good note, as customers flocked into the shop in the run-up to Christmas. Continue reading

December 2015

Coco Alpacas Shop

My feet haven’t touched the ground since my last blog post.

I’ve been so busy arranging the stock in my new Coco Alpacas shop, dressing the shop window, meeting members of the public and the press, and of course looking after my beautiful animals!

The opening day was very successful and I had alot of support from Church Stretton folk and further afield too, because many people had read an article in the Shropshire Star about my new enterprise.

Everything just fell into place on the day and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive: people seem to agree that it’s good for the town to have something a bit different, and my little cottage industry seems to have been welcomed with open arms.

Two of my favourite alpacas, Wizard and Derby, were on show in the Square, pretty much directly opposite the shop, and they certainly looked cute in their deep purple halters and pulled in the crowds. Continue reading

November 2015

Shop Opening Saturday 14th November 2015!

The past few weeks have been gathering pace as I prepare for the grand opening of the Coco Alpacas shop – I’m just a couple of weeks away from this very exciting new enterprise.

It’s been my lifelong ambition to own a shop selling high quality yarn and I’m so excited that it’s finally happening. Continue reading

October 2015

Shop Opening in Church Stretton!

I have some exciting news to announce this month. Church Stretton is getting its very own Coco Alpacas shop in the High Street – and it will be packed with stylish alpaca knitwear and specialists yarns.

I can’t wait to introduce local shoppers and tourists to our fantastic range of accessories, created from the fine fleeces of our loveable alpaca herd. Continue reading

September 2015

A New Home for Asterix and Alfie

I had a poignant moment recently when my lovely black male Asterix and his gorgeous chestnut brown half-brother Alfie – the first babies Asterix cropped ever born in my herd – went to live at South Staffordshire College. Continue reading

August 2015


What a lovely surprise I had on July 14th, when a beautiful grey cria (baby alpaca) arrived safe and sound, and snuggled up to her proud mum, Keira.

I knew a baby was on the way, but I had no idea at all of the date. Keira was running with a stud male near Kidderminster in Worcestershire last year, and was pregnant when I bought her in October.

Our new arrival is quite a rarity; she is a stunning shade of grey, and her fleece is looking good at just a few weeks of age. She is a very welcome addition to the herd.

I’ve been so lucky with all my alpaca births so far: my females have given birth naturally without any complications, and the crias have all been good feeders. Alpacas are pregnant for eleven and half months so I imagine its quite a relief for them to give birth! Keira will feed her cria for six months and then she will be weaned.

Alpacas are born outside and if there are no complications it happens very quickly, often within half an hour. They can stay outside afterwards and don’t need to come into the shed unless the weather gets very cold and wet. Crias are normally born in the morning or early afternoon as this enables them to be standing and feeding and to dry off before the night, when the temperature drops. This is important as alpacas originate from the Andes in South America where the temperatures can fluctuate by 40 degrees in a day, being extremely cold at night. Continue reading