For sale! Your chance to buy a herd of 130 alpacas
- Credit: IAN BURT
A woman's growing legacy in Norfolk is going under the hammer - but it might not be what you think.
In January 2000, when Su Lenk brought home five alpacas, she did not imagine that 22 years later her small herd would grow and increase its numbers to 180.
Now the owners of family-run AzSu Alpacas, based at The Low Farm, Letton, have decided to downsize following ambitious plans for the farm's future.
A total of 130 of their 'premium to pet quality' alpacas will be auctioned off tomorrow, Sunday April 15.
Husband of the late Mrs Lenk, Robert, said his wife 'fell in love with alpacas at first sight' when she spotted them at a country fair.
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Not satisfied with five, the couple wanted more and eventually moved to their 55-acre farm, near Dereham.
After the move, Mrs Lenk immersed herself in the world of alpacas and studied everything there was to know, eventually culminating in a visit to Peru in South America to the Andean Altiplano - homeland of the alpaca.
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'Su never considered her alpacas as 'livestock',' Mr Lenk said.
'When she walked among them, the herd would consider her as one of them. They would gather around her. She had an affinity with them. She was, to coin a phrase, their 'herd goddess'.'
Following Mrs Lenk's death in 2010, the couple's daughter Nikki took over as farm manager. Now Miss Lenk is pursuing a new dream for the farm which requires a considerable downsizing of the herd.
She said: 'We want to carry on doing alpaca trekking. There's also a new craze at the moment taking alpacas to weddings. We also have plans to create a DIY livery.'
Miss Lenk added that the auction would be 'bittersweet' but said she was excited to share 'such a beautiful and perfect area' with more people in the future.
Mr Lenk is also 'running down' his business interests ahead of semi-retirement.
A core herd of around 30 alpacas will remain and AzSu will continue to provide clients with advice, shearing, agistment, medical services and alpaca walks around the farm. The Alpaca Barn shop will also continue with a growing online presence.
The auction will take place at The Low Farm. Gates open at 9am and the auction will start at 11am. Potential buyers must register with the auctioneers before the sale begins.