About Us

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Wokingham, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Easter-Wood Alpaca Stud is a family-run, BAS-registered Alpaca breeding enterprise, located in the Royal County of Berkshire. Sheila and Jeff Easter set the company up in mid-2008 when they purchased their first 5 Elite Australian Alpacas.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Our Public Inquiry

What a busy few days we have had! On Tuesday, our Public Inquiry commenced and both Sheila and I were simply shocked by the number of local residents making up an "angry" force! (approx 30 on both Tuesday and Wednesday). They were so hostile and you would think that we were proposing to build a Supermarket at our farm rather that a modest dwelling!!

Rob Rawlins did us proud as he was one of our expert witnesses, so thanks very much Rob. Yesterday, it was the "site visit" and the Inspector along with the senior planning officer turned up. Whilst the local residents had been invited to the site visit, they chose not to come onto the farm but instead "massed" together outside waiting for the Inspector to leave. I have never seen such hostility and to make matters worse, they were allowed to speak about all of their concerns despite the fact that the only disputed issue between us and the council is the "Functional Need"!! As a result of the "wasted" time, we have not yet finished the Inquiry and will have to return in early September!

Despite all of this, Both Sheila and I are totally committed to our Alpaca Breeding business and will not let these issues cloud the fact that this is our livelyhood!

Anyway, let's return to much more pleasent things.......... We had a visit from our friends and co-owner of Ice Cool Lad yesterday, Jo and Ann Hempsey from Chase End Alpacas who were picking up the "Lad" for a spell with some of their ladies. It was great to see them again and very kindly brought some flowers for Sheila which cheered her up (and she certainly needed that after yesterdays "bruising"). We introduced them to our latest crias and chatted about the businesses over numerous cups of tea along with sandwiches outside.....since we are currently living in a static caravan at the moment, it was just as well that the weather held!! It was a very pleasant day and Jo also gave some sound advice in halter training a young male we have.

Jo and Ann very kindly left us with one of their studs so that we can continue our programme of "Spit-offs" until September.

Well I am off to do some paddock cleaning now but will be back soon.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Jeff, good to see you both on Tuesday. Wishing you the best of luck with the adjourned enquiry. I was very saddened to see so many bitter and twisted people who have no understanding of the countryside. People who clearly will be glad to see the back of any kind of agriculture in the countryside. And in the United Kingdom, a Country that has such a proud farming history.

    God help the modern world with all those short sighted NIMBY's. Very shallow individuals indeed.

    We will be thinking of you.

    Rob and Les

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  2. It is such a shame that the 'locals' are so hostile. Fingers crossed the council see sense and all is sorted come September. Good luck.

    Debbie

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  3. It is incredible that people can be so hostile when the Alpacas business will not cause any smell, noise or nuisance. Let's hope good sense prevails in September,
    Pat & Sid

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  4. That sounded a bit scary. Hope you get through it. We were met with quite a bit of scepticism out here. People thought a bunch of alpacas that close to ordinary homes would be a problem, because people are used to the smell, flies, sounds, and so on of ordinary livestock.
    Now they have recently signed a petition in our favour to let us buy more land, and the local council approved with a "good luck!" at the end of the paper we received!
    Things can work out fine.

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  5. Hi Jeff & Sheila, Its just such a shame that these hostile bunch of people just cant take the time to come and see what you are doing, and understand what a wonderful place you have and how committed you are to your venture, Im sure if your land was to be turned into a local travellers site these so called do gooders would have wished they had kept there stuck up noses out.
    Our fingers are crossed for you both.

    Karl & Lisa

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