A BURLEY counsellor has started a new alpaca walking business in Burley Deer Park after buying six alpacas.

Carol Moore, a counsellor from Burley, has created the venture named Me To You Burley Alpacas to allow people to get up and close to the animals and feed them. 

Opened in May, Carol said she and her husband moved to Burley in 2019 and were inspired to create the business after believing something was missing in the area. 

She said: "My husband and I both love animals and we moved to Burley in 2019 and, although Burley is lovely, there's not an awful lot and we just thought something was missing.

"We didn't just wake up one day I just think 'oh, we'll just get alpacas', the idea just grew and I wanted to see how I could integrate that with my therapy. 

"We want to eventually go into care homes and schools and work alongside people with additional needs, neurodiversity and more to integrate it into my counselling."

Carol says in 2019 her sister took her life and, since she acquired the alpacas, joy has returned to her life and stated the animals have been calming and great for her mental health. 

Tough at times, Carol and her husband, Simon Moore, bought three alpacas from Corfe Mullen in October and then three more from Stoke on Trent in February but have already seen much interest in the animals. 

She said: "My sister died from suicide and since then it has been so hard. The joy in my life had pretty much been sucked out of me but this has brought me so much joy, even just being around them. 

"They're calming, great for mental health and they just put a smile on people's faces. Even the poo picking is therapeutic."

Open in Burley Deer Park on Saturdays, customers can also visit the alpaca's home behind the cider pantry in Burley to meet, greet and feed the animals.