The Lincolnshire alpacas helping people's mental health

A wellbeing wander with a difference. Alpacas at this farm in Lincolnshire have swapped South America for the east coast of Lincolnshire - and they're spreading calm with every step.

"Working with animals it's really good and I find it really relaxing. It's nice to have this experience.

"They're just so inquisitive and with them being so nervous you kind of warm to them, because you want to keep them safe", said one of the attendees.

It's supposed to be the soft fur and calming nature of these gentle creatures that allows people to detach from the stresses and strains of daily life.

And it's led people from all over the country to flock to this quaint corner of the Lincolnshire countryside.


The animals strolled into Sam Hukin's life four years ago. As a former primary school teacher, she decided to offer others the wellbeing boost she benefitted from - by taking llamas and alpacas on tours of schools and care homes - as well as guided therapy walks.

"All on their terms, because they're prey animals their instinct is to be frightened by a lot of stuff. Their instinct is to run away from things, we have to be calm, gentle and relaxed around them.

"Because of their nature we have to behave in a certain way."

After the first lockdown delayed the centre's opening last year, Sam's alpacas are now very much in demand.

Among those to regularly drop in is Amanda Scurry. She was struggling with post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety before four-legged therapy ambled by.

Without them "I probably would still be in therapy and on medication and I don't need that now. Whenever you feel down, spend time with them.

"You don't think about anything else when you're with them... they definitely saved my life."

People who regularly attend the walks say slowly but surely, these animals are giving people the perspective they need to take time for themselves.