A PAIR of retired doctors have turned their hand to an unusual new hobby – and recently won their first set of awards at a major regional show.
Pauline and Bob Cameron, from Newholm, have been farming alpacas, a species of domesticated South American animal similar to a llama, for three years.
They entered three animals into the Northumberland county show, which took place on 30 May, and each scooped a prize in their separate categories.
Mrs Cameron said: “We did amazingly well.
“We retired four years ago and bought the house, which came with the land, so we bought the alpacas so we had something to eat the field.
“Last year was the first time we got to choose the mates and breed ourselves and these three were last year’s babies.”
Categories are based upon the fleece colour and gender of the animal, and each is judged upon fleece quality and overall confirmation.
Each of the winning animals were between nine and ten months old and Ebony, a tall black female, won her junior category while second position in the junior faun female category was taken by Amber.
Ivor, a white male, scored second place in his junior category and was also declared reserve junior white male champion.
Alpacas are renowned for the high quality of their exceedingly soft fur and Mrs Cameron uses the fleeces to knit items of clothing.
The luxury wool is highly sought after and a jumper can fetch upwards of £150.
Mr and Mrs Cameron will be showcasing their animals at both the Hinderwell and the Burniston show over the summer.